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Duterte bares loathing for ‘Manila 400’ who milk state resources, don’t pay taxes, manipulate elections

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President Rodrigo Duterte revealed that he refused to accept any campaign donations from the so-called “Manila 400” because he knew that if he won, they would be the first to fall under his anti-corruption drive.

In a speech at the 6th Philippine Professional Summit at Manila Hotel on October 26, Duterte spoke about the “condescending attitude” of Philippine high society members on the general public and how they strut about like they owned the country.

“I avoided money, especially coming from persons, ‘yung the ‘Four Hundred of Society’ that who are there enjoying the benefits of governance, protection and all, using public streets and not paying any money, using government property almost one century, not even bothering,” said Duterte.

The Manila 400 referred to the members of rich families of Manila who made up the Philippines’ high society in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The group has since expanded to include Spanish and Chinese tycoons and the political elites.

“In the matter of taxes, the ruling elite of this country has enjoyed. Never had such any problem with the government. They do not pay taxes and they expect government to kneel them down because they hold power. They have the publications and they have everything,” he added.

He also bared how the elite, whom he derisively called “oligarchs”, have controlled the country’s elections to sutain their lifestyle using government resources.

“Sino ‘yung nagiging Presidente ng Pilipinas? Dito lang. It’s being talked in just a small room, drinking scotch, ‘Oh, sinong kandidato natin ngayon? Oh, patawag mo si ano, ‘yung contribution niya, sabihin mo 40 billion siya’,” said Duterte.