Duterte to expose people behind ‘onerous’ contract with water firms

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Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte. (Photo from the Presidential Communications Operations Operations Office)

MANILA, Philippines—President Rodrigo Duterte on Thursday vowed to expose the people behind the “onerous” water concession deal with Maynilad and Manila Water.

“I will reveal all of them. I’m just trying to finish the…I will reveal who are they so you can ask them (with)…Ayala and Pangilinan, bakit mo ginawa sa amin (why they did that),” Duterte said in a speech at the celebration of the 120-year presence of the Baptist Churches in the Philippines.

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Duterte even threatened to shoot those behind the contract in their genitals if they fail to answer why they crafted the disadvantageous 1997 water concession deal.

“Bigyan mo ako ng sagot kung hindi babarilin ko ‘yang bayag mo [Give me an answer or I’ll shoot you in your genitals],” he said.

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Maynilad Water and Manila Water are servicing the supply water of Metro Manila and nearby provinces under 25-year concession deals signed in 1997 during the Ramos administration, but Duterte previously ordered the government lawyers to craft new concession deals after labeling the current agreements with the two water firms as “onerous and disadvantageous” to Filipinos.

The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System had also revoked the extension of the water companies’ concession deals after the President threatened to file “economic sabotage” and economic plunder charges against the businessmen behind Maynilad and Manila Water.

Duterte has said that the government will take over the water distribution services if the water concessionaires refuse to accept the new water deal.

At one point in his speech, Duterte hinted at tapping his former spokesperson, lawyer Harry Roque, to help handle the government’s case against the water distributors.

“Tell them I said there’s no f*cking payment coming their way. And so I began to scrutinize the contract. And Harry is here, he will be one of the lawyers who’d they’d be facing,” Duterte said.

However, Roque told reporters in a text message that he had “no idea” what the President was talking about.

Edited by JPV
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