MANILA — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday, November 21, issued a stern warning to mining companies financially supporting communists, telling them that they will be closed down.
In his speech during a tribute to the heroes of the Marawi crisis in Taguig City, the Chief Executive discussed that all mining companies are paying taxes to the New People’s Army (NPA).
“At hindi magta-thrive ‘yang mining nila kung hindi nagbibigay ng pera ‘yan. So we have to decide once and for all,” the President said. “If I go against the NPAs, the communists, well, everybody has to reconfigure your relationship with the NPAs,” the President added.
President Duterte warned that he would close down the mining companies if they continue to financially support NPA.
“In the interest of the security of that state, all those funding the NPAs dito, we will trace and everything,” he said.
In a media interview after the 65th General Assembly of the League of Cities of the Philippines in Taguig City, the President said it is almost public knowledge that mining companies are contributing to the taxation of the NPAs.
“Thereby giving them also strength, money to buy arms, and bullets and all in their desire to topple down the Republic of the Philippines,” President Duterte said, adding that he will have to talk to the companies.
“We have to talk. I have to talk to them. For those who cannot resist. Then you better close up,” he said.
According to the Chief Executive, he could always invoke the higher interest of the dangerous tendency rule of “capitulating to the pressure of the communists.”
President Duterte has decided to terminate the talks with the NPAs and said that he wants to categorize them as a terrorist group.
“Ayaw ko na makipag-usap especially the last, ‘yung inambush (ambush) nila ‘yung pulis pati ‘yung bata, the four month old while being sa kamay ng nanay tinamaan,” he said.
“Kung ganun kayo, tapos mag-giyera tayo, pati ‘yung mga civilian idadamay natin. ‘Di ‘wag na tayong mag-usap,” he added.
When asked regarding the recommendation of the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) to lift the ban on open-pit mining, the President said he does not like this because it is destroying the soil and the environment and there are no corrective measures immediately available.
“‘Di na bale sana na may makita ako nung scraped area, when I go back there to visit the place and I could see a lot of trees growing and the environment corrected of its destruction,” the President said.
“Pilipino kasi ako. Nasasaktan ako sa bayan ko pag ginaganun mo. I mean, it is profit for you and for the NPAs, too,” he said.
The President also reiterated that he is “really really against corruption.” “Hindi ako pwede diyang makipagdeal-deal ng mga sa baba because I think that it’s about time that we really give the Filipino a respite of corruption in the Philippines,” he said.
As it is impossible to erase corruption overnight, he then urged the local government officials to minimize corruption. “But if you can just minimize it lalo na dito sa baba ninyo, mabuti ‘yan. But pati dito sa national,” he said.
“Pero may I just ask you, please, I plead that sabay-sabay na tayo dito na itong sa corruption, medyo i-minimize natin,” the President said.
Meanwhile, President Duterte gave an assurance that he has nothing to do with the impeachment complaint against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno.
“Alam mo, sinabi sa akin merong narinig na si Sereno, ‘Duterte is out to…’ Ha, ako raw? She can ask anybody, I guarantee you. I’ll make a guarantee, magtanong siya diyan kung may nilapitan ako na sinasabi ko, ‘Impeach niyo si Sereno,’” he said in the same media interview.
“Ma’am Sereno, I’m sorry to tell you and you can investigate the whole town and i-commission mo lahat ng mga journalists who are good at investigative journalism kung may kinausap ako na tao about your impeachment,” he added. (PND)