Duterte to destroy ‘monster’ oligarchs
President Rodrigo Duterte is waging a war not only against illegal drugs but also against oligarchs whom he described as “monsters.”
During an environmental summit in Davao City on Thursday, Duterte slammed oligarchs who use their money and power to advance their own interests.
“I am fighting a monster. I am just two months old (into the presidency) but believe me, I will destroy their clutches sa ating bayan (in our country),” he said.
The President said the oligarchs in the country were using their “influence,” citing their involvement in mining activities.
“Yung mga mina, napupunta ‘yan sa mga oligarchs. Walang iba ‘yang ginawa kung hindi mag-influence peddling (Oligarchs benefit from mining. All they do is influence peddling),” he said.
Duterte is known to have opposed irresponsible mining, even naming personalities behind the destructive mining activities in the country.
The 71-year-old Chief Executive, however, said that not all businessmen were oligarchs.
He mentioned environment Secretary Regina “Gina” Lopez, whom he described as a “crusader” against oligarchs.
“She’s a billionaire. But she’s a crusader, she loves the country, and she hates oligarchs,” he said.
On Wednesday evening, Duterte singled out businessman Roberto Ongpin as an example of an oligarch in the country.
He said he would “destroy” oligarchs embedded in government.
“Ang plano [ko] talaga is (My plan is) [to] destroy the oligarchs that are embedded in government,” he said.
He blasted Ongpin’s political connections, which he apparently used to promote his business interests.
“I’ll give you an example, publicly, Ongpin, Roberto. Malakas kay (Ferdinand) Marcos noon (He had close ties with), trade minister, I think. Malakas and successful (He had a strong and successful [influence]). (During) Ramos he was a hanger on and kay (with) Gloria (Arroyo), PNoy. Now he owns the online [gambling],” he said.
Ongpin is the owner of online gaming firm Philweb Corp., which has entered into contracts with the government. RAM/rga