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Arroyo’s critics should listen to SONA–Defense chief

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 10:39:00 07/27/2008

MANILA, Philippines–Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro took a swipe at President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s critics who plan to boycott her State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, daring them to hear her out first before they complain.

“Paano nila malalaman kung ako laman ng SONA kung ibo-boycott nila? Tapos babatikusin nila ng hindi nila alam, so ano tawag doon? [How will they know what’s in the SONA if they will boycott it? Then they will criticize her without knowing the facts, what do you call that?”] Teodoro told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo on Sunday.

Teodoro said Arroyo’s speech on Monday, her eighth, will focus on food, agriculture, job creation, helping calamity-stricken communities get back on their feet, and aiding the country’s 10 poorest provinces

Meanwhile, Armed Forces Chief of Staff General Alexander Yano said troops nationwide were placed on red alert for the address.

“[The red alert was raised] effective yesterday [Saturday], and that’s a normal, normal declaration for important events like the SONA. There’s nothing abnormal about it,” Yano said in a separate interview with reporters.

“We have not monitored any serious threat or any threat of significance,” he said.

When the AFP is under red alert, all leave passes are cancelled and troops are required to report to their commanders.

The military has placed on standby 3,000 troops to augment the 6,000 policemen that will secure the capital on Monday amid threats of street protests.

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Written by joelguinto

SunUTC2008-07-27T04:08:06+00:00UTC07bUTCSun, 27 Jul 2008 04:08:06 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am07

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