Indians warned: No more ‘5-6’

Robertzon Ramirez - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines – Loan sharks or those lending money under the “5-6” system will not be allowed to operate in a Duterte administration.  

Incoming president Rodrigo Duterte is threatening to deport Indian nationals if they do not stop extending loans at exorbitant interest rates of 20 percent the moment he assumes the presidency. 

He said he would ask Indian Ambassador Lalduhthlana Ralte for help in dissuading Indians from engaging in this practice, which Duterte said is a big burden on Filipinos. 

“I want to talk to the ambassador of India ... I am sure he would only be glad to help. Sabihin ko talaga sumunod sila (I will really tell them they should follow) or else I will deport you, all of you. Bantay kayo, pag-upo na pag-upo ko (You should watch out, the moment I start my presidency), they should stop the practice,” Duterte said.

He noted that some Indian nationals would lend money to Filipinos through the “5-6” scheme, where the interest rate is deemed usurious.

He added that some Indians would also force their customers to buy refrigerators and other items even though they do not have electricity.

“Itong mga 5-6 ngayon, kung saan-saan, magpapahiram ng pera, pagbilihin pa ng mga kumot, mga furniture. So ang sabihin ko sa ambassador, ang burden ng Filipino, parang pinapaluhod muna talaga (Those who practice 5-6 everywhere, they lend money and make people buy blankets and furniture. So I will talk to the ambassador because this burdens the Filipino, we are made to suffer on bended knees). The Filipino is suffering, sad and hungry. I have to stop it,” he said. 

“I’d like to ask the ambassador of India to help us advise their nationals not to do it, that is too much, or I will deport all of them for acts inimical to the interests of the Filipino people,” he added. 

He, however, emphasized that those who do not practice the 5-6 scheme will be left unharmed. “We love Indians. They have been good to us,” he said. 

He added that Indian nationals were among those who migrated to the Philippines in the 1940s and 1950s and brought with them good influences for the Filipino people. 

“They were very good, they acted civilly,” Duterte said.  

Duterte’s remarks came after he was asked in an interview a few hours after he cast his vote in Davao City on May 9 about his plan for the agricultural sector. 

He said he would carefully study the situation of agriculture and land reform in the country. He assured farmers that he would allocate a budget to the agriculture sector so that they would no longer be at the mercy of loan sharks. 

“Let me study the matter very carefully. If I have to go for an extended land reform, I will do it, but I should first be satisfied, why did it go that way? What you can be sure of is that there will be money for financing so they no longer have to beg money from landlords or through the 5-6 system.”  

Duterte said he would also talk to the Left in addressing the issue of land reform.

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