Gov’t can still prosecute Maynilad even after it drops arbitration: Palace

4 years ago 0 Comments

MANILA – Officials of Maynilad Water Services may still be prosecuted even if the firm drops arbitration proceedings with the government, a Palace official said Monday.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the government may still proceed with legal proceedings against officials of the water concessionaire if proven that a crime was committed.

"If a crime has been committed, then we should prosecute regardless of whether the parties involved have withdrawn. Just like when you commit a crime of theft, you return the money, but you can still be prosecuted," Panelo told reporters during a Palace briefing.

This, after President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a review of all government contracts in the wake of a water shortage that affected Maynilad rival Manila Water.

Panelo however noted that the decision to push through with legal proceedings would depend on the Department of Justice.

Maynilad Chairman Manuel Pangilinan earlier said his firm is "more than willing" to drop arbitration proceedings with government as long as there is a "way forward" on tariffs.

"I think were trying to settle that kasi kami rin we don't want to be in that situation with the government so I think that is being discussed with the MWSS (Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System) because we, assuming we come to terms on the tariff issue, then we are more than willing to drop the arbitration case," Pangilinan told reporters.

Singapore's high court has sided with Maynilad in its indemnity claim from the Philippine government over revenue losses due to the non-implementation of its tariff adjustments from 2013 to 2017.

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