MANILA, President — President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened to arrest and file charges of economic sabotage against officials of Maynilad Water Services Inc. and Manila Water Co.
The two private companies supply water in Metro Manila and parts of the provinces of Cavite and Rizal under agreements signed in 1997 with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) during the administration of Ramos following what was then considered “the biggest water privatization in the world.”
The President also directed Solicitor General Jose Calida and Secretary of Finance Carlos Dominguez III to draft a new water concession agreement in favor of the public and government.
“This is the amended contract, accept it or nothing to it,” he said.
Duterte said he was willing to go down for his decision, but the “oligarchs” who considered water a luxury rather than a natural resource would drag with him.
“We will expose them. And I will insist that they be tried for economic sabotage. If they do not accept that case, now is the time that we talk seriously, the filing of cases,” he said on Tuesday night.
After Metro Manila experienced water shortage in March, the President ordered the DOJ and the Solicitor General’s office to review the concession agreements with Manila Water and Maynilad. (Cate Pallarco/IAMIGO/CNS)