Duterte assures tycoon Lucio Tan no gov't harassment
President Rodrigo Duterte assured business tycoon Lucio Tan on Tuesday the government would not harass him for as long as he and his businesses are following the law.
In a speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport where he welcomed the repatriated overseas Filipino workers from Kuwait, Duterte thanked Tan for the free service of Philippine Airlines to bring home the Filipinos from the Gulf state.
He also thanked Gokongwei-led Cebu Pacific for flying back home the OFWs from Kuwait.
"I’d like to just say to Mr. Lucio Tan and the Gokongwei family, Lance, in behalf of my --- in behalf of our countrymen, thank you and I will remember you for all time," he said.
When Duterte declared Friday night a total deployment ban of OFWs to Kuwait and his offer for the Filipinos who want to be repatriated, PAL and Cebu Pacific offered to provide free services.
Duterte ordered the deployment ban of Filipinos to Kuwait following the deaths of some OFWs allegedly after they were abused and maltreated by their employers.
Duterte said Tan called him up on Monday and offered another plane to be used in repatriating the OFWs from Kuwait.
"Lucio Tan, don't worry, no harassment from the government whether we are political allies or opponents. Just do the right thing and I will do the right thing and we will be all right," he said.
He said he has no ill-feelings towards Tan, indicating that the taipan did not support him during the presidential elections in 2016. But he said that Tan now is supporting him.
"Because of this incident, Mr. Lucio Tan, I’m going to shut up forever. You won't hear anything from me that you did not pay the...it's now okay with me, it's finished," he said.
He added that Tan had paid the government, apparently referring to airport fee arrears, which reached P6 billion, last year.
"And mind you, I am ready to protect every businessman, like you," Duterte said as he reassured there is no corruption in government under his watch. Celerina Monte/DMS