Duterte hints at getting Roque to handle water concession case

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 16 2020 08:42 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte and his former spokesperson Harry Roque. File

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte hinted Thursday at getting the services of his former spokesperson, lawyer Harry Roque, to handle the government’s case against the Philippine capital’s water distributors.

Duterte made the remark as he insisted that the government would not heed an international court order to pay Maynilad and Manila Water over P10.8 billion as compensation for losses the water concessionaires incurred due to denied rate increases.

“There's no f*cking payment coming their way. And so I began to scrutinize the contract. And Harry is here, he will be one of the lawyers who'd they'd be facing-- maybe in court,” Duterte said in a speech during the 120th anniversary celebration of Baptist Churches in the Philippines.

Roque, who was seated in the crowd, however, told ABS-CBN News that he has not received any offer yet and that he had “no idea” what the President was saying.

The President previously threatened to file fraud charges against owners of the 2 water companies over the supposed onerous provisions in the current contracts.

Manila Water is part of the Ayala group of companies, while Maynilad is jointly owned by DMCI Holdings Inc and Metro Pacific Investments Corp headed by businessman Manny Pangilinan.