Maynilad, Manila Water will no longer demand P10.8-B compensation from gov’t after Duterte threat

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 10) — The two Metro Manila water concessionaires – Maynilad and Manila Water- on Tuesday said they will no longer demand payment from the government arising from their arbitral tribunal win, in response to President Rodrigo Duterte's threat to sue them.

Manila Water Corporation President and CEO Jose Almendras said during a hearing at the House of Representatives that the company will no longer collect the P7.4 billion arbitral award.

“Opo. Susunod kami sa kagustuhan ng gobyerno at Pangulo,” said Almendras.

[Translation: Yes. We will follow the interest of the government and the order of the President.]

Meanwhile, Maynilad President and CEO Ramoncito Fernandez said in the same House hearing that the company will also no longer pursue its abritral award since they won the case in 2017, as the government has not carried out the ruling.

The arbitral tribunal ruled the government should pay west zone concessionaire Maynilad P3.4 billion in indemnity.

Duterte recently threatened to sue the two water concessionaires and former government officials because of their supposedly onerous agreements with the government.

READ: Duterte to file plunder charges vs. Maynilad, Manila Water

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra earlier said his department's review of the deals signed by the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System with the two water concessionaires revealed a dozen provisions disadvantageous to the government and the public.

Since Duterte first threatened the two companies, the stock of Manila Water has plunged.

Manila Water haled the government to the arbitral tribunal in Singapore when the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System rejected its request to raise water rates for 2013 to 2017.

The ruling comes almost three years after the tribunal ruled on a similar case filed by west zone concessionaire Maynilad Water Services, Inc.

READ: Arbitral court tells PH gov't to pay ₱7.4B to Manila Water