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After watching Ted Failon’s exposé, Duterte warns mining firms: Spend for rehab or I’ll tax you to death

President Rodrigo Duterte has had enough of mining companies that make a profit at the expense of destroying the environment.

In his State of the Nation Address (SONA) Monday (July 24), Duterte warned he will raise the taxes paid by mining firms if they do not spend for the rehabilitation of the areas they mine.

Veering away from his prepared speech, Duterte credited ABS-CBN broadcaster Ted Failon and former Environment Secretary Gina Lopez for opening his eyes to mining’s destructive effects.

“Ngayon makita mo naman not only Gina Lopez gave you a clear picture of what was happening horrendously. Nakita mo kay Ted Failon — ‘yung kay Ted Failon, talagang nanood ako, dalawang beses. And I realized that I have to do something about it as a Filipino,” he said.

Duterte said mining firms should either foot the bill for rehabilitating mining sites or he will still make them pay.

“You have to come up with a substitute, either spend to restore the virginity of their source or I will tax you to death. Kasi ‘yung taxes makuha ko, talagang ibubuhos ko,” he said.

Duterte said mining firms will have to stop their operations if he is unable to raise taxes.

“I will ask you to stop it. It’s not good. We are a small group of islands, hindi naman marami. The coastal, marami ‘yan kasi marami paikot-ikot, but we are in a contiguous territory, maliit lang tayo,” he said.

The President warned mining companies to declare their correct income and pay the right amount of taxes or he will go after them.

“Hindi na ako makatakbo, matanda na ako. I don’t think I’ll even survive the five years. Pero pagka sinabi ko upakan kita, upakan talaga kita,” he said.

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