Duterte threatens anew to file raps vs Prietos
Christina Mendez (The Philippine Star) - August 8, 2017 - 4:00pm

MANILA, Philippines - President Duterte threatened anew to file charges of economic sabotage against the owners of the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) for their refusal to turn over to the government the Mile Long property in Makati City.

“It is economic sabotage, iyon ang i-file ko (that I will file), no bail. Kita mo ‘yan sila diyan, kulong ‘yan (You will see, they will be jailed),” the Chief Executive said in a media briefing last Monday night at Malacañang.

“That’s economic sabotage. Biro mo ang tagal ng panahon, billion na… hindi mo sinasauli (It has been a long time, billions involved, and you still have not returned it).”

Duterte said the newspaper owners should have surrendered the property to the government after failing to pay the proper taxes.

In a bid to force the Prieto-Rufino clan out of the prime Makati property, Duterte said he would continue the hard stance of his administration against tax evaders – a tack his government used on Mighty Corp., which ultimately offered to settle its tax liabilities for P25 billion. 

Duterte also hit the Prietos for renting out spaces in Mile Long, earning from them and still failing to pay taxes – a situation that he said is tantamount to economic sabotage, a non-bailable offense.

“That is what Mighty fears, because it has to pay billions…but this one, no, I would not file a tax case. It would be for economic sabotage. Go ahead, Inquirer,” Duterte said in Filipino.

The Mile Long property in Makati City is the subject of a court case between Sunvar Realty Development Corp., a firm owned by the Rufino and Prieto families, and the City of Makati.

The Court of Appeals rejected the city government’s move to confiscate the property in 2016.

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