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FTT’s Guide to SONA 2017

The second State of the Nation Address under President Rodrigo Duterte is about to happen.

At around 4:00 p.m. of Monday, July 24, the vicinity of the Batasan Pambansa will be filled with politicians, delegates, spectators, mediamen, PNP and AFP officers, Vice President Leni Robredo, and the President himself. The SONA is an annual occasion where the President mentions his accomplishments and reveals his plans for the year ahead.

Last year’s State of the Nation Address was directed by Brillante Mendoza, which was met with mixed reviews. This year, Mendoza will once again be at the helm, but after an unimpressive first outing, expect a few tweaks in his directorial approach.

As for the coverage of the event, here is a summary of how the participating networks will approach the SONA.


  1. Channel 2, S+A (simulcast with Channel 2), DZMM and the ABS-CBN News Channel will be the participating stations; each broadcast will be simulcast online on
  2. Channel 2’s coverage will begin after ‘It’s Showtime’, with Karen Davila as anchor. As mentioned earlier, it will also be seen on S+A Channel 23.
  3. DZMM’s coverage will begin at 1:00 p.m. Karen Davila and Johnson Manabat will anchor the first two hours, followed by David Oro and Ricky Rosales at 3:00 p.m., before Gerry Baja and Anthony Taberna join the fray at 5:00 p.m.
  4. ANC’s coverage will take place throughout the day, with a townhall forum at 3:00 p.m. to be moderated by Karmina Constantino and Tony Velasquez.

CNN Philippines

CNN Philippines’ coverage begins at 5:00 a.m. In typical CNN Philippines fashion, their coverage will be bilingual; mid-morning to early afternoon coverage will be in Filipino while the rest will be in English.

Viewers of the network will see the likes of Claire Celdran, Amelyn Veloso, Ruth Cabal, Pinky Webb, Pia Hontiveros and Mitzi Borromeo anchor CNN Philippines’ SONA coverage. It will also be aired online on Facebook and on the CNN Philippines website.

GMA Network

GMA News TV confirmed that they will cover the SONA starting at 3:10 p.m., marking the first time since 2014 that the oft-criticized news network will participate in the event. Jessica Soho and Arnold Clavio will anchor said coverage.

However, Channel 7 and DZBB have yet to reveal its plans for the SONA. If Channel 7 and/or DZBB pushes through with separate coverage, it is likely that Mike Enriquez, Mel Tiangco and/or Vicky Morales will anchor the proceedings while DZBB will utilize some of its mainstays such as Joel Reyes Zobel.


The network that infamously snubs President Duterte’s live speeches on television will have no choice but to join in. While Luchi Cruz-Valdes is penciled in to anchor their coverage, she might as well need some help considering how decimated TV5’s team is right now.

TV5’s coverage will most likely be simulcast on AksyonTV (unless it changes its mind and airs nonsensical TV shopping programs), Radyo5 92.3 News FM, and on News5’s Facebook page and official website. They do not need to worry about preempting programs because their lineup is all but a free-for-all.


PTV-4’s coverage, which also features special packages throughout the day, will be led by Rocky Ignacio, Aljo Bendijo, Angelique Lazo, Alex Santos and Catherine Vital. The government-owned station will begin their coverage of the SONA at 2:30 p.m., with a simulcast on the network’s YouTube channel.

The revitalization of PTV was among the many objectives that President Duterte raised during last year’s SONA. The project is still ongoing, but viewers can only hope that PTV’s presentation will be a much-improved one.

Other networks

All AM radio stations (save for specialty ones) will be on-hand to cover this year’s SONA. On the television side, independent UHF TV stations Net 25 and UNTV-37 will also participate in the event.

As far as IBC-13 is concerned, it is likely that the beleaguered network will no longer play a role in the SONA. Although President Duterte promised an immediate privatization of the network in last year’s SONA, the process remains slow to say the least.

