By KIM TAN and ANDREO CALONZO
President Benigno Aquino III’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday afternoon drew mixed reactions from lawmakers, with some saying they found it lacking while others lauding it for supposedly sending a clear message to Filipinos.
Senate Minority Floor Leader Alan Peter Cayetano said he felt Aquino’s speech focused more on reporting and reacting to criticisms that his administration was not able to achieve much during its first year.
“I felt it was more of a report card," Cayetano said. “Personally, I was looking forward that he... defines the problems of the country and the present state of the country, where we are and [the] solutions."
Sen. Bongbong Marcos said although the figures on hunger and poverty that Aquino mentioned were “encouraging," it was “very difficult to get a sense of what the true nature of the improvement."
“We have to look at how the number was arrived at and see what the parts of the economy have been growing, have been shrinking... these are the ways that we will analyze it," he said in a separate interview.
Sen. Pia Cayetano said if she were Aquino’s speech writer, she would have cited more specific programs of the administration that were implemented in the past year.
“Wala naman hong nagdududa sa sinseridad ng presidente, ang hinahanap ng mga tao concrete actions," she said. “As a legislator, gusto ko rin malaman sang area kami tutulong."
Senators Edgardo Angara and Loren Legarda, for their part, said they would have specifically wanted to hear more about the Aquino administration’s take on enhancing the country's education level and research and development strategies.