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'SONA2022', 'Sara Duterte', 'ROTC' among top trends after Marcos Jr. 1st SONA

By John Patrick Magno Ranara Published Jul 25, 2022 7:14 pm Updated Jul 26, 2022 10:50 am

The Twitter world's eyes were set on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as he delivered his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 25.

Keywords such as "SONA2022", "Sara Duterte", and "ROTC" were among Twitter’s trending topics after Marcos Jr. delivered the first of his  six SONAs at the Batasang Pambansa in Quezon City. This comes nearly 56 years after his father delivered his first SONA at the Legislative Building in Manila, on January 24, 1966.

After Marcos Jr. concluded his hour-long speech, which discussed issues that are currently crippling the Philippines such as the COVID-19 pandemic, rising inflation, and the education crisis, many netizens praised him for addressing such problems.

Television host Bianca Gonzales shared on Twitter that even though she voted for Marcos Jr.'s campaign rival, former vice president Leni Robredo, she still thought that his speech was good.

"That was a good SONA for PBBM. Here's hoping this admin delivers on the promises, para sa Bayan. I may have voted for Leni Robredo and I still believe the Marcos family needs to be accountable for the stolen wealth and the ML human rights abuses, but BBM is our duly elected President and I felt his SONA was good. Kung successful ang admin, success din ng Bayan," she wrote.

One user tweeted, "I like what I've been hearing so far about SONA 2022. Sige, let's have a solid blueprint and encourage swift and thorough implementation of your plans, Mr. President Bongbong Marcos."

Another user said, "PBBM's 1st SONA today is good since he was able to highlight the most important issues that have to be addressed in his administration and stated the 19 specific bills that have to be dealt with and filed before the two houses. It is indeed promising and [I am] hoping it will be realized."

During his address, Marcos Jr. highlighted the creative industry and how it is facing many challenges such as workplace conditions, working hours, and the welfare of freelancers during the pandemic. Netizens took note of his promise to create an institutionalized creative agency that will advance the interest of its stakeholders.

He wrote, "If I heard it right, PBBM mentioned about institutionalizing the creative industry especially for freelancers. As a freelancer myself in the media and creative industry, this is something to look forward to. We will be carefully waiting (and watching), Mr. President." 

However, there were some who were not as pleased with Marcos Jr.'s other plans, particularly that of bringing back the mandatory Reserve Officers' Training Corps or ROTC among grade eleven and twelve students in all public and private tertiary institutions. This aims to "motivate, train, organize, and mobilize students for national defense preparedness".

Many users were quick to note its history of abuse, the most infamous one being the case of Mark Chua, a student from the University of Santo Tomas whose death is linked to his exposé of alleged corruption in the ROTC unit of the university.

"Senior high school is already stressful enough as it is. ROTC also has a history of abuse and injustice, which is why it was removed back then. Focusing on improving the K-12 system rather than this would help the students more. NO TO MANDATORY ROTC," one user urged.

Others pointed out that ROTC doesn't really add any solutions to the education crisis.

Meanwhile, Vice President Sara Duterte, also made it into the trending topics list because of her outfit. Duterte traded in the traditional Filipiniana dress and opted to honor Davao City's Bagobo Tagabawa tribe by wearing a tribal dress she borrowed from the tribe's leader.

This did not sit well with some Twitter users, who noted how her father, former president Rodrigo Duterte, had a history of threatening to bomb Lumad community schools because they were allegedly teaching students to rebel against the government.

"VP Sara Duterte wearing a "tribal dress," while their family, particularly PRRD, has a long record of killing, bombing, and torturing the Lumad peoples in Mindanao. This is so disrespectful to the Indigenous People!" one user posted.

Another one wrote, "Napakabastos nito. Sara Duterte wears a "tribal dress," while their family, especially his father, has a long record of killing, bombing, and torturing the Lumad peoples in Mindanao. This is performative at best, and a horrible and gross crime at worst."

As of writing, the hashtag #SONA2022 has almost 20,000 tweets while the word " Marcos" has nearly 80,000 tweets.