Harry Roque insisted Duterte is not attacking the Lopezes or ABS-CBN
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque reiterated that President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement about “dismantling the oligarchy” is not an attack to ABS-CBN and the Lopezes.
Less than a week after the decision from House of Representative was brought out against the TV giant, the President made this statement in Jolo, Sulu.
“Kung mamatay ako, mahulog eroplano, p***ngina, I am very happy. Alam mo [kung] bakit? Without declaring martial law, I dismantled the oligarchy that controlled the economy of the Philippines,” the Chief Executive said.
It was easily concluded by many that he was referring to the Lopezes. On the other hand, the Presidential Spokesperson clarified that the statement of the President was for the Lucio Tan, as well as for the Ayalas and the Pangilinans.
However, Inquirer reported that it has acquired the audio recording of the whole speech of the President who said this:
“’Yun namang ABS-CBN binaboy ako. Pero sinabi ko kapag ako nanalo, bubuwagin ko ang oligarchy ng Pilipinas. Ginawa ko. Without declaring martial law, sinira ko yung mga tao na humahawak sa ekonomiya at umiipit sa tao at hindi nagbabayad. They take advantage, sa kanila political power.”
However, despite the alleged leaked audio recording, Harry Roque remained steadfast in saying that the President was not referring to the Lopezes, based on the report from GMA News Online.
“I cannot be wrong [that the President was not referring to ABS-CBN]. Documentary evidence would show that it was Congress who threw out the franchise application of ABS-CBN. That cannot be attributed to the President,” the spokesperson said during an interview on Wednesday.
He reiterated that Duterte was taking pride in dismantling the Ayalas and Manny Pangilinan. When the argument that these tycoons are still in the business until now was raised, Roque said, “The President was protecting public interest, protecting the public from the disadvantageous agreements with water concessionaires.”
Then, the Presidential Spokesperson said that the Lopezes might haven’t helped the government amid the crisis. “ABS-CBN could have done more. I think that is the difference,” he said. However, he did not dispute the claim of Inquirer about the leaked audio recording.
Based on the report, ABS-CBN (under the Lopez Group of Companies,) donated P100 million to the Department of Transportation (DOTr) in April.
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