President Rodrigo Duterte did not mince words when he confronted bilyonaryo Sid Consunji for his “nonchalant” attitude in addressing the hundreds of customers demanding compensation for the quake-damaged condos.
Duterte was sweeping in his condemnation of Consunji’s products as he called all of DMCI’s condominiums in Davao City as “lemons” for suffering major structural damage during the 6.5-magnitude earthquake in October 2019.
Excerpts of Duterte’s January 6 meeting with Consunji and representatives of DMCI condos – Verdon Parc, Ecoland 4000, Palmetto Place and Magallanes Residences – were released by James Patoc, spokesperson of the DMCI victims, after the DMCI chair snubbed their January 18 meeting and refused to heed Duterte’s advice.
Excerpts of the minutes of the meeting in malacañang with PRRD, Consunji Group, city officials and representatives of Verdon Parc,Ecoland 4000, Palmetto Place and Magallanes Residences last January 6,2020
Based on Patoc’s Facebook post, Duterte told Consunji: “All your projects in Davao are questionable of its structural integrity. One too many projects ang affected. Lemon ang buildings ninyo.”
“Ever since ‘di ko pinakialaman mga negosyo ninyo. ‘Di ko kayo pinahirapan sa mga projects ninyo sa Davao. Yung sa Times Beach, it was your fault. There was no bonafide movement. Puro oo lang. But this time, I am a worker of the government. Prangkahan ko kayo. It is clear without doubt na may kasalanan kayo. You made lemon buildings. Tutulong ako sa tao. Tingnan ko sino ang tama. All books of law will tell you, fairness. Lemon units ninyo or di yan magkaganyan. Surprise of all surprises but all your projects are damaged. Bakit ganon? Something must have happened along the way,” Duterte added.
During the meeting, Consunji assured Duterte that DMCI buildings were “still safe” despite showing cracks after the earthquake. He said DMCI would conduct “retrofitting and epoxy” to ensure that the buildings would withstand future earthquakes.
“Without admitting liability, sa Ecoland 4000, we are buying back units at cost with no deduction for rent for the past 12 years. Tinirhan and nagamit na nila ang mga units ng 12 years,” said Consunji.
Duterte, however, was not amused by Consunji’s “nonchalance” over his consumer-victims plight.
“If I were you, I’d be careful with your language, your use of words.
‘Yung epoxy na ‘yan parang Colgate lang ‘yan. Don’t use that. I-epoxy
mo lang yan? Ano mangyayari d’yan?” said Duterte.
“You cannot say na ginamit na nila ang units for 12 years. Ang pera nila na binayad sa inyo nagamit ninyo 10 times over. Kumita na ‘yan. Both the buyer and the seller nakinabang hindi lang sila pati kayo din,” he added.
HE said Consunji should pay more than acquisition cost considering it was at fault for the damages suffered by the victims.
“Your offer to pay acquisition cost is good only if there is no dereliction of duty. This is an act under law of Torts and Damages which is considered a quasi-crime and quasi-delict.Okay lang isauli ang acquisition cost kung hindi ninyo kasalanan. But there is a contributory cause, ang pagkagawa ninyo ng building ninyo. Why only your buildings?” said Duterte.
Duterte said he was on the side of the people on the issue of compensation and warned Consunji about giving DMCI condo victims a hard time in the negotiations.
“Di n’yo man madadala ‘yang pera pag namatay kayo. Kayo businesses, kahit sino president, kahit sino mayor, you don’t need help. The people are the ones who need help. If push comes to shove, eventually government will come in. I will fight tooth and nail to protect them (the people),” said Duterte.
“Big businesses can afford lawyers. Kayang-kaya n’yo ‘yan magkaso. You can drag the case til kingdom come. But this people, kawawa naman. They can’t afford it. And in my two years, i will not allow it. Mr. Consunji, think it over,” he added.