Duterte warns MVP: Do not f*ck with gov’t
President Rodrigo Duterte has a stern warning to businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan after getting wind of efforts to block the entry of a third player in the telecommunications industry.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque shared the warning Duterte made when the third telco player’s entry was discussed during Monday’s (February 5) Cabinet meeting.
“Okay it’s enough to say that the warning is ‘do not fuck with government,’” Roque said in a press briefing Tuesday (February 6).
He said Duterte was particularly incensed by the information that the government needed to buy back the frequencies it gave for free to the telecommunications company CURE (Connectivity Unlimited Resource Enterprise, Inc.) so they can be used by the third telco.
CURE is a wholly owned subsidiary of Smart Communications, which is owned and controlled by Pangilinan.
“The President rejected that proposal, that we pay for frequencies that we gave out for free and he warned everyone involved not to test the resolve of the President in allowing a third telecoms carrier to enter the country,” Roque said.
Duterte has asked China Telecoms to enter the Philippine telco industry to give Smart and Globe Telecoms a run for their money and provide better services to the public.
Roque said the President turned down Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) officer in charge Undersecretary Eliseo Rio’s request to move the entry of the third telco player to May.
“So we stick it out with the original timeframe of a third telecoms player by March of this year. The President was empathic and issued a warning to the detractors of the entry of the third telecoms player not to test the will of government,” he said.