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Bati na ba talaga? Duterte brings up Lucio Tan’s debt despite settlement

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President Rodrigo Duterte seems to have a hard time letting go of his grudge against bilyonaryo Lucio Tan even if the taipan has paid his tax deficiency to the government.

While Duterte did not mention Tan’s name in his speech in Tarlac Wednesday (March 7), it was obvious he was referring to the businessman when he mentioned about the P7 billion someone owes the Bureau of Internal Revenue.

“Ako ayaw kong magka-ano pero I promised them na hindi ko na — I will not bring this up pero I will not mention the names. Kung hindi ako nag-Presidente, makuha kaya ninyo ‘yung 7 billion na utang. Ilang Presidente dumaan? Was there somebody able to collect the taxes?” he asked.

The Tan-owned Philippine Airlines paid P6 billion in overdue navigational charges to the government last year after Duterte threatened to shut down the Terminal 2 of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, which it uses exclusively.

Earlier this year, Duterte appeared to have softened his view of Tan after he paid his tax dues and made an offer to bring home distressed Filipino workers from Kuwait via a chartered flight.

“Because of this incident, Mr. Lucio Tan, I’m going to shut up forever. Wala ka nang marinig sa akin na salita na ‘di ka — hindi ka nagbayad ng… Okay na sa akin, tapos na,” he said in a speech on February 13.

Also last month, Tan met Duterte in Malacañang and they even shook hands.