Palace assures due process for Ayalas, Pangilinan

Published January 19, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Argyll Geducos

Malacañang assured the Ayalas and businessman Manny Pangilinan that they will be given due process in case President Duterte decides to file a case against them over the onerous contract between Maynilad, Manila Water, and the government.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo (PCOO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo (PCOO / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo made the statement after Duterte warned the two water concessionaires that he will just arrest them if they will file temporary restraining orders (TROs) against the government.

In a radio interview, Panelo said Duterte’s threat against the two companies was based on the assumption that the court would issue an arrest warrant against them. He, however, assured them that they will be given due process.

“Kung makakita ng probable cause, eh, ‘di ang hukuman ang pwede mag-issue ng warrant of arrest. Kulong sila. Pero lahat ‘yan papadaanin natin sa prosesong legal (If the court finds probable cause and issues an arrest warrest, then it’s jail time for them. But everything will go through the legal process),” he said.

“Kasi hindi ba kahit merong warrant of arrest hindi naman naaaresto yung mga dapat arestuhin kasi malakas sa law enforcement, malakas sa Presidente. This time hindi (Because there were instances that a person does not get arrested despite a warrant because of his connections. That won’t happen this time),” he added.

Duterte earlier advised both Maynilad and Manila Water to just accept the new contract penned by the government unless they want to lose their businesses and face charges.

In a speech in Davao City Friday evening, Duterte said the companies should not drive him to the edge or they will experience worse things than what happened during the Marcos regime like keeping them behind bars for an indefinite period.

“One night, hulihin ko silang lahat. At diyan lang kayo. Kailan ko kayo palabasin? Hanggang gusto ko (until whenever I want to),” he said.

In his radio interview, Panelo said Duterte will pursue filing charges of economic plunder, economic sabotage, and syndicated estafa if the two countries decide to reject the new deal. He, however, said that the Ayalas and Pangilinan would be given due process.

“Tuloy yun (That will happen),” he said.

He likewise reiterated that accepting the new contract does not mean that the owners of Maynilad and Manila Water would not be charged.

“We are not guaranteeing immunity from suit dahil baka merong mga tao na gustong mag-file sa inyo. Alangan naman pigilan niya yun (because there might be other people who’d like to sue them. He can’t stop those people),” Panelo said.