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    Duterte expresses victory in dismantling oligarchy without need for martial law

    MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his victory in dismantling the "oligarchy” in the Philippines without having to declare martial law.

    President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
    President Rodrigo Roa Duterte talks to the troops during his visit to the Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Headquarters in Jolo, Sulu on July 13, 2020. Photo Credit: PCOO

    “Without declaring martial law, sinira ko ‘yung mga tao na humahawak sa ekonomiya at umiipit at hindi nagbabayad. They take advantage sa kanilang political power. They take advantage of their political power," Duterte said in a speech before soldiers in Jolo town, Sulu aired Tuesday on state television.

    Duterte did not reveal which family he was pertaining to.

    “Lima ata lang ang tao. Isang pamilya lang ang nag-uusap diyan. Ganun nilaro nila ang bayan ko. Kaya ako mamatay, mahulog ‘yung eroplano, I am very happy. Alam mo bakit? Sabi ko without declaring martial law, I dismantled the oligarchy that controlled the economy of the Filipino people,” he added.

    The president's statement comes days after the House of Representatives Committe on Legislative Franchises killed the application of Lopez-owned ABS-CBN for fresh 25-year franchise. The last time ABS-CBN was shut down was during Martial Law in 1972.

    ABS-CBN's push for a new franchise faced uncertainty as Duterte declared in December 2019 that he would "see to it that you're out."

    After the Kapamilya Network's apology on airing negative political ad in the 2016 elections, Duterte appeared to have softened his position on ABS-CBN's franchise bid and the Malacañang later said that he would be "neutral" on this matter.

    Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque earlier claimed that the president remains neutral on ABS-CBN franchise issue.

    "The Palace has maintained a neutral stance on the issue as it respects the separation of powers between the two co-equal branches of the government," Roque reiterated.

    Roque also clarified on Tuesday that the President was not referring to ABS-CBN. "Itong kaso ng ABS-CBN ay kaso na nag-expire na prangkisa at hindi na-renew ng Kongreso," he said.

    He said Duterte was referring to business magnates Lucio Tan and water concessionaires Manny Pangilinan and the Ayala Group.

    "Pagdating sa oligarchy, paulit-ulit niyang sinasabi — Well, bati naman na sila ngayon — MVP, Ayala, Lucio Tan," he said.

    — The Summit Express

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