Duterte: I won’t settle for a compromise over P7B to Manila Water
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday said the government would not agree with a compromise with Manila Water over the P7.4 billion his administration is required to pay to the water concessionaire.
“You know, magsabi sila “aregluhin na lang natin…P*t*ng in*, pera ng Pilipino ‘yon,” Duterte said in a speech before newly-appointed officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police in Malacañang.
(You know, they said “Let’s just agree on na compromise…Son of a bitch, that is the money of the Filipinos).
Duterte was referring to the P7.39-billion compensation the government was required to pay Manila Water Co. following the decision of the Singapore arbitration court.
“Kaya nga sabi nila na makipag-usap, may folder diyan. No, I will not talk,” he said.
(They said they wanted to talk. There is a folder there. No, I will not talk).
The Permanent Court of Arbitration in Singapore has ordered the Philippines to pay the Ayala family-owned Manila Water P7.39 billion to compensate it for its losses between June 2015 to November 2019 for the non-implementation of water rate hikes.
Duterte has slammed the onerous provisions in the government’s contract with water concessionaires.
“We surrendered our sovereignty to them,” he said. “I cannot imagine two administrations allowing our sovereignty to be bargained away.”
“Ngayon 7 billion. Kaya sabi ko, ‘paano mo aregluhin ‘yan ngayon?’ Kasi aregluhin natin. How? How will I compromise? That’s plunder. That’s the classic economic plunder. How can I now tell the people as a President, adre, ‘puta aregluhin na lang natin to.’ Tell me? Tell me kung paano ko sabihin sa tao?
(Now it’s 7 billion. That’s why I said, ‘How will you go on a compromise with that?’ We will go on a compromise. How. How will I compromise? That’s plunder. That’s the classic economic plunder. How can I now tell the people as a President, ‘let’s just go on a compromise.’ Tell me? Tell me how will I tell the people?)
But later in his speech, the President said he wanted to talk to the water concessionaires and government lawyers who made the contract.
“Kaya gusto ko silang makausap. Hindi ito maareglo hangga’t hindi ko makausap yung mga concessionaire. Gusto ko harap ang abogado ng gobyerno na p********** gumawa ng kontrata na ito,” he said
(That’s why I wanted to talk to them. This won’t be settled unless I will be able to talk to the concessionaire in front of the government lawyers who made the contract).
Last week, the Ayala-led Manila Water said it was willing to come up with a “workable solution” with the government over the multi-billion compensation.
In his speech, Duterte joked he would ask Armed Forces of the Philippines chief General Noel Clement to bring high-powered M16 rifles during his meeting with the official of water concessionaires.
“Huwag kang mag-iwan ng buhay. Galit na galit talaga ako. Pasensya na kayo sa behavior ko. Ganun talaga ako,” he said.
(Don’t let anyone alive. I am really angry. Forgive me for my behavior. I am really like that.)
Duterte renewed his admonition of Sen. Franklin Drilon who he earlier accused of drafting the onerous deal.
“I have high respect for you. But this time I will tell you, how dare you? How dare you telling me not to make any move or even to take a peek at the – because we will be losing money. How dare you?”
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