Come this Monday afternoon, all eyes will be on President Rodrigo Duterte. Never mind how long his speech will be, as long as viewers understand his message going forward.


26 thoughts on “FTT’s Guide to SONA 2017

  1. I hope private media organizations will redouble their work efforts to fact check his delivered message. Sometimes, his claims are not accurate and are mixed up with the progress and follow-up of his agenda.

    On GMA, I hope they won’t do the reverse — airing their regular Afternoon Prime teleseryes during the SONA — or it’s still a backfire (just like Erap’s Manila Bay cleanup gaffe).

  2. chakuyprodbicol says:

    In FM, Brigada, Radyo 5 (Not sure for Radyo5) will cover the SONA. Here in Legazpi, DZGB, Zagitsit, and Radyo Oragon 90.7 will also cover the SONA.

    • Too bad only a few listen to Brigada due to its poor signal. I already mentioned Radyo5 but because of their decimated staff, they could just go for the simulcast of TV5’s coverage.

      • chakuyprodbicol says:

        But in some areas like Cebu, Gensan, Davao and here in Legazpi, mas marami ang makikinig sa Brigada…

      • chakuyprodbicol says:

        UPDATE: According to my observation, Idol FM 89.1, Fox 89.9, Brigada 91.5 (hook up from 104.7 National), and Zagitsit are covered SONA for Legazpi market.

      • Then again, Metro Manila is the center of the Philippine broadcast industry, and Brigada is at a serious disadvantage compared to its peers.

      • Blame lack of available FM frequency and Brigada is still an underdog kahit may mga top-notch personalities sila like Weng Dela Peña. They’re still stuck at 104.7 out of Batangas. Wala silang choice.

    • The_Truthseeker21 says:

      Only lucky Cable and DTH subscribers would watched the SONA 2016 of Pres. Duterte. Meanwhile at Analog/ue, this is the first time that the telecast will be in vain due to the low-power status of IBC 13 (except for IBC Cebu and Davao).

      • Unfortunately, IBC is at a sheer disadvantage compared to more powerful stations, not to mention their overall problems that make them virtually unrecognizable. The hopeless station is getting worse by the minute.

  3. Gab says:

    RTVM feed – ABS-CBN (ANC/DZMM/S+A), PTV, TV5 (AksyonTV/Bloomberg), GMA (GNTV), CNN Philippines, Net 25, UNTV, SMNI, Bee TV 7 Butuan

    PTV feed – IBC, CLTV 36, FEBC RadyoTV (via GCTN), Brigada News TV, Light Network, DZRH News Television, Inquirer 990 Television, Bandera News TV Palawan, 8TriMedia TV

  4. Jason says:

    Grabe yung GMA yun lang masasabi ko.
    As for TV5, the only negative I could’ve given them is that they didn’t utilize Cheryl Cosim and Lourd de Veyra for their coverage. Maybe they could’ve used Lourd for that explainers thing and moved Ed to the main lead anchor role.

    • LCV is wasting her time as an on-screen personality. I’d rather see her focus more on improving the department rather than do two things at once. In short, be like Ging Reyes or Armie Jarin-Bennett who are working their butts off-camera.

      As for GMA, I’m prepared to do a rant about their seeming indifference on SONA tomorrow. It’ll be epic.

  5. Jose Tiamson says:

    While for ABS, there are a few positives about their coverage. No teleseryes, the PG dot logo, and Kabayan didn’t do the telecast for ch2. Other than that, great coverage by ABS.

    • Quite surprising that Kabayan is not assigned considering the many critics who did not appreciate his handling of previous SONAs. But ABS needed to do something to improve their coverage of the SONA, and Karen Davila proved to be well-equipped for the job.

      • Jose Tiamson says:

        I think she did a good job. That coverage has some integrity and class. Hopefully she would be Chief Correspondent if the position is open.

      • Probably. Then again, there is no such thing as designation among ABS’ roster of journalists since they encourage equal opportunity and versatility among other things.

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