Maynilad proxy owner Manny Pangilinan and Manila Water president Fernando Zobel de Ayala both wrote President Rodrigo Roa Duterte letters basically apologizing to the President for “angering” him on an arbitral ruling which could have allowed them to recover 10 billion pesos from Filipino consumers. Apart from this, the two companies agreed not to raise water rates by next year and expressed their open-ness to Duterte for a discussion on their respective concessionaire agreements which, again, they admitted to probably have some onerous provisions there.
While these acts are laudable, nonetheless, these are highly confusing gestures on the part of both companies. What are they apologizing for?
Are they apologizing because they made the President angry? If that is the case, then, woe to all of us! Maynilad and Manila Water just expressed their feudalist notions of state-business relations which essentially treats Presidents as sovereigns over rights, not just of individuals but of organizations and juridical entities such as companies.
Yes, the President, being elected, symbolizes the people’s expression, but he is no sovereign!! Under our Constitution, the Filipino people IS the sovereign, not Duterte.
Yes, Maynilad and Manila Water operate as utilities, and they do so not at the mercy of ANY government, but of a clear and unmistakable contract of services with the SOVEREIGN FILIPINO PEOPLE.
So what if Duterte got angry? Just because the President got angry, ANY COMPANY for this matter would just succumb and play like a lamb before him?
Maynilad and Manila Water owes US, the SOVEREIGN FILIPINO PEOPLE, an APOLOGY, and NOT TO DUTERTE!
So what if Duterte seethes with anger?! Who is he anyway? Some would say, well he happens to be the President, psycho!
Fuck Duterte! So what if he is angry, is that enough reason for us to surrender our rights to just to placate him?
IS DUTERTE OUR KING? A THOUSAND TIMES NO!!!
Second, Manila and Manila Water enjoy rights under our laws and even of international law being juridical entities. Yes, these firms are ASSHOLES but even assholes have rights.
Without the principle of rights, any society for that matter, is bound to fall because what is there to unify under a government?
Under a Republican democratic state such as ours, there is a social contract which binds individuals and governments. This social contract exists because individuals do have all the rights to do anything they want while government has the responsibility of equalizing the field of play and of movements.
In exchange for limiting their movements, individuals agree on following the dictates of government, which is, again, under the principle of public consultation. All our laws, conceptually, are expressions of the people’s not of their leaders, who are just legislative appendages of their constituents.
Which is more supreme—rights or governments? Unmistakably, if your society claims to be Republican democratic by nature, then, it is rights, and not governments, WHICH IS THE SUPREME OF ALL!
Hence, this apologia is unmistakably DETESTABLE because IT RECOGNIZES DUTERTE AS SOVEREIGN INSTEAD OF THE FILIPINO PEOPLE.
WHO PAYS FOR THOSE WATER RATES? IT IS US, THE FILIPINO PEOPLE. DUTERTE, FOR A VERY LONG TIME, DOES NOT PAY HIS WATER BILLS– IT IS THE PEOPLE WHO GIVES HIM HIS SALARY FOR MOST OF HIS LIFE, BEING A FORMER MAYOR, CONGRESSMAN AND NOW PRESIDENT OF THIS REPUBLIC.
HENCE, IF THIS IS THE CASE, THAT A PRESIDENT MAY JUST FAKE HIS ANGER AND THREATEN PRIVATE JURIDICAL ENTITIES WITH DESTRUCTION, THEN, THIS IS NOT A DEMOCRACY ANYMORE, BUT A TYRANNY.
YES, A TYRANNY.
WE CANNOT JUST PLAY DUMB AND PLAY DEAD WHEN A PROSTITUTED TYRANNY EXISTS IN OUR COUNTRY.
LET ME BE VERY CLEAR.
IT IS WITHIN THE RIGHTS OF MAYNILAD AND MANILA WATER TO JUST SCRATCH OFF THAT 10 BILLION PESOS. IT IS A PRIVATE DECISION.
YET TO DO SO BECAUSE IT APPEASES DUTERTE IS PLAIN AND SIMPLY A PURE DISPLAY OF STUPIDITY AND SHOWS YOU THE REAL SITUATION OF OUR COUNTRY.
YES, WE ARE ON THE VERGE OF FULL CAPITALISM, YET, OUR POLITICS REMAIN LARGELY ARCHAIC, FEUDALIST AND UTTERLY DESPICABLE!
WE HAVE TWO OLIGARCHS WHO KNOW THE GAME VERY WELL, AND EXPRESSED THIS CLEARLY IN THEIR LETTERS LARGELY ACKNOWLEDGING DUTERTE AS KING, NOT AS A DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED PRESIDENT.
IN A TRUE DEMOCRACY, PRIVATE COMPANIES MAY OPT TO FIGHT IT OUT WITH THEIR GOVERNMENT ESPECIALLY SINCE IT CONCERNS RIGHTS.
THIS ARBITRAL RULING WAS ISSUED AS AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF A RIGHT FOR RECOVERY. WHETHER OR NOT THE RULING IS UNJUSTIFIABLY ISSUED IS FOR THE COURTS, AND NOT FOR ANY PRESIDENT TO SAY. WHETHER OR NOT THAT 10 BILLION PESOS IS UNJUST REMAINS FOR THE COURT TO DECIDE, NOT DUTERTE.
YES, DUTERTE HAS ALL THE POWER TO REVIEW AND EVENTUALLY RESCIND CONTRACTS ENTERED INTO BY GOVERNMENT. FOR THAT, HE IS RIGHT.
YET, DOING SO WHEN EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT DUTERTE HAS PUBLICLY ENDORSED THE WATER UTILITY OF MANNY VILLAR, ONE OF HIS STAUNCH POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC CRONY IS SIMPLY A PURE CASE OF POLITICS INTERFERING WITH THE LAISSE-FAIRE PRINCIPLE OF A DEMOCRATIC CAPITALIST SOCIETY SUCH AS THE PHILIPPINES.
FOR THOSE WHO ARGUE THAT DUTERTE’S ACTS ARE SIMPLY UNMOTIVATED BY GREED AND POLITICS, WELL, BURST YOUR BUBBLE. OPEN YOUR EYES.