Clergy members commend Duterte for making his first SONA a simple affair

MANILA — Clergy members have commended the efforts of President Rodrigo R. Duterte to make his first State-of-the-Nation Address (SONA) a simple affair.

Bataan Bishop Ruperto Santos noted that by holding a meek celebration, the Chief Executive is setting a good example to other public officials.

“It’s very praiseworthy for our President that he reminds our elected officials that SONA is plans and programs of services for people, and not their fashion statements,” he said.

For his part, Fr. Jerome Secillano, parish priest at the Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Socorro Parish in Sampaloc, Manila, said that showing of wealth and other material things would be very insensitive to the feelings of the less-fortunate.

“It’s a welcome development. While the rest of the country is mired in poverty, any ostentatious display of wealth, be it through fashion, cars and jewelry from our public servants, smacks of indifference and insensitivity toward the plight of poor Filipinos they have promised to serve,” he said.

The Manila priest added, “President Duterte should be commended for his prudence, sensitivity and simplicity regarding the matter.”

Compared to the past SONA’s, the event on Monday at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City will be simple from the dress code to the meals that will be served. PNA/