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In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’

/ 11:02 PM January 17, 2020

President Rodrigo Duterte has branded the two water concessionaires of the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) as the “biggest fish” that his administration has netted in its war on corruption.

Speaking to members of The Fraternal Order of Eagles’ national convention in Davao City on Friday (Jan. 17), Duterte said he wants “to see these billionaires inside prison.”

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In his hourlong speech, the President yet again riled against the companies Manila Water and Maynilad Water Services, enumerating in detail key provisions in their 1997 contracts with the MWSS which Duterte said were disadvantageous to the government.

Duterte said the companies had hoodwinked Metro Manila’s water consumers for a long time and himself discovered onerous provisions in the concession contracts which he now wants stricken off.

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Aside from his war on drugs, Duterte had also vowed to fight corruption when he took power in 2016.

“This one is the biggest rip off of all,” he said, referring to the water supply contracts.

“You ask ‘where’s the big fish’?” said Duterte. “I’m giving you now the biggest fish of them all,” he said.

“They are the rich who have foundations for the poor, and whatever else. Well, it’s not many students that they are giving aid to,” he said.

“It’s just a show-off, just to, maybe convey to the Filipino nation, that ‘we are rich but we have a corporate conscience,’” Duterte said of the philanthropic work of the two companies.

The President said the case against the water concessionaires “is airtight.”

“I am a prosecutor; I can convict you if I hale you to court,” Duterte warned.

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He said he was confident that with a competent prosecutor, the water concessionaires would be convicted of plunder.

He added that once the case for plunder was filed, officials of the two companies could not post bail as plunder is a nonbailable case.

Edited by TSB
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TAGS: duterte, Manila Water, Maynilad, MWSS, water concessionaires
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