Palace spokesman Harry Roque on Thursday dodged questions about the airing of an edited video of President Rodrigo Duterte’ speech that omitted a tirade against the shuttered ABS-CBN.

Facing troops in Jolo, Duterte on July 14 proudly claimed that he had dismantled oligarchy in the country without declaring martial law.

Roque later claimed that Duterte was referring to Lucio Tan, the Zobels de Ayala and Manuel Pangilinan, and not the Lopezes who own ABS-CBN, which Duterte vowed to shut down.

Ahead of a July 10 vote of a House committee that denied ABS-CBN a franchise, Roque said the president was “neutral” on the matter.

Various media outfits acquired a full audio recording of Duterte’s speech in Jolo, where he mentioned ABS-CBN.

“’Yun namang ABS-CBN binaboy ako. Pero sinabi ko kapag ako nanalo, bubuwagin ko ang oligarchy ng Pilipinas. Ginawa ko. Without declaring martial law, sinira ko yung mga tao na humahawak sa ekonomiya at umiipit sa tao at hindi nagbabayad. They take advantage, sa kanila political power,” Duterte was quoted as saying.

The mention of Lopez-owned ABS-CBN was omitted in the video aired by Radio-Television Malacañang.

“I was not there and I cannot respond,” Roque said when asked about the airing of the edited speech in a Palace briefing Thursday.

He also claimed he did not know who was editing videos aired over state television.

On Tuesday, Roque said there was no “policy” to edit Duterte’s speeches before broadcast.

“Hindi naman po iyan policy. I don’t think there’s ever a policy in that regard,” he said.

In December 2019, Duterte said he would “see to it” that ABS-CBN would not be granted a new franchise for not airing his TV advertisements during the 2016 election and the network’s supposed “biased” reporting. John Ezekiel J. Hirro