Palace: Better deal won't stop case vs. water concessionaires

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 10) — Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the government will continue it's suit against Maynilad and Manila Water even if the supposed onerous provisions in the water concession agreement would be removed in a new one.

"When the crime has been committed, even if you return, there is still a crime and the President will have to enforce the law," Panelo said in a media briefing Tuesday.

He pointed out three provisions that President Rodrigo Duterte found onerous in the current water concession agreement.

"One, during the lifetime of the contract, if for any reason that there are business losses then we will have to pay for their losses. Number two, we cannot interfere in fixing the water rates. Number three, we find it anomalous that the contract is being extended prior to the expiration," Panelo said.

Duterte previously said that he will file plunder cases against these two Metro Manila water concessionaires, as well as those who drafted the agreement.

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

This was after Ayala-owned Manila Water won a case against the government in the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which ordered the government to refund the company ₱7.39 billion.

The company is currently working with the Department of Finance to come up with a mutually agreed settlement on the matter.

READ: Manila Water open to compromise with gov't for ₱7.4B refund