Palace on China-funded dam: Duterte keen on inspecting questioned deals

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 02 2020 04:37 PM

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte will scrutinize alleged onerous contracts that are brought to his attention, his spokesman said Thursday, when asked about a China-funded dam project.

Duterte would scrutinize such contracts just like what he did with government’s concession agreements with Manila Water Co and Maynilad Water Services Inc.

“Ang President naman basta may nag-point out sa kanya na may onerous provisions, titignan agad niya kung nakaligtas man ‘yun sa mga dapat tumingin. Siya mismo titingnan niya ‘yan,” Panelo told reporters in Malacañang, when asked about the Kaliwa Dam.

(The President looks at onerous provisions in the contracts even if these provisions escape the eyes of those who should review it.)

Panelo made the remark after the left-leaning Makabayan group claimed Thursday that the contract for the dam project was worse than the government’s water concession contracts.

Panelo, also the chief legal counsel of the President, expressed confidence that those who crafted the Kaliwa Dam project loan contract would not take advantage of the government.

“They know exactly whether or not these provisions will be disadvantageous to the government. So since inaprubahan nila ‘yan, sa palagay ko nagkaroon ng checking d’yan kung disadvantageous ba o hindi,” he said.

(Since the contract was approved, I suppose it was reviewed for disadvantageous provisions.)

Duterte earlier this week warned courts against delaying the construction of the Wawa and Kaliwa dams, saying these were the “last resort" for the Philippine capital’s dwindling water supply.