PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has warned that he would investigate the alleged unpaid debt of the Lopez family with state-run Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP).
Duterte made the threat in a speech before newly appointed officials in Malacañang on Tuesday.
“The Lopez Group of Companies never paid a single centavo. It was condoned by the government. Who condoned it? Who authorized it? I really do not know,” he said.
“But maybe one of these days, I’ll start to dig. Why do you have to give away money to people who are rich?”
In 2017, Lopez Holdings Corp. said it did not have any unpaid obligations to the DBP or other government financial institutions.
The holding company has a majority stake in ABS-CBN Corp., which has been a frequent target of Duterte’s rants. The President had accused the broadcast network of accepting funds from him without airing his political advertisements during the 2016 elections.
He had also threatened to block the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise, which is set to expire in March 2020.
A bill seeking to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise for another 25 years is pending in Congress.