MANILA – President Rodrigo R. Duterte said that he is reviewing the contracts that are proposed by the government panel to the Ayala and Pangilinan consortium.
The president made this statement during his meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Infectious Disease on June 4 evening in Davao City and aired in the morning of June 5.
He said that starting June 6, he would review the contracts proposed by the government panel. “Ako, okay na ako, basta mabawi lang ang pera sa tao even in installment basis. Nagkalma ako dahil whether you like it or not, water is important in our lives at basta ano ang nawala sa tao ay ibalik nila” (It is alright with me, as long as money of the people will be refunded even in installment. I calmed down because whether we like it or not, water is important to our lives, as long as what the people lost must be returned to them), President Duterte said.
Last year the president made headlines for lambasting Maynilad and Manila Water, two giant water concessionaires in Metro Manila for lackluster water service and possible profiteering and threatened to sue them in court and cancel their contracts with the government. “Naloko ang tao ng ilang taon at parang wala lang,” (The people are fooled for many years and as if nothing happened), the president continued. He then ordered a government panel to draft a contract that would be favorable to consumers.
He stressed though that if the consortium would not accept the contract prepared by the government panel then they can go to court. “Ok na ako. (I’m okay). You can have your contract if it is your liking, but if not, then we will go to another phase which is the filing of the case.”
The president again reiterated his apology to the consortium for chastising them. “I apologize for casting words. I was angry then. Just give us a contract that is fair and also return the money of the people,” he said in closing.