In the lead-up to President Duterte’s State of the Nation Address (Sona) on Monday, Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar promised that the speech would be “etched in the hearts and minds of the Filipino people.” By the end of the Sona, it was etched instead as, disappointingly, yet another retread of the President’s tropes, without the most important message of all: a detailed roadmap the Duterte administration will take in its final year to deal with
It’s still a long way before the 2022 elections, and the prevailing sentiment is it will be an uphill battle for the opposition. But regardless of its outcome, one thing is clear to me: President Rodrigo Duterte has already lost. President Duterte has already lost because he has failed in his most nefarious goals. Sen. Leila de Lima is jailed but not silenced; Maria Ressa is indicted but unbowed; ABS-CBN is off the air but still online. Despite his attempts to marginalize her, Vice President Leni Robredo is still standing, and even leading the nation during the pandemic in his stead.