Duterte chooses Bernal as 3rd SONA director: PCOO chief

MANILA No less than President Rodrigo Duterte himself approved Joyce Bernal as the director for his third State of the Nation Address on July 23, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said Wednesday.

A week after confirming that the lady film and television director will replace Brillante Mendoza, the director of the Chief Executive's first two SONAs, Andanar clarified that the decision was simply to give others a chance.

"Maraming nagtatanong kung bakit pinalitan si Brillante Mendoza, wala pong isyu or dahilan bakit pinalitan siya (Many are asking why Brillante Mendoza was replaced, there no issue or reason why he was replaced). It's really (about) giving a chance to other directors, this time it's Director Joyce," he told reporters in a press conference in Valenzuela City.

Andanar said it was actor Robin Padilla who recommended Bernal, to which the Chief Executive approved.

"It should be exciting, should I say, not only because we're expecting the speech of President Duterte, of course, we are also looking forward as to how Director Joyce will take it on," he said.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque earlier said Duterte's SONA speech will be delivered "straight from the heart," which will not exceed 35 minutes, since there is no need to repeat what the Cabinet clusters have reported during the pre-SONA forums that started last week.

As of posting, the president's speech is still being finalized, according to Andanar.

"It's still being finalized but that was what the president said, that it might not go beyond 35 minutes." (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency