Duterte in Asean meet: Invest in PH; alert me on grafters
SINGAPORE — President Rodrigo Duterte on Saturday invited foreign investors to the Philippines to create more jobs for his countrymen and assured them he would personally deal with corrupt officials who might extort money or make trouble for their businesses.
“All you have to do is to make a call and I will grant you any time, especially about graft, about workers in government asking for money,” the President told a gathering of businessmen in Singapore where he attended the 32nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Summit.
He told the businessmen what to tell government employees trying to give them a hard time: “Your President has assured me this. Kindly leave the premises. Do not ever come back because I will call his number and this number belongs to the President.”
“And I will show you how I deal with corruption,” he said, adding that they could get his number from an aide. “For as long as I am there, there will be no corruption in my government.”
‘Shoot him, stab him’
In his vintage hyperbole that drew laughter from his audience, the President told the businessmen gathered at the Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore hotel, he was giving them “the right to kill” the person causing them “any unnecessary disturbance, molestation or trouble.”
“Shoot him, stab him or push him out of the window. And I will take care of your pardon at no expense of yours. No kidding,” he said.
He said, however, that investors must follow all Philippine laws, including environmental regulations, and pay the right taxes.
If investors obey the laws, “then we are OK and we can talk about business.”
The President spoke to the businessmen after he witnessed the signing of 10 business agreements worth $185.7 million between mostly Philippine and Singaporean companies.
Over 1,900 jobs
The investments were expected to create 1,920 jobs.
One of the agreements was for the establishment of 25 Jollibee outlets in Singapore over the next five years.
The deal was between Jollibee Worldwide Pte. Ltd. and Golden Beeworks Pte. Ltd.
The other deals included those between Filinvest Development Corp. and Keppel Corp. (development projects in Filinvest City and edge computing data centers in Metro Manila and Clark); EverHydro and OceanPixel (development of marine renewable energy projects in Zamboanga); Robin Village International Pte. Ltd. and ICS ICT Support Services Corp. (prefab projects); SIA Engineering Co. Ltd., Cebu Air Inc., and Lepack Packaging Pte. Ltd.; and Filinvest and Hitachi Asia Ltd.
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