President Rodrigo Duterte has offered to pay the Rufino-Prieto family who owns the Philippine Daily Inquirer if it will be able to prove that he was a thief.
Duterte made the dare as he lambasted the newspaper anew for accusing him of stealing public funds.
“Itong Inquirer ngayon, paano mo ako… How can you criticize me for what? Corruption? P*** Pera? I’ll bet your… Piso lang kayo. I’ll pay you… Kung may makita ka na may ninakaw ako dito ni kutsara,” he said in a speech before newly appointed government officials in Malacañang Monday (July 17).
“Pero kayo, kung magsalita, mag-editorialize, kayo pala ‘yung magnanakaw eh,” Duterte added.
The President has repeatedly slammed the Rufino-Prietos for refusing to hand back to the government the Mile Long commercial property in Makati which they continue to control even if the lease contract expired back in 2002.
He also told them to pay back the billions in taxes they reportedly owed the government for the operations of their Dunkin Donuts franchise in the Philippines.
Duterte reiterated his order for the Rufino-Prietos to return the Mile Long property to the government so he can use the proceeds of its sale to build houses for the poor.
“I promise you, I will build as many houses as the money can accommodate. Gawain ko lahat ‘yang Pag-Ibig pati ‘yang mga sundalo gawaan ko ng mga bahay. ‘Yan ang gawain ko sa pera,” he said.
Earlier in the day, San Miguel Corporation’s top honcho, Ramon Ang, confirmed he is in talks with the Rufino-Prietos for the divestment of their stake in the Inquirer.