Senator Antonio Trillanes 4th wants Manuel V. Pangilinan or MVP to appear before the Senate not only to explain why his company, Maynilad Water Services Inc., recently raised its rates but also to refute allegations about unfair practices of Maynilad and other firms that the business tycoon owns.
According to Trillanes, who recently filed a resolution calling for investigation of the water rate increases by Maynilad and the Ayala-owned Manila Water Co.Inc., it would be better if Pangilinan himself attended hearings.
If the tycoon cannot make it, his officials will do “as long as they can clearly explain the issue,” he said in a radio interview aired over dzBB on Sunday.
The senator added that Pangilinan also owns Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., Smart Communications and broadcast network TV5, among others.
“It’s high time that we check on Pangilinan, where did he and his money come from and how was he able to get money he used in investing in numerous businesses,” Trillanes said.
He, however, added that his plan to look into the tycoon’s business ventures is not personal, noting that he does not even personally know Pangilinan.
“He (Pangilinan) is making money and ordinary people are his milking cows and I consider that as unfair business practice,” Trillanes said.
Although there are laws against abusive companies and unfair business practices, according to him, nobody has the courage to go after Pangilinan, the reason why he wants the Senate to step in and expose how the tycoon is running his businesses.
The senator said he wants hearings to be conducted immediately but, since he is not the chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Services, he is left with no choice but to wait for the panel’s head to decide.
Maynilad and Manila Water last week raised water rates after the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System approved their requests to do so.
They pointed to their foreign currency differential adjustment or FCDA to reflect changes in the value of the peso against other currencies.
Manila Water increased its rate by 36 centavos per cubic meter or an additional P20.26 for a household consuming about 30 cubic meters a month and Maynilad, by 38 centavos per cubic meter or P 9.15 more for a consumption of 30 cubic meters.