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Duterte calls tycoons ‘thieves’

Francis Wakefield



The President said the telco owners violated the rights of the people. (PCOO)

President Rodrigo Duterte again has vented his ire on the owners of Manila Water and Maynilad for allegedly enriching themselves at the expense of the people.

“They are just distributors of water yet they have become millionaires because they overpowered the Filipino. That’s why I am angry at them,” Duterte said in a speech he delivered after leading the distribution of benefits to former rebels at the San Isidro Civic Center (SICC) in San Isidro, Leyte on Thursday night.

The President was referring to Ayala Corporation CEO and Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and Metro Pacific Investments Corporation Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan.

“There are rich people in the Philippines who are crazy (and) they’re the ones whom we should kill… Just like Ayala and Pangilinan who own Globe and Smart. They are all thieves, those sons of b******. That’s the whole truth,” the President said.

“Now we are fighting. I told them to try their best. If they kill me… That’s what I’ve been telling the military. We have the same duties. We love our country. And if I don’t get to the finish line, don’t give up on this fight against the rich people because… To use a very obscene word, they really f***** us,” he added.

Further, Duterte said there are many rich people who remain good especially those who have conscience but Ayala and Pangilinan own all businesses in the Philippines.

“The greed in you is insatiable,” he said.

In his speech, the President again mentioned the contract entered into by the government with Maynilad Water and Manila Water in 1997 which contained numerous onerous provisions that greatly put the consumers at a disadvantage.

In the contracts, Duterte said the two water concessionaires can increase but not decrease rates.

“And then the income tax which they had to pay the government covers everyone. Our salaries, before you receive them, taxed at source, which means they will deduct the tax automatically. That’s what they have stated in the contract which they could pass on to those who consume water, the Filipinos. That’s what makes it bad,” he said.

“And we have to pay for their losses. When they apply for rates increase, it would have to be checked by a regulator, who is also an inutil son of a b****, he has to check it. And the losses incurred during that period will be charged to us,” according to the President.

Duterte recently warned the water concessionaires not to pin him down by issuing temporary restraining order to stop the issuance of new water contracts that will replace those with onerous provisions.

He warned the water concessionaires that if they try to stop the new water contracts by going to the courts and even filing cases against him, something that they do not want to happen may transpire.

“And do not force my hand into it. You will issue TROs to pin me down.I tell you you will not like what will happen. So don’t force me,” Duterte said.

The President also said that he might even do a Marcos and make an arrest during the night just to stress his point.

The Daily Tribune first broke the news of Duterte’s disenchantment with the concessionaires following a pre-State of the Nation Address interview in Malacañang last year. It also published a series of exclusive reports on the possible revocation of the water firms’ contracts with the government.

Duterte has vowed to reveal the names of the government lawyers who drafted the water contracts with Maynilad and Manila Water that contain onerous provisions that are greatly disadvantageous to the Filipino people.

According to the President, revealing the names of the lawyers is important so that the people can ask them why they allowed the contract despite numerous violations contained.

“So that’s what pisses me off. Why? Because the violations I said contained in the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices are all there. And so the lawyers of government and everybody is trying to be a minimalist. They’re trying to explain their role as minimal. But I said even if we renew the contract or not, the people should know. I will reveal all of them,” Duterte said.

“And I could not — to you lawyers — I could not in my — I could not just fathom why they did this to their fellow Filipinos. If you have a copy of the contract and a copy of the Anti-Graft Law and you put it side by side, all the provisions, the prohibited acts in the Anti-Graft law is there in the contract itself,” he said.

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