On July 13, President Rodrigo Duterte happily announced his supposed success in dismantling an ‘oligarch’ in the country without the need to declare martial law.
In a speech in front of troops in Jolo, Sulu, Duterte said that he has ended a powerful family that has manipulated and abused the country.
He said, “Ganun nila nilaro ang bayan ko. Kung mamatay ako, mahulog ang eroplano, I am very happy. Alam mo bakit? Without declaring martial law I dismantled the oligarchy that controlled the economy and the Filipino people.
“They take advantage of their political power every election. Isang kuwarto lang iyan, nag-uusap, ‘Sinong kandidato natin ngayon?’ Isang pamilya lang nag-uusap,” he added.
President Rodrigo Duterte said he can die happy knowing he has "dismantled" the oligarchy in the country without declaring martial law. pic.twitter.com/kxA7I2Zh2i
— ABS-CBN News Channel (@ANCALERTS) July 14, 2020
However, in a media briefing, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque admitted that while he wasn’t able to watch the speech, he clarified that Duterte was not citing the ABS-CBN network issue. But instead, his remark was referring to Philippine Airlines Chairman Lucio Tan and water concessionaires Manny Pangilinan and the Ayala Group, which previously had a feud with the president.
“Itong kaso ng ABS-CBN ay kaso na nag-expire na prangkisa at hindi na-renew ng Kongreso, Pagdating sa oligarchy, paulit-ulit niyang sinasabi — Well, bati naman na sila ngayon — MVP, Ayala, Lucio Tan,” he said.
Duterte despite not mentioning which family he was referring to, made the statement four days after the denial of ABS-CBN networks application for a new 25-year franchise.
Regardless that he did not name the said oligarchs, the statement provoked netizens pointing that he really does have a personal vendetta against the network.
Teka, I'm confused now. Sabi ni Pres, " I dismantled the oligarchy" e akala ko ba sa pahayag nila e neutral siya sa issue na yan at wala siyang kinalaman. Parang ang gulo. Hindi ko na maintidihan. Parang ang hirap ng maniwala talaga.
— Pesto (@myprettycake) July 14, 2020
Edi lumabas din ang katotohanan na this is all but a personal vendetta!!! sagabal daw kasi sa oligarch nya ang mga Lopezes na nagbabayad ng tax at hindi illegal na nagpapatakbo ng malaking company,,,ang tagal naman nyang sinasabi nyang DIE HAPPY na yan…kaso masamang damo eh…
— jamiebaby (@jamimay15) July 14, 2020
He can die happy kasi na dismantle niya ang isang oligarkiya na kung saan maraming empleyado ang mawawalan ng trabaho, pamilyang magugutom, mga maysakit na tinutulungan, mga batang pinagaaral at kalikasang sinasagip.
— michelle (@michellyfierce) July 14, 2020
The House of Representatives’ Committee on Legislative Franchises’ decision resulted in a majority of 70 affirmative votes in favor of rejecting the franchise while only 11 voted against it.
House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano after the verdict defended the House panel and claimed that Congress simply had to end the privilege of one family.
“For those who continue to push the freedom of the press card, Congress is not stifling the right of any journalist, host, commentator, talent, or employee of ABS-CBN — or any Filipino for that matter — from criticizing the government.
“We simply put an end to the privilege of one family in using a public resource to protect and promote their private interests,” he stated.
“There is a time and a season for every activity under the heavens,” ~ Ecclesiastes 3Change is in everyone's…
Also in an interview, the Vice Chairman of the committee, Bulacan First District Rep. Jose Antonio Sy-Alvarado said that the issue might be resolved if “ABS-CBN will sincerely apologize to the president,” knowing that Duterte is a “merciful” and “kind-hearted” person.
He said, “Kung makikilala si Pangulong Duterte, malambot ang puso ng pangulo, madali siyang maawa.”
“Di ba nga, tignan natin ang MERALCO, at mga Ayala, sinasabi ng pangulo noon na ipapasara niya, at galit na galit siya, pero ngayon tignan mo, nagpapasalamat siya at nag-apologize,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Malacañang earlier emphasized that the president is ‘completely neutral’ on the issue, further stating that he will “neither be angry nor happy” on the Congress decision.
However, in as early as 2017 Duterte already has publicly threatened the broadcast giant for failing to show his political advertisements during his presidential campaign and for being biased in its reporting.