President Rodrigo Duterte alleged Tuesday that a previous administration waived P7 billion in government receivables from a power plant for unknown reasons.
Speaking to airmen and airwomen at the Villamor Airbase in Pasay, Duterte said he would not allow the government to lose money because of a failure to collect proper taxes.
“I’m telling everybody: Do not do it in my time because I promised the Filipino a clean government. It will be a clean government. There will be no corruption. Even the exemption of taxes and waiver of billions. The game here involves billions, believe me,” Duterte said.
“We have a receivable from an energy plant of P7 billion. It was waived. For what reason? I really do not know,” he added.
Duterte did not identify the company involved and the administration that allowed the waiver.
However, President Benigno Aquino III issued an executive order in 2011 to condone around P6 billion in real property taxes owed by a power plant in Quezon province, saying paying the back taxes “will trigger massive direct liabilities on the part of [National Power Corp./Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corporation], increase the cost of electricity, and may trigger further cross-defaults, and colossal economic losses across all sectors.”
Another executive order issued in 2014 reduced tax rates for independent power producers for the same reasons.
It is unclear whether that is the case that Duterte was referring to.
“And only one man can waive it. You waived the P7 billion for what? There was no payment involved as long as it favors the rich,” Duterte said.
Officials could not say who were being alluded to by the president.
‘Ready to kill’
Duterte said he is ready to kill to address corruption in government.
“Everybody will just have to behave,” he said.
“Hayaan mo, tingnan mo, makapatay ako ng isa, dalawa, o tatlong direktor, titino itong p****g in**g bayan na ‘to. (If I kill one, two or three directors, this son of a whore country would shape up).”
Duterte has said that he would be harsh in dealing with corruption, which he said is “endemic” in the country. He has also promised to “destroy” oligarchs, whom he claimed are peddling influence and making money at the expense of the poor.
He has also been known to make extreme statements that his spokespersons “clarify” later on.