Duterte wants gov’t lawyer to explain ‘onerous’ water concession

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MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Roa Duterte once again railed on what he calls “onerous” water concession agreements and clear “economic plunder” even as he also accordingly wants to have the government lawyer who drafted the 1997 contract explains in its detail.

“Kaya gusto ko silang makausap. Hindi ito maareglo hangga’t hindi ko makausap yung mga concessionaire. Gusto ko makaharap ang abogado ng gobyerno na p*t*ng*n*ng gumawa ng kontrata na ito,” the Chief Executive in his speech during the oathtaking of newly appointed Generals and Flag Officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and Star Rank Officers of the Philippine National Police in Malacañang.

It was learned, as earlier tasked by the President, the Department of Justice is already working to revise the concession agreements with Maynilad and Manila Water after they found several “onerous” provisions in the deals.

Himself, Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, stated in a radio interview over the weekend, that the President badly wants the concession agreements modified first before looking into any settlement with the two companies.

Over the same expletive-laden speech, Duterte continued to attack the water concessionaires saying the 1997 agreements of Maynilad and Manila Water “is a classic case of economic plunder.”

“Kaya sabi ko ah paano mo, paano mo — how — paano mo aregluhin ‘yan ngayon? They say na, “aregluhin natin.” How? How will I compromise? It’s plunder. That is the classic economic plunder. How can now I tell the people as President: Adre, p**, aregluhin na lang natin ‘to. Tell me. Tell me those f*****… Tell me kung papaano ko sabihin sa tao?” Duterte fumed.

The President went further by saying Maynilad and Manila Water bled the public dry of trillions of pesos for passing “corporate income tax payments to the consumers and for their failure to establish wastewater treatment facilities.

“Trillion ‘to, sobra. The fact alone that all these years we were paying a fee para sa water treatment but it never comes into being all these years. Then corporate income tax was passed on to the Filipino people,” Duterte asked.

Duterte is planning to file economic sabotage charges against the water distributors saying Filipinos are being “milked by billions” by Maynilad and Manila Water. (IAMIGO/CNS)

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