MANILA (UPDATED) - President Rodrigo Duterte told business tycoon Manny Pangilinan that they should meet “soon,” following an infrastructure project event on Thursday.
Duterte graced on Thursday the inspection and presentation of the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) Harbor Link Circumferential Road 3-Circumference 10 which was constructed by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) in partnership with NLEX Corporation, a unit of Pangilinan’s Metro Pacific Investments Corporation.
Go said the President told Pangilinan that they should meet again. The lawmaker, a former aide of the President, also denied that Duterte was angry at Pangilinan.
“Kaibigan naman sila (They are friends),” Go told ABS-CBN News.
Pangilinan, whose water business has been under government scrutiny, was also present at the event and was even seated beside the President. During his speech, the President did not mention Pangilinan.
Duterte recognized other officials on stage such as Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, Central Bank Gov. Benjamin Diokno, and Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go in his speech.
But the President was later seen shaking the hand of Pangilinan along with other government officials on stage after delivering his brief address.
He also mentioned a few words to Pangilinan and before going down the stage, the businessman also caught up with Duterte.
Duterte previously threatened to file “economic sabotage” charges against Pangilinan and the Ayalas, who own Manila Water, over the water firms’ allegedly “onerous” contracts with the government.
Maynilad is jointly owned by DMCI Holdings Inc and Metro Pacific Investments Corp., the latter headed by Pangilinan.