Palace spokesman Harry Roque on Monday gave President Rodrigo Duterte’s penultimate State of the Nation Address (SONA) a “9/10” rating, saying the speech was “lengthy” and lacked “quotable quotes.”

Duterte’s fifth SONA spanned 101 minutes, his second longest.

“Siguro iyong sa pagsulat ng speech, number one, mahaba, one hour and 40 [minutes], e mayroon na pong Pre-SONA,” he said in a Palace briefing.

If he were to write the speech, Roque said he would have put more “quotable quotes.”

“Iyong mga quotable quotes, kung ako ang nagsulat diyan, mas marami akong ilalagay na quotable quotes sa simula at ending ng speech. Pasensiya na po kayo, pero noong estudyante kasi ako nagtrabaho rin ako as speech writer,” he said.

‘Deaf critics’

Some senators and groups slammed Duterte for not presenting a clear recovery roadmap amid the Covid-19 crisis in his SONA.

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Roque refuted their comments and called the SONA critics “deaf.”

“Siguro po bingi sila pero nakita ko po iyon,” Roque said.

“Nandiyan po iyong Tax Reform Act, nandiyan po iyong part two ng Bayanihan We Heal as One Act, at nandiyan po iyong stimulus package at nandiyan din po iyong pagpapasalamat ng presidente sa IATF, sa ating frontliners, at lahat po ng nagbibigay ng pagkain sa siyudad habang mayroon po tayong Covid-19,” he added. John Ezekiel J. Hirro