Noy won’t attend Rody’s SONA

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Former president Benigno Aquino III will not be attending President Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address before the joint opening session of Congress at the House of Representatives in Quezon City on Monday. 

“I will watch it on TV to be able to concentrate on its content,” Aquino replied when asked if he would join the other former presidents who were invited to attend the event.

Former presidents Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada (now Manila mayor) have confirmed their attendance at the House gallery, while Aquino’s immediate predecessor – Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo – has the option to join her House colleagues.

Ramos has been religiously attending SONAs after he stepped down from office in June 1998.

House deputy secretary general Artemio Adaza said Arroyo has the prerogative to sit beside former presidents at the gallery, the seating arrangement of which would be based on their succession and terms of office.

But Adaza told reporters Arroyo could also sit in the middle of the session hall as representative of Pampanga.

Her lawyer confirmed yesterday that Arroyo would attend the SONA on Monday. She will undergo medical check-ups immediately after her release.


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