War on drugs, federalism seen to top Duterte’s SONA
What do Cebu’s leaders in government and the private sector expect from President Rodrigo Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address (SONA)?
For Rep. Raul del Mar of Cebu City’s north district, Rep. Ramon “Red” Durano VI of Cebu’s sixth district and Mandaue City Mayor Gabriel “Luigi” Quisumbing, it’s more on the war against illegal drugs and the push for federalism.
But both Durano and Quisumbing said they won’t be surprised if President Duterte names the mayors and officials who are in cahoots with the police in protecting the country’s drug lords.
“We’ll just have to wait and see,” Durano said.
Cebu Vice Gov. Agnes Magpale also expected the President to name names but said she hopes Duterte will also discuss his foreign policy.
Cebu City Councilor Jose Daluz III said President Duterte should name the mayors in a different forum and instead discuss programs that “are concrete and doable.”
Both Durano and Del Mar confirmed that they will attend today’s SONA at the Batasang Pambansa Building at Quezon City.
Durano said he hopes the President will elaborate on his administration’s socioeconomic agenda.
The congressman said he would like to hear the President’s proposals on addressing traffic congestion and flooding.
Durano said the Aquino administration already started widening the roads in Cebu’s northern area.
“However, the major bottlenecks are the public markets beside the national highway. Measures have to be taken to address both vehicular and pedestrian traffic,” Durano said.
Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino, who confirmed that he will attend the SONA today, said while he isn’t privy to the president’s agenda, he expects him to talk about his projects.
“I expect him to mention both short- and long-term programs and projects that will especially benefit the lives of the less fortunate aside from his ongoing peace and order campaign. Of course, I’m looking forward to him mentioning that he will pour in more projects in the Visayas,” Dino told Cebu Daily News.
Aside from the war against illegal drugs and other forms of criminality, Quisumbing said he expects President Duterte to discuss his administration’s campaign against corruption.
“I am not sure, not really (if he will name the mayors protecting the drug lords), but again I’m sure what we will hear are very clear laid out plans of the President to address the issues (of the country),” Quisumbing said.
The former congressman turned mayor said he will attend the SONA at Congress to show his support to President Duterte.
Lawyer Aaron Pedrosa, regional secretary-general of the militant group Sanlakas, said they hope President Duterte would disclose his proposed social and economic reforms for the country.
He said they are looking forward to reforms on the country’s agrarian program, power and tax rates, energy and foreign policies.
For their part, Ryan Benjamin Yu, president of the Cebu Integrated Transport Service Cooperative (Citrasco), said he hopes that Duterte’s administration will dialogue more often with the transport sector.
“We hope his administration will be more inclusive and his key people must be the exact opposite of Mar’s (Roxas) people before,” Yu said./With Correspondents Julit C. Jainar and Michelle Joy L. Padayhag and Reporter Jose Santino S. Bunachita
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