President Rodrigo Duterte delivered his very first State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 25, where most people were not expecting that he will approach Senator Leila De Lima before he came up to the podium to start his speech.
Duterte was on his way to the rostrum when he suddenly stopped, took a step back and walked towards De Lima. De Lima was caught off guard and was totally surprised when the president approached her. The senator just smiled while the president was shaking her hand.
“Siyempre nagulat ako… Di ko naman siya napansin na talagang halos tumitingin. Medyo sumulyap lang and then I didn’t even know also how to show my face so ngumiti lang ako nang konti and then lumagpas na nga siya nang kaunti. Bumalik (siya) at he extended his hand. Siyempre nagulat ako,” The statement of De Lima to reporters on Tuesday.
De Lima, known as one of the biggest critics of Duterte was then asked if she saw the reaction of the president after shaking her hand, De Lima answered that the president is just being himself. She added that according to their fellow Bedans, It is just part of his playfulness.
The previous justice secretary and current Senator Leila De Lima then stated that the SONA of the President was impressive and shows the vintage Duterte.
“Vintage Duterte talaga yung speech: mix of serious stuff, light stuff, jokes, kapilyohan, merong wit. That is vintage Duterte,” De Lima said.
Senator De Lima and President Duterte had been exchanging statements starting the current administration due to issues on extrajudicial killings but still, De Lima cannot hide that despite their differences, she was impressed with the president in his very first SONA.