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Pres. Rodrigo Duterte starts SONA 2020 with mentions about the Lopezes and ABS-CBN

“I am a casualty of the Lopezes during the 2016 elections,” Duterte saying that he is a victim of the network’s opposition to political enemies.

On (Monday) July 27, during his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA), President Rodrigo Duterte once again attacked the Lopez family and the embattled ABS-CBN company.

In his statement, he tagged the Lopezes as “oligarchs” who abuse their power and control politics by backing electoral candidates who favored their interests.

“Great wealth enables economic elites and corporations to influence public policy to their advantage. Media is a powerful tool in the hands of oligarchs like the Lopezes who used their media outlets in their battles with political figures,” he said.

He added that he was a “casualty” of the network during the 2016 elections. “I am a casualty of the Lopezes during the 2016 elections.”

It can be recalled that days after the rejection of ABS-CBN’s new franchise application, Duterte celebrated his supposed success in dismantling the “oligarchy” in the country during his speech in front of soldiers in Jolo, Sulu.

Despite the unedited record of Duterte’s statement which caught him mentioning the network, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque and Senator Bong Go still tried to convince the public that the president was not referring to ABS-CBN but rather his past embattled business tycoons. This disproved the claim that the president is neutral on the ABS-CBN issue.

After hearing his remarks, many Kapamilyas took their disappointment to their social media accounts.

Elisse Joson, Karen Davila, Jeck Batallones, Bianca Dava, and others were dismayed by Duterte’s words and said that the SONA should not be used as a platform for personal vendettas.

Also, instead of wasting his time lashing out against the Lopezes, he could have focused on giving updates regarding the current status of the country amid the pandemic and other concerns.

Some also questioned the supposed “neutrality” of the Palace on the ABS-CBN franchise issue.

The Palace has repeatedly stated they have nothing to do with the issues about ABS-CBN’s franchise after Roque claimed that they “maintained a neutral stance on the issue.” Duterte, however, has shown otherwise since recorded statements displayed threats against the network from as early as 2017.


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