‘I will seize’ Maynilad, Manila Water over ‘onerous’ deals - Duterte

‘I will seize’ Maynilad, Manila Water over ‘onerous’ deals - Duterte

The Good news is that both water giant Maynilad and Manila Water would no longer pursue the P10.8B arbitral award from the Philippine government.

This is something President Rodrigo Roa Duterte did not want to pay anyway, since he has called the water concession agreement between the government and the two firms being onerous.

But what made the two firms think otherwise and heed the call of President Duterte? It’s the fear of being seized by government.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte
(photo credit to owner)

The President made the a threat that both Manila Water Company and Maynilad Water Services would be taken over by government, for reasons that the firms have an “onerous” 1997 water concession agreement they entered with the government.

“I will expropriate everything. I will seize everything. File charges until you want. Anyway, I will be out in two years,” Duterte said in Malacanang during his speech for the oathtalking of newly appointed government officials.

The Chief Executive also instructed the filing of economic sabotage charges against those involved in the government’s water concession agreements with the two giant firms, which to the detriment of the former.

“I will feel the pulse of the people,” he said.

“If they say, ‘Mayor, go after them,’ then I’ll file an economic sabotage case. My case is airtight. If you evaluate the [expletive] contract with the anti-graft law, it is a mirror of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Law,” he added.

It might be recalled that the Singapore based Permanent Court of Arbitration ordered the Philippine government to pay the two firms for a the amount of P3.6 billion to Maynilad and in November to compensate P7 billion to Manila Water for losses suffered by the water firms due to disallowed water rate increases from 2013 to 2017.

The water concession agreements were signed in 1997 during the Ramos administration and extended in 2009 through the Arroyo administration until 2037 – long before their expiration in 2022.

The agreement was for 25 years.

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Report from PDI

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