Manila, Philippines – Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda refused to give a preview on the fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno Aquino III on July 22.
As of now, the public is still guessing on the contents of the SONA.
However, Lacierda said on Wednesday that the SONA is more or less a work in progress while cracking a joke that it is more than a page.
When asked about the wealth-sharing deal between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), Lacierda denied it is being rushed for the forthcoming SONA.
“Both sides were trying to come up with a doable, deliverable wealth-sharing agreement and at no instance did the State of the Nation Address ever come up in the discussions. It was so far removed. It was never even discussed. I can assure you of that because I was present at the negotiations,” said Lacierda.
On the other hand, some lawmakers stated that the wealth-sharing deal would provide the most compelling reason for Muslim rebels to surrender and help build their communities.
Iloilo City Rep. Jerry Treñas said that the deal is a help to the country considering the vast potential of Mindanao to profit from mining, oil, energy and agricultural industries.
The wealth-sharing deal is part of the annexes of the Framework Agreement on Bangsamoro (FAB) signed on 2012.
Meanwhile, people are still anticipating that the contents of the SONA would still mirror the actual development of the country amidst rumors saying it would be another bulk of fallacies.
Ram Idelbert A. Hilario
Leyte Normal University