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Malacañang edits out mentions of ABS-CBN, Rappler in Duterte speech

Full audio of Duterte's speech in Jolo, Sulu, on July 13, 2020:

President Rodrigo Duterte's communications team edited out his mention of embattled broadcast network ABS-CBN, Rappler, the Ayala family, the Consunji family, and Manny V. Pangilinan from his July 13 speech in Jolo, Sulu.

What was a 45-minute speech was cut down to 35 minutes in the version aired by Radio Television Malacañang (RTVM). Rappler is making public an audio recording of the full speech obtained from a source.

The aired version did not contain this line at timecode 9:29: "'Yun namang ABS-CBN, binaboy ako. Pero sinabi ko kapag ako nanalo, bubuwagin ko ang oligarchy ng Pilipinas. Ginawa ko.

(ABS-CBN, they ruined me. But I said, if I win, I will destroy the oligarchy of the Philippines. I did it.)

Another line taken out was: "At saka 'yang mga komunista, mga lefitst, 'yang mga Rappler – kung ano-ano mga pinagsasabi. Pagsira. Ngayon sila, Amerikano. Ang masakit diyan, ang may-ari, Amerikano. Tapos 'yung mga board of directors, sila Solita Monsod, Ayala. Putangina papaano," said Duterte.

(And the communists, leftists, Rappler – they are saying all kinds of things. Attacks. Now, they are Americans. What hurts is it is owned by an American. And then its board of directors are Solita Monsod, Ayala. Son of a bitch, what now.)

Rappler CEO Maria Ressa is both an American citizen and Filipino citizen. Tech entrepreneur Manny Ayala, a member of Rappler's board from 2017 to 2018, is related to the Ayalas of Davao City, not the Ayalas of Ayala Corporation.

Monsod – an economist, teacher, writer, broadcaster, and former National Economic and Development Authority chief – is also a Rappler board member.

Ayalas, MVP, Consunji

Duterte mentioned prominent businessmen in this line: "I do not know how the Ayala, Pangilinan, and Consunji will pay the Filipino. Kasi noon pa, 1997, wala na akong away sa kanila. I have accepted their apology but 'yung akin, 'yung ano ko lang – 'yung galit ko lang (Because back in 1997, I had no fight with them anymore. I have accepted their apology but for my part, I have this anger.)

Portions where Duterte accused the Lopez family of having holding companies based in the Cayman Islands and Hungary were also taken out of the aired speech.

"Kunwari, may ano sila, may investment sila doon. Padala sila ng pera. Pero 'yung investment na 'yan, wala na. ‘Yung pera, hindi na 'yan babalik. Kaya walang taxes. And to think that they talk and they play God over the lives of the Filipino," claimed Duterte.

(They pretend they have an investment there. They will send money there. But that investment is no longer there. The money won't come back. That's why it's not taxed. And to think that they talk and they play God over the lives of the Filipino.)

Because of the edits, the aired speech did not contain any specific reference to ABS-CBN or the Lopez family.

Veteran journalist John Nery, commenting on Duterte's Jolo speech, said the President's communications people try hard to temper what he says.

"This is a President who says the quiet part out loud. His own spokesmen, his own political allies try not to give the game away. They offer all sorts of rationalizations and here comes the President, well I ordered this, or I wanted them to do that," said Nery in a Rappler podcast.

Denials

Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque and Duterte's longtime aide, Senator Bong Go, tried to convince the public that the President was likely not referring to ABS-CBN or the Lopezes when he spoke of destroying "oligarchs."

Go, who was with Duterte in Jolo, said the President was not referring to any specific person or group of persons.

"Sa pagkakaintindi ko (In my understanding), the President was not pertaining to any specific case but was talking about the impact of the administration's continuing fight against corruption in his address to the military recently," said Go in a statement on Tuesday, July 14.

Roque, who was not at the Jolo event, said the President was likely talking about other big businessmen. Roque, as Palace spokesperson, has been insisting that Duterte has taken a "neutral" stance on the ABS-CBN franchise issue.

"He must be referring to the oligarchs which he named and he actually threatened to destroy but reconsidered after Lucio Tan paid airport taxes, and second, the MVP Group and Ayala Group because of their help in the time of [COVID-19]," said the spokesman on Tuesday.

Roque is yet to respond to Rappler's request for his comment on the edits to Duterte's speech. – With reports from JC Gotinga/Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.

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