#SONA2018 Reaction: Surprising to Say the Least

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Surprising in every sense of the word. It is one way of describing the Third State of the Nation Address of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. Far from the gang-busting, cuss-word spitting fireball he has been seen and vilified for in the past, this year, Duterte seemed to be subdued in spots, generally sticking to the prepared speech with minimal digression unlike in the past when he lingered and diversified as he went along. It took him 49 minutes, interrupted by 36 applauses from the gathered congregation to finish his Third State of the Nation Address.

That he mostly stuck to the prepared speech is one surprising thing in itself but the way that he delivered it in his Dueterte-esque brand of monologue is another surprise. He didn’t mince words in his speech but he also didn’t curse in front of a live audience – quite a sight for a man known for his tirades and his unstoppable mouth. He didn’t crack blasé jokes, either so it is also a relief of sorts. He looked to be in the mood for business, subdued and serious but unlike the other times.

Below are links to reactions to 3rd State of the Nation Address highlighting other specific topics.

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