(Eagle News) — President Rodrigo Duterte has threatened a military takeover of water services in Metro Manila.
The President made the threat in a speech during the birthday celebration of Former Senator Manny Villar on Thursday, Dec.12.
“Last night I was talking to the (Presidential Security Group), sinabi ko sa kanila huwag mo akong laruan na takot takutin ninyo ako, sige magsibat kami, bahala wala kayong tubig. I will order the Armed Forces to operate. Sige sundalo, take over kayo,” Duterte said.
The President made the statement after Manila Water and Maynilad warned of what they said was a 100 percent increase in water rates if the extension of their water contracts with the government was revoked.
The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System had announced the revocation after the Department of Justice revealed what it said were onerous provisions in the contracts, which President Duterte had ordered reviewed amid the water shortage in March.
Among what they said were the onerous provisions was the ban on government to set water rates, and the clause that specified the government should be indemnified in the event of any government intervention.
The DOJ said also irregular was the provision extending the contracts way before they were set to expire in 2022.
Maynilad and Manila Water have expressed willingness to renegotiate the provisions, but the Palace said President Duterte has yet to accept or reject the offer.
Duterte has vowed to take to court those behind the contracts.