‘On grave of my parents’: Drilon denies hand in water concession agreements
MANILA, Philippines — Swearing on the grave of his parents, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Tuesday denied taking any part in the water concession agreements between the government and two water companies, which President Rodrigo Duterte has previously dubbed as “onerous.”
In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, Duterte suspected that Drilon was involved in the drafting of the water concession agreements when the senator was still with the ACCRA law firm.
But Drilon said he had long retired from ACCRA when he joined the Cory Aquino administration in 1986.
“I had nothing to do with the concession agreement. I have not raised any comma, any period in that concession agreement. I have not seen the shadow of the water concession agreement up to this time when I’m talking to you,” Drilon said in an interview with ABS-CBN News Channel’s Headstart.
“And on the grave of my parents, I assert and I am willing to tell our entire country that I had nothing to do — wala akong kinalaman doon sa water concession agreement (I had nothing to do with the water concession agreement),” the senator added.
This was not the first time that Duterte called out Drilon for his alleged role in the water concession agreements.
In January, Duterte asked Drilon if he was among those who “crafted” the “onerous” concession agreements signed in 1997 between the government and Manila Water Co. and Maynilad Water Services.
Top of mind
Asked how he would describe Duterte’s SONA, Drilon said he was “surprised” that he was mentioned at the start and the end of the speech.
Drilon said he did not hear a comprehensive plan from Duterte for millions of Filipinos who were affected by the pandemic.
“We have about five million Filipino families who experienced hunger in the last three months, over seven million of our workers lost their jobs in addition to a few hundred thousands of our overseas Filipino workers,” Drilon said.
“We have about hundreds of thousand, probably 400,000 of our small, medium-scale industries which closed… I did not hear that. In fact that’s an opinion that’s shared by many political observers,” he added.
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