Senate Pres. Sotto backs Duterte's criminal raps vs. water firms

Senate Pres. Sotto backs Duterte's criminal raps vs. water firms

Senate President Vicente Sotto III is backing up President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s move to amend the alleged onerous “one-sided” contracts entered into by government with the two giant water concessionaires - Maynilad Water Services, Inc. and Manila Water Co., Inc., and hold all persons behind the contract accountable.

“After hearing his explanation last night on how we are being taken for a ride by these concessionaires, I told him I’m supporting him 100 percent on the issue,” Sotto said

The President questions some provisions of the 1997 water concession agreements with the two private firms that resulted to disadvantageous to the government.

Senate Presient Vicente Sotto III
(photo credit to owner)

One that was highlighted by Duterte is the inability of government to interfere in rate-setting and the provision for indemnity in case of such government interference.

Ang kontrata napaka-tagilid na tagilid (The contracts are very one-sided) because if they fail to realize the profit enduring the lifetime of the contract or at any period, babayad tayo sa nalugi nila (we will pay for their losses),” Duterte said 

The Singapore based arbitration court recently asked the Philippine government to pay Maynilad PHP3.6 billion and Manila Water PHP7.4 billion over losses due to the disapproved rate increase.

“We are being milked by billions and pinapabayad pa tayo ng mga (yet we are still ordered to pay) fines and penalties,” he said.

The Chief Executive  said he has asked Solicitor General (SolGen)Jose Calida to craft a new water contract that will be both “favorable” to the public and the government.

“Ibigay mo sa kanila (Give it to them). This is the amended contract. Accept it or nothing to it. Pero... hahabulin ko talaga sila (But I will really run after them) for economic sabotage,” the President said.

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Report from PNA

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