Duterte to use ‘extraordinary powers’ for start of Kaliwa Dam
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte warned Monday that he would use his “extraordinary powers” for the construction of the P18.7 billion China-funded Kaliwa Dam project in Quezon and Rizal provinces.
The Kaliwa Dam is touted to be the solution to the water shortage in Metro Manila and nearby areas. But environementalist, indigenous groups and local governments have opposed its constuction.
“Let me be very clear to the citizens and all. You have every right to protest if it really, would place your place in jeopardy. But if the safeguards are there tapos (then) between your concerns and the crisis that we are trying to avoid, I will use the extraordinary powers of the presidency,” Duterte told reporters in Malacañang after the oathtaking of newly-appointed government officials.
“I cannot just allow people to go about without water even for drinking,” he added.
Various groups have said that the construction of the Kaliwa Dam would destroy the environment and displaced the indigenous people.
“It might create some danger or damage, but that is not my concern. My concern is the welfare, the greatest good for the greatest number. That is democracy,” he said.
“So kayong concern ninyo, local governments ganoon, (Those who have concern that) it will pollute. I will just say to the, kung sinong mag-ano (parties concerned)… you just place the safeguards. It might create some danger or damage but that is not my concern,” he said.
Asked if how would he use his extraordinary powers, Duterte said “expropriation or outright police power.”
“You just go to court and file a case if you want. I am there and I will start to find a way to connect the water to the people,” he added.
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