President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday denied that he has started his own brand of cronyism in the country during his watch.
Duterte made the clarification in a speech delivered in Pigcawayan, Cotabato, as he once again criticized the country’s oligarchs.
“Maraming daldal, mga mayayaman na interesado, ibigay ni Duterte iyan sa crony niya. Wala akong crony,” Duterte said.
“May girlfriends ako. Crony, wala ako. Walang silbi, hindi ko mayakap yung mga buang na iyan. Ang akin, girlfriend. Wala akong crony,” he said in jest as he spoke before the farmers.
On Dec. 4, 2019, Nikkei’s contributing writer, Aurora Almendral, wrote an article that claimed the President vowed to “destroy the Philippine’s elite” because he “chose his own.”
The Nikkei report, titled “Crony capital: How Duterte embraced the oligarchs,” said during the presidential campaign, Duterte took aim at the “corruption and excesses of wealth-hoarding families” like the Ongpin clan.
The report, however, claimed that Duterte’s three years in office showed that the systemic transformation has turned out to be “more like a personal vendetta.”
Labor groups have also seen Duterte’s threat against two water firms Manila Water and Maynilad, as well as local broadcast network ABS-CBN, as part of his alleged plan to favor his cronies. (PNA)