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DOJ: Duterte’s threat to expropriate Manila Water, Maynilad legal

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Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Wednesday (Dec. 11) has assured that President Rodrigo Duterte can “expropriate” Manila Water and Maynilad.

Recently, Duterte warned the two water concessionaires that he will “expropriate” them if he is not satisfied with the explanation how the onerous water concession deals were reached.

Guevarra believes Duterte may have used as basis in making the threat “Sec. 17, Art. XII of the Constitution (on national economy and patrimony)”

Under the Constitution, the Secretary explained “the state may temporarily take over or direct the operation of any privately owned public utility or business affected with public interest…”

He said this can be done under two conditions, that is, “in times of national emergency” and “when the public interest so requires.”

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