Filipino Netizens Remain Hopeful After Duterte's Sona

Manila, Philippines – July 25 was a big day for President Rodrigo Duterte, who delivered his very first State of the Nation address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa this afternoon, which many believed shed more light on the new President’s plans for the future of the country.

It’s a day that began with a few firsts, with the President cancelling the traditional red carpet fashion show by members of congress, as well as changing the dress code to business attire, to showcase a look of a simpler and more substantive government.

At the appropriate hour, President Duterte made his way to the assembly hall in his usual cool and laid back demeanor, beginning his speech with a powerful message:

“We cannot move forward if we allow the past to pull us back. Finger pointing is not the way. That is why I will not waste precious time dwelling on the sins of the past.”

It was a beginning that received a resounding applause from the audience, and was simply the prelude of a charged and impactful speech that continued to receive a positive applause. What did the people take from President Duterte’s Speech?

24 hours after the said event, a lot of neutral and positive feedback regarding the President’s speech hit the internet, showing an irregularly large number of people were actually watching SONA 2016.

Here are a few tweets showing what people took away from the speech:

“Human rights cannot be used as an excuse to destroy the country.” – Duterte

At 9 PM on Tuesday, the beginning of President Duterte’s speech, posts from social media outlets increased to 36,490, with a total of 103,442 by the evening.

The people sent out a large number of posts that spread the President’s message, focusing on topics like tax reform, anti-drug crime policies, and corruption.

The People’s Sentiments

By 9pm the next day, there were 33,015 neutral sentiments with a total of 93,982. Positive sentiments with a total of 5,159 and 2,259 negative sentiments with a total of 4,299.

“We must have courage to fight for things we believe in.” – Duterte

At the end of his speech, there were people in the audience who were teary eyed and solemn looking, while others left smiling and laughing. These were reactions that mirrored the sentiments of netizens all over the Philippines. Both patriots and skeptics were watching today, eager to hear the plans of the new President.

President Duterte promised a lot of things in his speech, which often went off book from what he’d written. It expressed his desire to bring peace and order to our nation. We can only hope that in the coming months, many of the reforms and policies he promised will come to fruition, and that today marks the beginning for a new hope and a brighter future for our country.

(This blog also appeared in:

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