As described by President Benigno Aquino III that sometimes the audience in the plenary hall of Batasang Pambansa most likely would just talk among each other than to pay attention to the SONA (State of the Nation Address) makes him prefer to watch the speech through television at home.
As for the Presidential Communications Secretary, Martin Andanar, among Presidents Fidel V. Ramos, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Joseph Estrada, Aquino who was invited to the State of the Nation Address has the only one who decided not to attend.
Given that President Aquino has delivered the speech six times before, he said that (watching it from at home) would be the easiest way to understand all the things that will be said without distractions. He also added that when you are there in the hall, there is a possibility of someone who will whisper something at you while the speech is ongoing.
Aquino was also absent during the SONA of President Duterte last year, 2016, when in tradition, all former Presidents are automatically invited and should attend the event. He as the only living President who wasn’t there.
Monday, the Malacañang Palace said that they respected the desires of President Aquino not to attend the annual address of President Duterte in Congress.
The Liberal Party of Aquino has reduced a good number since he stepped down from the position last year, as his colleagues before changed loyalties mostly to President Duterte’s PDP (Partido Demokratiko Pilipino) Laban Party.
As for now, Aquino has a self-imposed prohibition against saying anything about how his successor is handling the Philippines.
According to Andanar, Secretary of the Presidential Communications Office of the Philippines, the President Duterte will give a press conference after the SONA.