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Duterte Mulls Gov’t Audit On Telco Giants For Allegedly Hindering Entry Of 3rd Player
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (KIWI BULACLAC/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO/MANILA BULLETIN)
February 7th, 2018 | 11:40 AM | 716 views
President Duterte has threatened to place telecommunication companies allegedly derailing the entry of a third telco carrier under government audit.
The President issued the warning after expressing dismay at how some telco firms have reportedly been making “too many demands” in connection with the entry of a third telco player in the country.
“I had a warning for these people dito sa telcom. Sabi ko sa kanila, just send them this message: ‘Do not — this government,'” Duterte said during the National Economic and Development Authority’s (NEDA) anniversary celebration in Pasig City.
“‘Wag ninyo tatakutin, kaso-kaso. Maya-maya magdating ‘yang BIR and start to audit you during the first year of your business [Do no threaten me with lawsuits. The BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) might soon come and start to audit you during the first year of your business],” he added.
Duterte, however, quickly denied he was harassing the telco players with the planned deployment of the state auditors to check their businesses.
“Harass? No. Kung magnanakaw ka — sino bang hindi nagnakaw diyan sa kanila? ‘Yan sila [If you’re a thief, who among them did not steal? That’s them]. Not during my watch,” he said.
Earlier, Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque said the President rejected the proposal that the government buy back some radio frequencies held by some telcos, that would be given to the third player.
Roque said the President was “displeased” by such demand, especially when the frequencies were given free by the government in the first place.
“Frequencies are owned by the state. They were given for free,” Roque said during a Palace press briefing.
“And the President last night was emphatic since we gave these frequencies for free, he will not allow the holders to benefit from a free privilege by charging us anything to enable the third telecoms carrier to operate,” he said.
He said the President warned the “detractors” of the third telco player “not to test the will of government.”
“It’s enough to say that the warning is ‘Do not f*ck with government,'” he said.
courtesy of MANILA BULLETIN
by Genalyn Kabiling
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