Palace: Duterte will go after Ayalas, Pangilinan – it’s his duty

Published January 2, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Argyll Geducos

Malacañang said President Rodrigo Duterte will make true his promise to go after the main shareholders of water concessionaires Maynilad Water Services, Inc. and Manila Water Company, Inc. because the Chief Executive would be remiss in his duty if he does not.

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo (OPS / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made the statement after Duterte accused the Ayala group of companies and Metro Pacific Investments Corp. head Manny Pangilinan of syndicated estafa over the onerous provisions of their contracts with the government.

In his Thursday press briefing, Panelo said the public can trust that the President will go after the Ayalas and Pangilinan because it is his duty to do so.

“‘Pag sinabi ni Presidente, tutuluyan niya ‘yan (If he said it, then he will do it),” he said. “Remember that the President is the chief enforcer of laws. That is his duty. He will be reneging from his duty if he doesn’t do that.”

Panelo said Duterte has substantive evidence to go after the Ayalas and Pangilinan.

“The very evidence nga ‘yung kontrata mismo, eh (is the contract itself). Sinasabi niya it (He said that it) mirrors the provisions of the Anti-Graft [law]. Lahat ng mga ginawa nila labag sa Anti-Graft (Everything they did violated the law),” he said.

In a speech on Monday, Duterte renewed his attack on the two utility firms and their owners, threatening to have the Ayalas and Pangilinan arrested.

“Kita mo, maski anong insulto ko hindi… na sumasagot. Sigurado, swak sila – syndicated estafa (You see, no matter how much I insult them, they’re not answering back anymore. For sure, they fit – syndicated estafa),” he said.

The President added that he dismissed the suggestion of some of his Cabinet members to renegotiate the contract with Manila Water and Maynilad, saying their contract was null and void from the very beginning.

“Sabi ko, ‘There is nothing to negotiate a contract that is null and void from the very beginning.’ Because in that contract, the Philippines agreed to waive sovereignty. You cannot do it,” he said.

The contracts of the two water concessionaires end in 2022.

Malacañang said last month that Duterte was going to make an announcement regarding the water concessionaires on Jan. 6.