Duterte says he’s ‘not anti-elite,’ but slams Lopezes, Prietos for ‘irregularities’

Published October 5, 2018, 12:42 PM

by Francine Ciasico

By Genalyn Kabiling

Amid his tirade against some companies who flout the country’s laws, President Duterte said he was “not anti-elite” but admitted he was angry with abusive rich people.

President Duterte  (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Duterte (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)

The President maintained that he does not tolerate the abuses of wealthy people, including having major government loans condoned and benefiting from a government property without proper payment.

“Talagang galit ako sa mga mayaman na walang hiya. [I’m really angry with the rich who have no shame],” the President said before an assembly of the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association Inc. in Malacañang Thursday night.

“Sabi niya ‘anti-elite.’ Hindi ako anti-elite. Ayaw ko lang ‘yang lokohan na ganun harap-harapan. [They say I’m anti elite. I am not anti-elite. I just do not want that blatant foolishness],” he said.

In his speech, a visibly irritated President mentioned two media companies critical of his government but were allegedly involved in irregularities.

Duterte first lashed out at Gabby Lopez of ABS-CBN Corporation, citing the controversial condonation of his company’s loans from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).

He claimed that Lopez group of companies made huge borrowings from DBP years ago but got them “condoned” that weakened the financial standing of the government bank.

“Kung mag-criticize sa atin sa gobyerno, akala mo mga — we are brigands. P*** sila nga ‘yung — ABS, remember during the time of Marcos, Lopez group of companies borrowed heavily from DBP. Sikat ‘yang DBP noon. P***** i**, at the end of the day, kinondone ‘yung utang. Kaya dumive (dive) ‘yung DBP. [The way they criticize the government, you’d think we are brigands. Son of a b*tch. Remember during the time of Marcos, Lopez group of companies borrowed heavily from DBP. DBP was famous then. Son of a b*tch, at the end of the day, the loans were condoned. DBP nosedived],” he said.

Duterte also accused Lopez of taking his money without airing his campaign advertisement during the last presidential elections. He recalled that the television network chose to air the controversial ad of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV featuring children to discredit him in the polls.

“Kaya tingnan mo sabi ko kay Gabby, “P***** i** mo mukha kang pera. Kinuha pa namin ‘yung pera namin para pang-advertise,” he said.

He also criticized anew the Prieto family for its real estate company’s unpaid debts for occupying a large government property in Makati City.

“Iyong mga — ‘yung mga Prieto ganun. Anong ginawa nila? Mile Long, 50 years. Natapos ‘yung contract, anong nangyari? [What did the Prietos do? Mile Long, 50 years. The contract was finished, nothing happened]. They never returned the property to the government,” he said.

“Tapos sa contract ‘yung mga stalls doon belongs to the government. They continued collecting. Never remitting the money to the government,” he said.

The President said the government was able to recover the Mile Long property which was expected to undergo a redevelopment. He recalled that he threatened to let the people occupy the area if the company did not vacate the property.

“Kaya sumibat sila. Ngayon, it’s back. It’s earning,” he said.

In June 2017, the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the government in the case of Mile property in Makati City. The court earlier ordered Sunvar Realty firm to vacate the premises and pay back rentals to the government.