MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has fired another broadside at "oligarchs" and vowed to go after them during his term.
"I will destroy oligarchs," the President told a crowd of soldiers at the Camp Lapu Lapu in Cebu City on Friday evening.
An oligarch is defined as a person who belongs to a small group of people who govern or control a business enterprise. Duterte said oligarchs are those who "make money at the expense of the poor."
Duterte earlier tagged business tycoon Roberto Ongpin as among the oligarchs on his list.
Duterte named another alleged oligarch in his speech -- Eric Gutierrez, a mining company owner and ally of defeated presidential candidate Mar Roxas.
"Tingnan mo itong si Gutierrez, isa pa iyang oligarch," Duterte said. "Nagpasok ng eroplano, walang bayad. Nagpasok ng chopper, walang bayad. Nagmina doon sa Agusan, sinira 'yun."
"Kayong mga manloloko sa Pilipino ang mga oligarch. Kayong mga Pilipinong hindi nagbabayad ng buwis," he added.
Gutierrez owns the jets Roxas used during his campaign. The former interior secretary clarified that he paid for the use of the jets, but admitted that he is friends with Gutierrez.
Gutierrez reportedly is part owner of SR Metals Inc. (SRMI), and its subsidiaries San R Minin and Galeo Mining Equipment Corp. which operate nickel quarries in Tubay, Agusan del Norte.
WAR AGAINST OLIGARCHS
Duterte on Wednesday started his tirades against these so-called oligarchs, singling out Ongpin. Gutierrez was the next to be named.
“I’ll give you an example, publicly, Ongpin, Roberto. Malakas kay [Ferdinand] Marcos noon, trade minister, I think. Malakas sa succession: [During] Ramos he was a hanger on and kay Gloria [Arroyo], PNoy. Now he owns the online [gambling],” he said.
“These are the guys na umuupo lang sa eroplano nila, umuupo lang sa mga mansion nila kung saan-saan yung pera nila nagpapatak, parang metro ng taxi. Sabi ko, destroy,” he added.
Ongpin has since resigned his post as top executive of PhilWeb Corp. on Thursday, following Duterte's speech and a plunge on the online gaming company's shares.
READ: Ongpin resigns from PhilWeb after Duterte blasts 'oligarchs'
PhilWeb shares plunged by as much as 50 percent, before closing 36.88 percent lower to P8.95. It was the stock's steepest decline on record according to Bloomberg.
Ongpin, a trade minister during the Marcos dictatorship, announced his resignation as company chairman and director in a disclosure to the stock exchange. He did not give a reason for his decision.
Before his tirade on Wednesday, Duterte said in June that he would stop online gambling and since then, regulators have renewed the company’s license on a per-month basis.
On Friday's speech, Duterte criticized Ongpin once more, but commended his resignation from PhilWeb.