Duterte threatens to reveal the people behind the ‘onerous’ water deal

THREATS President Rodrigo Duterte attacks once again against private dealers Maynilad and Manila Water. Malacanang photo

MANILA, Philippines – Saying that the public deserved a fair water concession agreement, President Rodrigo Duterte expanded his threats against Maynilad and Manila Water, warning that he would reveal the identities of those involved in the elaboration of supposedly “burdensome” provisions in his current government contracts.

Duterte made the statement in a speech in the presence of 120 years of Baptist Churches in the Philippines on Thursday, January 16, while talking about the difficulty of rehabilitating Manila Bay due to the lack of sewer lines that companies had to install. in line with the Clean Water Law.

Before issuing the threat, Duterte said Maynilad and Manila Water officials “have to explain to the Filipino people” why they failed to install adequate sewer systems and provide more favorable water concession agreements for the public.

Putangina (Son of a bitch) that’s what bothers me. Why? Because the violations contained in the Law on Corrupt and Anti-Theft Practices are there … I said that even if we renew the contract or not, people should know kung fate (who) … I’ll reveal them all, I’m just trying to finish the – I’ll reveal who [are] so you can ask them, including the Ayalas and Pangilinan, bakit mo ginawa sa amin yan? (Why did you do that to us?) “Duterte said.

Bigyan mo ako ng sagot. Putangina, pag hindi babarilin ko yung bayag mo putangina,“he added. (Give me an answer. Son of a bitch, if not, I’ll shoot you in the balls, son of a bitch).

Waiting Game: Duterte’s renewed threats against Ayalas and businessman Manny Pangilinan are the latest in his confrontation with private dealers. He recently offered companies new agreements drawn up in government terms while doubling the threats of a takeover in case they refuse. (READ: Legally yes, realistic no: Duterte’s powers to take over water operations)

Manila Water is a subsidiary of Ayala Corporation. Metro Pacific Investments Corporation of Pangilinan has a controlling interest in the other water concessionaire, Maynilad Water Services.

Since then, Duterte has lashed out against Maynilad and Manila Water in several speeches, using his case as an example of “going after a big fish.”

Both Maynilad and Manila Water have not yet responded to Duterte’s proposal. If they accept the new agreements, the two companies still face the risk of a possible criminal prosecution, since Malacañang said there was no guarantee that they would be saved to develop original agreements that the government claimed were a “colossal scam.”

“They are having sleepless nights. You would realize that you can barely hear a groan from them and every time, even Ayala would. [do] the unthinkable of writing an apology and signing it. I have nothing against you personally, but you have to explain to the Filipino people why you did it, “Duterte said.

What caused the threats? Duterte beef with Manila Water and Maynilad began with water shortages in March 2019, which led him to order a review of the companies’ agreements with the Metropolitan System of Aqueducts and Sewerage.

Duterte then intensified his attack on the companies after Manila Water’s victory over the Philippine government in the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Singapore. The court ordered the government to pay Manila Water P7.39 billion for losses suffered since 2015. This was in addition to the P3 billion that the government owed Maynilad, also for the delay in the implementation of rate hikes. since 2017.

Maynilad and Manila Water have since admitted claims of losses, saying they would no longer require government payments. This has not been able to appease Duterte. – Rappler.com


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