A rapid response to President’s 2015 SONA address (also known as the “Cocoon Speech”)

Jul 27

The best parts were his highlighting his kasambahay’s invaluable role and Kaka Bag-ao’s transformation of politics in Dinagat. Not surprisingly, it skirted the hard issues, such as the DAP scandal (since that would reveal double standards in the Daang Matuwid), the Mamasapano raid, the failure of agrarian reform, and the continuing high rate of poverty and inequality. Deafening silence 1: continuing lack of acknowledgment of command responsibility for the 44 SAF and 17 MILF deaths. Deafening silence 2: no support for the Freedom of Information Bill. Much of the speech was reciting of statistics with little context. The part about Filipinos believing we will become a developed country in a few years’ time was meant to be inspirational, but that’s a hard-sell in a country where the daily reality for a very large part–some 28 per cent–is grinding poverty, where workers and farmers have been left behind because, as Dean Tony La Vina said this morning on Punto por Punto, “they were not priorities of the administration.” Some points were downright naive, like claiming that the fact that only 1 strike took place in 2013 was a sign of worker satisfaction (!!!) or that the lower numbers of OFWs deployed last year compared to 2010 showed people were gaining faith in the capacity of the economy to provide jobs and coming back home (!!!!). These last two points show how he is detached from the realities of working class and peasant existence and enmeshed in a ruling class cocoon. Overall, with 10 as tops, I would give the speech a 5.5 for credibility and an 8 for delivery.  Overall feeling: relief that this is the last SONA from him that I’ll have to sit through.

One comment

  1. Professor Bello,

    I haven’t found a more appropiate way of contacting you. I am a journalist at El País’ journal, Spain’s biggest daily. I am reporting on the Bangsamoro and would like to address to you some questions. Could you please get back to me at [email protected] This would be very much appreciated.

    Yours sincerely

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