Rodrigo Duterte has tagged another businessman as an oligarch who “makes money at the expense of the poor.”
In his speech at Camp Lapu-Lapu in Cebu City on Friday evening, Duterte named Eric Gutierrez, owner of a mining company and ally of defeated presidential candidate Manuel Roxas 2nd, as a member of the oligarchy.
The President said Gutierrez is importing air assets without paying taxes while engaging in illegal mining in Agusan del Sur.
“Look at Gutierrez, that’s another oligarch,” Duterte said. “He imported an airplane without paying taxes. He imported a helicopter without paying taxes. Operated a mine in Agusan and destroyed its environment,” Duterte said.
Gutierrez partly owns SR Metals Inc. (SRMI) and its subsidiaries San R Mining and Galeo Mining Equipment Corp. that operate nickel quarries in Tubay, Agusan del Norte.
“You who are tricking the Filipino people are oligarchs. You are Filipinos who do not pay taxes,” the President added.
Roxas was reported to have used Gutierrez’s jets during his campaign.
However, the former Interior secretary clarified that he paid for the use of the jets. He admitted being friends with Gutierrez.
Duterte earlier tagged business tycoon Roberto Ongpin as among the oligarchs in his list.
Ongpin, a trade minister during the Marcos dictatorship, resigned his post as top executive of PhilWeb Corp. on Thursday, following Duterte’s speech. The next day, the businessman’s daughter Bettina also quit as vice chairman and director of PhilWeb.
In his speech on Friday, Duterte commended Ongpin’s resignation from PhilWeb.
“I’m really pro-poor. I really give everyone his due. I will really attack those in government who are enriching themselves,” he said.
“My duty is to everybody. And everybody (who is poor]. All you rich people now who only use your saliva and do not pay taxes, I will really destroy you,” Duterte added.