Roxas: ‘Video was spliced;’ intention ‘malicious’
MANILA, Philippines–“The video was spliced.”
This was the reaction of a visibly irked Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II Wednesday on a video of his meeting with Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez that went viral on social media.
“Malisyoso ang video na iyon. Malisyo ang intensyon na ito (It’s malicious. The intention is malicious),” Roxas told reporters in a hastily called press conference in Camp Crame Wednesday.
Roxas said the people behind it deliberately omitted parts of the video to create a public backlash.
He singled out the Romualdez’ camp as the one spreading the “doctored” video.
The intention, he said, was to cover up Romualdez’ shortcomings and to put all the blame on the administration.
In the 44-minute YouTube video, Roxas was heard as saying: “You have to understand. You are a Romualdez and the President is an Aquino. If it’s not legalized, then okay, you are in charge and we’ll help you then that’s it… (unintelligible) bahala na kayo sa buhay n’yo (laughter).”
But the Interior Secretary said that even media men could tell that the video was deliberately cut.
To prove his point, he read the original transcript of the meeting: “You have to understand. You are a Romualdez and the President is an Aquino. He has to be very careful. The national government, we have to be very careful just taking over because the President does not want to be misconstrued.”
Roxas said his camp has a 51-minute recording that serves as the official minutes of the consultation meeting last November 14.
“We will release the recording in the appropriate time,” he told reporters.
Mayor broke the rules
At the news conference, Roxas took the opportunity to hit back at Romualdez.
“The Mayor himself went against his evacuation orders,” Roxas said.
When Yolanda struck, Roxas said he was puzzled why Romualdez went near the bay when earlier in the day the mayor directed his constituents in coastal villages to evacuate.
On November 8, one of the strongest typhoons in history battered Visayas bringing huge storm surges in Tacloban City.
“Isn’t it that mayor announced that the coasts in Tacloban are danger zones? But where was he during the height of the typhoon? He was in the bay, right?” he said.
“He himself does not follow the instructions, how will his constituents take his warnings seriously?” he added.
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