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Duterte’s ultimatum to oligarchs: Return gov’t lands in 3 months or people will take over

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President Rodrigo Duterte has given the country’s oligarchs three months to return lands owned by the government which they have controlled for so long or people will occupy them.

Speaking in Bisaya before representatives of labor groups in Davao City Monday (May 1), Duterte gave permission for the people to take over lands which he said belong to the public.

“So within the next three months, I will tell owners of the land which hold government land that don’t pay taxes, amounting to billions, and then you manage government land which you earn from and which no one knows why they’re in your hands in the first place,” he said in his speech for Labor Day.

“If you don’t return government land, then I will ask the Filipino people to occupy the lands that are in your hands. That’s Makati, Pasay—you look for a good place there,” Duterte added.

The President said it is about time that oligarchs who have been enriching themselves at the Filipino people’s expense be stopped.

One of the “oligarchs” which Duterte has criticized in recent weeks is the Prieto family, which has a majority stake in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

The President said the Prietos must return to the government the Mile Long/Creekside property they have controlled for more than three decades.

He said they must also pay the P1.5 billion in taxes they owe the government over the operations of their Dunkin Donuts franchise.