IN PHOTOS: Preparations for Duterte's SONA 2017

MANILA, Philippines – Preparations are underway at the Batasang Pambansa for the second State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday, July 24.

The plenary session hall – where Duterte will deliver his speech before politicians, incumbent lawmakers and their spouses, Cabinet members, Supreme Court justices, members of the diplomatic corps, and other special guests – is already closed for security reasons.

The red carpet has been laid out for the program on Monday.

Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

The main lobby and the toilets in the Batasan, the headquarters of the House of Representatives, are being repaired. 

Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler
Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler
Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler

Former presidents Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, and Gloria Macapagal Arroyo are expected to attend Duterte's SONA. Former president Benigno Aquino III, however, has sent his regrets for the second time.

Security for the event will be tight, with only invited guests and accredited media personnel allowed to enter the Batasan on Monday.

Photo by Jasmin Dulay/Rappler
Photo by Jasmin Dulay/Rappler

National Capital Region Police Office chief Director Oscar Albayalde said there will no shields, batons, or firearms for cops tasked to manage protests during the SONA.

Classes have also been suspended in Quezon City on Monday because of the event. – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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