By Prince Golez
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the Office of the Solicitor General, the Department of Justice, and all legal departments to “review,” “evaluate,” and “scrutinize” every contract entered by the government with foreign private companies and other countries.
They should also “determine” whether there are “onerous” provisions in the contact that would put the Filipino people at a disadvantage or in violation of the Constitution, his spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.
Panelo noted that Duterte’s directive stemmed from the 1997 concession agreement between Maynilad and Republic of the Philippines, which prohibited the government from interferring with the terms of the contract.
“We’ll have to examine every provision of the contract. Anything that is against public policy or against the law or against the Constitution, we will have to strike down,” according to the chief presidential legal counsel.
Duterte, he said, also reminded government officials to “be very careful” when entering into any contracts.
“The President has alerted whoever will be entering into an agreement that they should be very careful in agreeing with whoever they’re contracting with, with respect to existing laws and Constitution,” Panelo added.