MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Department of Justice and the Office of the Solicitor General to come up with a new, more “favorable” water concession agreements to the state and for the public as against the current “one-sided” deals that Manila Water and Maynilad Water Services have that got the ire of the Chief of Executive.
So said Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo who also claimed that Duterte also ordered the filing of “criminal, civil, and administrative charges against all those involved in the concession agreements of Manila Water and Maynilad with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS).”
The MWSS is a government corporation.
“The Chief Executive has directed the Department of Justice, together with the Office of the Solicitor General, to draft and prepare new covenants that are favorable to the State and the Filipino people,” Panelo said.
Panelo added that the charges would cover owners of the two water agencies together with their “agents,” and even government lawyers who helped craft the “one-sided, sweetheart” deals.
“It is apparent that some members of the government have not only looked the other way, but have in fact purposely guided the hands of those who have raped our economy for their own personal aggrandisement,” said Panelo in his prepared statement.
A report, however, of an online newspaper publication questioned whether Duterte can “just cancel existing agreements?”
Manila Water and Maynilad concession agreements are allegedly binding until 2037.
They were originally 25-year agreements signed in 1997, during the Fidel Ramos administration it said. (IAMIGO/CNS)