Joyce Bernal to direct Duterte's SONA anew

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 26) — Film and television director Joyce Bernal is set to return to direct the official coverage of President Rodrigo Duterte's State of the Nation Address (SONA), the Philippine News Agency (PNA) said Wednesday.

The PNA said the confirmation was made by officials of Radio Television Malacañang during a meeting with media for the SONA which will take place on July 22.

The PNA is the official news service of the government.

Bernal, who is best known for comedy and romantic films, first took the helm of Duterte's SONA last year. She replaced renowned indie film director Brillante Mendoza, who was criticized for his creative shots and angles during Duterte's speech.

Bernal last year said she directed the President's address for free.

This year's SONA is Duterte's fourth since he assumed office in 2016. It will mark the opening of the 18th Congress.

SONA is the annual address of the President to a joint session of Congress where he gives updates on the status of the country and lays out plans for the coming years.