Press Release
July 26, 2011

Cayetano: "SONA should be a 'reaching-out' moment"

Senate Minority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano urged the Aquino administration to maximize the upcoming State of the Nation Address (SONA) as an opportunity to lay down every Filipino's role towards national development.

"I'm hoping that the President will use his SONA as a moment to effectively reach out to the Filipino people - a moment where he will give all Filipinos a 'mission' on how to help his administration," Cayetano said.

The Senator emphasized the need for the president to 'reach out' to his constituents given that the Aquino family, especially his mother former president Corazon Aquino, was well known for paving the way towards people-participation in government as symbolized by the historical People Power Revolution of 1986.

"I'm hoping that through the SONA, the administration will be able to communicate better what their strategy for fulfilling the President's goals for the country," he explained.

The senator also pointed out that the lack of effort in effectively communicating its plans is giving off the impression that the administration lacks a 'roadmap' towards national development.

"It's either they have no plan at all or they may have failed to effectively communicate their plan to the people," said Cayetano. He explained that perhaps some cabinet members have not been good communicators regarding what they are doing and what the President wants their departments to achieve.

"It seems to me that the best communicator for the president is he himself," he said.

Cayetano further explained that if the speech delivered by Aquino on the day marking his first year in office was any indication of what to expect in the SONA, then he welcomes the possibility that Aquino will not stop exposing more facts about what the state of the country was when it was turned over by former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The minority leader stressed that more importantly, President Aquino's upcoming SONA must let the people know what direction the country is headed and what they can do to help.

"I don't mind that he gives us more facts or revelations about the Arroyo administration since there are still a lot of anomalies to look into. But he should also be able to give us the true state of the nation - where are we now and what can we do to help (ourselves and the government)," said Cayetano.

The senator added that although President Aquino won through a landslide victory during the last elections, he still feels that the President has yet to reach out to other sectors of the society.

"Right now, though they are doing a good job, it's more of sila-sila pa rin," said Cayetano adding that this is why they are accused of favoring KKK (Kaklase, Kaibigan, Kabarilan).

"Rather than picking the best of the best to serve the government, the president still opted to reach out and tap his friends and party-mates," he added.

Cayetano believes that for President Aquino to deliver an effective SONA, the speech should take into account three important things: "truthfulness, a roadmap, and a description of not only the state of the nation under Arroyo but also the state of the nation after the first year of Benigno Aquino as President."

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