By Genalyn Kabiling
Concerned about the recovery of public funds related to the water concession controversy in case he is unable to finish his term, President Rodrigo Duterte has sought the assistance of the military and police as he deplored the alleged onerous government contacts with Manila Water Co., Inc. and Maynilad Water Services, Inc.
He has threatened to sue those behind the deals for plunder.
“I am here because I love my country and I love the Filipino people. At sinabi ko sa inyo noon ‘pagka magka-deperensiya tayo konting bagay, okay lang sa akin. Either I apologize or kayo. Pero sabi ko huwag lang ang bayan kasi ‘pag bayan na, wala na tayong pinag-usapan (I told you before that if we have a conflict over a small matter, that’s okay with me. Either I apologize or you apologize. But spare the country because if it’s the nation, we have nothing to talk about),” he said at the oath-taking ceremony of new military and police officials in Malacañang on Monday.
“If I do not make it to the finish line, at the end of my term….hingiin ko lang sa inyo ito, trillion ‘yan. Kaya ang hingiin ko sa military pati pulis (I will just ask you, this amounts to trillions. So I ask the military and police), you are one of the pressure group in a democracy, the other one are the Congress… Pero huwag kayong pumayag na hindi marekober ng bayan ang ninakaw nila (do not let it happen that the nation does not recover the money they stole),” he said.
Duterte made the comment while tackling the controversial government contacts with the two water companies in his speech at the Palace.
He claimed that the water companies have passed on to consumers the payment of corporate income tax by imposing a water treatment fee. No water treatment facilities were allegedly built by these companies despite charging their customers.
“Sabi ko na hindi ko muna ito bitawan baka mag-kudeta kasi trillion ‘to, sobra (I said I won’t let this go since there might a coup because this has reached trillions). The fact alone that all these years we were paying a fee para sa (for) water treatment but it never came into being all these years. Then corporate income tax was passed on to the Filipino people,” he said.
The President has expressed his willingness to talk to the water officials as well as the government lawyers who crafted the controversial contracts. However, he refused to agree to any compromise with the two water firms, saying the persons behind the controversial deals must be held liable for plunder.
“You know, magsabi sila, ‘Aregluhin na lang natin, tutal ang constituents ang tinamaan diyan, ang western pati eastern Manila.’ P**… Alam mo pera ng Pilipino ‘yon. ‘Pag pinapabayad mo ang Pilipino sa income tax mo binaligtad mo harap-harapan (They say, ‘Let’s compromise since it’s the constituents that are affected, the ones in western and eastern Manila.’ Son of a b*tch, you know that’s the money of the Filipinos. When you let Filipinos pay your income tax, you’re deceiving them),” he said.