MANILA – Former President Rodrigo Duterte has confirmed his attendance to President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.'s second State of the Nation Address (SONA) at the Batasang Pambansa on July 24, a House official said on Wednesday.
House Secretary General Reginald Velasco said Vice President Sara Duterte, daughter of the former chief executive, also confirmed her attendance to the upcoming event.
Velasco said they will seek clearance from both Dutertes to determine their preferred seats in the VIP section at the House gallery.
“Kailangan kasi may clearance sa dalawa. Mapapansin niyo, ngayon kini-clear kasi namin sa mga VIP kung okay sa 'yo na katabi mo ito, ganyan. As much as possible we want them to be comfortable (We need clearance from the two. If you notice, we are asking for clearance from the VIPs, checking with them if they are okay to sit with a particular person. As much as possible we want them to be comfortable),” Velasco said.
Velasco earlier said former presidents Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Joseph Estrada have confirmed their attendance to the event.
Around 2,000 guests are expected to attend this year's SONA.
“All preparations have been done. Physical arrangements, (and) security. We are confident by Friday everything will be all set,” Velasco said.
Health protocols for this year’s SONA will be relaxed, but House Deputy Secretary General (DSG) for Inter-Parliamentary and Public Affairs Department (IPAD) lawyer Grace Andres explained that those who will register a temperature of 37.2 in the morning and 37.8 in the afternoon need to undergo antigen testing.
“If they test negative, then they will be allowed entry," she said. (PNA)