Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo has pinned the blame on the Palace transcription team for editing the controversial “oligarchy” speech delivered by President Duterte in Jolo early this week.
In his “Counterpoint” program Friday, Panelo said the Palace transcribers probably thought the President’s speech was too long and decided to cut out certain statements without thinking of their significance.
The President has taken pride in “dismantling the oligarchy” in the country without declaring martial law during his private visit to a military camp in Jolo, Sulu last Monday.
The Palace released a video and transcript of the President’s speech the next day. It turned out, however, that the President’s speech was edited by the Palace to cut out comments about the alleged abuses of ABS-CBN network and other business and media entities. Duterte’s comments came a few days after a House committee voted against the grant of a fresh 25-year old franchise to the network after it had ceased operations upon expiry of its previous franchise.
“Alam ninyo mayroon ka bang tinatago kung publicly nagde-deliver ka ng speech sa maraming tao so paano mo sasabihing itinago (You know, are you hiding something if you publicly deliver a speech in front of many people? So how can you say something is being hidden),” Panelo said about the President’s remarks before government troops in Jolo, an event that was closed for media coverage.
“Siguro ang nangyari dito, ‘yung nag-transcribe either nahabaan siya, iniksian niya. Hindi niya nakita ‘yung kahalagahan ‘nung inedit niya. ‘Yun ang nangyari (Maybe what happened here was the person who transcribed found the speech too long and shortened it. The person did not see the importance of the words edited. That’s what happened),” he said.
In the unedited version of the speech obtained by the media, the President said he is “extremely proud” after dismantling the “bedrock of oligarchy” in the country.
Duterte also complained before the troops that ABS-CBN has besmirched him and committed alleged abuses. He criticized the Lopez-owned network over alleged discrepancies in its Quezon City property declaration, “tax-free” equipment acquisition, and investment holdings abroad supposedly to avoid local taxes.
“‘Yun namang ABS-CBN, binaboy ako. Pero sinabi ko kapag ako nanalo, bubuwagin ko ang oligarchy ng Pilipinas. Ginawa ko (ABS-CBN has defiled me. But I said when I win, I will dismantle the oligarchy in the Philippines. I did it),” Duterte said.
Duterte however denied speculations he was behind the shutdown of the network, saying it was Congress that refused to grant it a new franchise.
Panelo agreed with the President’s comment against ABS-CBN, recalling that Duterte was a victim of “estafa” when the network did not broadcast a paid campaign advertisement during the 2016 polls.
“Yung sinasabi niya sa ABS-CBN na binaboy, eh totoo naman ‘yun. Di ba winalanghiya siya ng ABS-CBN sapagkat inestafa siya. Nagbayad siya hindi in-air ang kanyang campaign ad (When he said ABS-CBN defiled him, it’s true. He was fooled by ABS-CBN because there was estafa. He paid for the campaign aid but they did not air it),” he said.
The President’s lengthy and profanity-laced speeches have mostly been aired live and unedited on state television in the past.
But since the coronavirus outbreak, the release of the President’s public address has been delayed due to apparent editing done by the Palace. There were a few times when the President’s “Talk to the People” remarks, even if it included a major announcement such as the country’s quarantine classification, were broadcasted early next day. The Palace has yet to explain the decision to cut and edit the President’s speeches.