News Release

‘Humbled’ by coronavirus, President Duterte apologizes to Pangilinan, Ayalas

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte holds a meeting with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on May 4, 2020. TOTO LOZANO/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

Saying he was “humbled” by the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, President Rodrigo Roa Duterte has apologized to businessman Manuel Pangilinan and the Ayalas for his “hurtful words.”

During a public address Monday night, President Duterte expressed his gratitude to big businesses in the country for assisting the government and aiding the people cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The COVID humbled me. That with the kind of response that you gave, showed to the public, it’s a humbling experience also for me that, you know, baka kailangan mo rin sila balang araw,” the President said.

“Iyong mga masakit kong salita to the Ayalas and to — si Pangilinan, I apologize for the hurting words.”

Although there’s a lot of legal issue, the President said he is ready to talk with Pangilinan and the Ayalas promising he will “be reasonable”.

The President labeled the current concession agreements with Maynilad and Manila Water as “disadvatangeous” to the Filipinos and ordered the crafting of new concession deals.

He also threatened a government takeover of water distribution services if the concessionaires refuse to accept the new water agreement. PND