Duterte to publicly read Maynilad, Manila Water letters for transparency
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will publicly read the letters of Manila Water Company Inc. and Maynilad Water Services Inc. for transparency, Malacañang said Wednesday.
Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo confirmed that Duterte had read the December 10 letters of the Pangilinan-led Maynilad and the Ayala-owned Manila Water.
But Panelo could not say when the President plans to read publicly the letters of the two water concessionaires.
“The Chief Executive will read the letters of Maynilad and Manila Water before the public for transparency and show that all the steps being undertaken by the government in resolving this issue with the two Metro Manila water concessionaires are aboveboard and legitimate,” Panelo in said in a statement.
According to Panelo, “the separate letters of Maynilad and Manila Water basically state that they are heeding the call of the President and are willing to revisit the concession agreements for amendments or revisions of the provisions, which are onerous to the government and ultimately, their consumers.”
In the said letter, Panelo said Manila Water stated that it would no longer pursue its P7.39 billion claim against the government and that it would “defer the implementation of their supposed water charge increase.”
He also cited that the Maynilad President and Chief Executive Officer Ramoncito Fernandez said in a legislative hearing that they would also no longer pursue its P3.4 billion arbitral win.
“The President will evaluate this development, as well as study the practical and legal consequences of the situation, before making any decision on what measure to undertake next,” he said.
Duterte, he said, wanted “to speak first with all the lawyers involved in the preparation, negotiation, and drafting of the present concession agreements and determine the reason why they allowed the incorporation of onerous provisions.”
“The Filipino people have just been protected from paying a total amount of at least P10.8 billion, an obligation which has no legal basis, to private entities. These companies not only have inefficiently delivered water to the households but exacted unconscionable amounts from the taxpayers,” he said.
“Once again, the President exercising political will, coupled with his ability to ascertain inequities in contract law as well as his character to identify with the plight of the ordinary Filipinos, has protected their interest, in obedience to the constitutional command to serve and protect the people,” he added.
Duterte earlier slammed the “onerous” water concession agreements and said that the government won’t compensate the two water companies despite the order of an arbitration court based in Singapore.
Edited by KGA
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