But Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque is adamant that the Lopezes are not the oligarchs Duterte is alluding to i in his Jolo speech.
“He’s referring po the oligarchies that he has dealt with personally, nandiyan po iyong unang away niya with Lucio Tan pero nagbayad po ng pagkakautang sa airport si Lucio Tan at nandiyan po iyong mga water concessionaires ‘no,” said Roque in a briefing.
“At dahil talaga namang sinabihan niya, talagang baguhin ninyo ang kontrata, hindi dapat maging agrabyado ang taumbayan, kung hindi ay ipakukulong ko kayo ‘no at pumayag naman po na magkaroon ng amended concession agreement ang dalawang taipans na MVP Group at ang Ayala Group,” he added.
In October 2017, Duterte demanded that Tan pay the P6 billion liabilities his Philippine Airlines owed to the government or he would shut down NAIA Terminal 2, which PAL has been using exclusively since 1999. Tan immediately paid up and Duterte promised to keep his mouth shut on his tax cases.
In December 2019, Duterte threatened to mount a military takeover of Maynilad Water Services of Salim-MVP group and Manila Water of the Ayalas if they insisted on collecting over P10 billion in compensation awarded to them by a Singapore court. MVP-Salim and the Ayalas agreed to waive the collection of the court award and agreed to review the onerous terms in their contracts tagged by Duterte. In June 2020, Duterte apologized to Salim-MVP and the Ayalas for his hurtful words.
Roque said these were the oligarchs that Duterte named and “actually threatened to destroy but reconsidered.”
Roque maintained that Duterte had nothing to do with the killing of ABS-CBN’s franchise.
“Palagi naman niyang sinasabi sa mga talumpati niya iyong mga oligarchs na talagang siya mismo ang bumuwag ‘no. Ito naman pong kaso kasi ng ABS-CBN eh kaso po na nag-expire ang prangkisa at hindi po na-renew ng Kongreso,” said Roque.