Bloomberg recently ran a piece which damns President Duterte for “cracking down on some of the Philippines’ biggest businesses”. Not only that, but afterwards they wonder how President Duterte’s radical moves gains him even more popularity. Obviously, they are not only ignorant about the Philippines but also incredibly transparent in their defense of massive corporations.
For context, Bloomberg is a privately-owned financial, data, and media company with headquarters in Midtown Manhatan, New York City. Last year they posted an annual revenue of US$10 billion. They are a huge company owned by the ultra-rich. They are in no way experts on the nature and nuances of Filipino existence and that’s why they cannot understand why President Duterte’s “populist” policies as they call them are so effective.
Bloomberg criticized President Duterte for going after big companies, saying that the chief executive has cost the country an 11% stock market drop.
What they conveniently failed to consider is the toll these companies were taking on the Philippine nation. What about the costs they failed to shoulder themselves and unjustly passed on to Filipinos? The tax evasion, shady business practices, and unfair contracts – their sins pile high. It;s no wonder why President Duterte came after these.
But Bloomberg makes an itemized list of the companies negatively impacted by President Duterte’s unstoppable political will. As if by accounting and inventorying it, they could change the narrative. They would be less evil corporations and more a group of victims, a whole pitiful party of elite firms who can’t catch a break in this tough political climate.
Topping the list of course of the victims, the poor blameless companies, are Metro Manila’s water concessionaires: Manila Water and Maynilad. Their stakeholders, Ayala Corp. and Metro PAcific Investment Corp., have been under President Duterte’s intense scrutiny because of their obviously skewed government contracts.
The Ayala family and Manny Pangilinan obviously have enough money to themselves. It’s a shame that their greed keeps forcing them to abuse ordinary Filipinos for a little bit more profit.
Pangilinan was actually mentioned twice – once for Maynilad and then again for PLDT. Bloomberg wants us to pity him and feel bad that President Duterte would not let his companies have total market domination and forced him to allow competitors to operate.
DMCI Holdings was also criticized by President Duterte after one of their residential condominiums suffered major cracks following the Davao earthquakes in October 2019. What a moster it is, our President, demanding that developers be held to a certain standard of safety?
The list goes on and on. What’s clear is that Bloomberg wants us to see this as a list of offenses by a Chief Executive running wild with power. But what this actually is is a long overdue checklist of corrections.
After all, who owns the country? The elites or the ordinary Filipinos?
President Duterte’s bold actions in the face of oligarch has earned him the love and support of most Filipinos. We don’t need Bloomberg to tell us that our President is doing his job.