STATEMENT: The Truth, No More, No Less

The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), which controls the government’s vast communications apparatus, owes the people an explanation for why President Rodrigo Duterte’s July 13 speech to troops in Jolo, Sulu was sanitized.

Enterprising colleagues have dug up an unedited audio recording of the whole speech that contains portions in which he appears to own responsibility for the closure of ABS-CBN (“‘Yun namang ABS-CBN, binaboy ako. Pero sinabi ko kapag ako nanalo, bubuwagin ko ang oligarchy ng Pilipinas. Ginawa ko.”) and also attacks another pet peeve, Rappler, in the same line in which he mentions leftists and communists, and reiterates allegations of foreign ownership against the outfit (“At saka ‘yang mga komunista, mga leftist, ‘yang mga Rappler – kung ano-ano mga pinagsasabi. Pagsira. Ngayon sila, Amerikano. Ang masakit diyan, ang may-ari, Amerikano.”).

These portions were not in the version released by government-run PTV-4, over which the PCOO has supervision.

President Rodrigo Duterte salutes wounded soldiers during his visit at Kuta Heneral Teodulfo Bautista Headquarters in Jolo, Sulu on Monday. Presidential Photo

The transcript of the speech posted by the PCOO (https://pcoo.gov.ph/presidential-speech/speech-of-president-rodrigo-roa-duterte-during-the-talk-to-the-troops-in-jolo-sulu/) is likewise sanitized and missing the excerpts contained in the audio recording.

These edits belie the claims of presidential spokesman Harry Roque, who was not in Jolo, and Senator Bong Go, who was, that Duterte’s reference to dismantling oligarchs referred to other tycoons, although he did mention some of them in the speech.

It is unlikely that the PCOO edited the speech without the approval of the president or, at the very least, his closest subalterns.

How can people continue to trust government’s pronouncements when the president’s very own words are manipulated and then twisted by those who speak on his behalf?

How can we now be sure that the president’s earlier pre-recorded pronouncements were NOT edited in the same way?

If, as many say, the words of the chief executive carry the weight of policy, what other “policies” have we not been told about?

We demand that government air all presidential pronouncements live and unfiltered.

The least you owe the people you profess to serve is the truth, no more no less.

Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility
Philippine Press Institute
National Union of Journalists of the Philippines
Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
MindaNews
Davao Today
Altermidya Network
Kodao Productions
Rappler

Francis Allan L. Angelo, Daily Guardian
Danilo Arao, Bulatlat.com
Angel Carballo Pago, PCIJ
Marites Vitug
Robert JA Basilio Jr., freelance writer
Marchel Espina, Visayan Daily Star/Rappler
Tita Valderama
Joseph Bernard A. Marzan, Daily Guardian
Lala Rimando
Tess Bacalla
Ronalyn V. Olea, Bulatlat.com
Anne Marxze D. Umil, Bulatlat.com
Janess Ann J. Ellao, Bulatlat.com
Aaron Macaraeg, Bulatlat.com
Reinette Tarinay, Bulatlat.com
Carlo Manalansan, Bulatlat.com
Justin Umali, Bulatlat.com
Alyssa Mae Clarin, Bulatlat.com
Ritche Salgado O.Carm., Bulatlat.com
Noemi Lardizabal-Dado, blogger
Felipe F. Salvosa II, PressOne.PH
Rommel F. Lopez, PressOne.PH
Ed Lingao
Red Batario, Center for Community Journalism and Development
Jb R. Deveza
Tyrone Velez, SunStar Davao
Eunice Barbara C. Novio, Journalist, OFW
Antonio J. Montalvan II
Cong B. Corrales, Associate Editor, Mindanao Gold Star Daily
Rosette Adel
Jaira Balboa
Kristine Bersamina
Gaea Cabico
Ian Cigaral
Jonathan de Santos
Camille Diola
Franco Luna
Prinz Magtulis
Jeline Malasig
Dino Maragay
Kristofer Purnell
James Relativo
Bella Perez Rubio
Efigenio Toledo IV
Patricia Viray
Mate Espina, Columnist, Visayan Daily Star
Inday Espina-Varona
Jojo Riñoza
Joel Pablo Salud
Bambi Yngson

Karol Ilagan

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