Chinese projects in PH to be accelerated but Duterte warns courts to avoid issuing TRO

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 16 May) – President Rodrigo R. Duterte said the implementation of Chinese-invested projects in the country will be accelerated, but he warned to disobey the courts issuing temporary restraining orders intended to deliberately delay projects in favor of other bidders.

In his arrival message at the F. Bangoy International Airport (formerly, Davao International Airport) early Tuesday, Duterte said he and China’s two highest leaders – President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang – agreed to reaffirm commitments in a meeting before he left China Monday evening which marked the end of his three-day working visit in China.

“We reaffirmed commitment to build on our gains of my state visit last year and decided to accelerate the implementation of infrastructure projects previously agreed. We renewed our resolve to strengthen our friendship and mutually beneficial partnerships on broad range of areas,” the President said.

He said they resolved to fully use the mechanisms that are already in place to dialogue openly, monitor progress, and ensure implementation of projects.

But Duterte said the courts in the country must not get in the way and be the reason for the delay of any of these projects.

“I am now adresssing myslef to the judiciary. Do not, for Christ’s sake, do not play with TROs [temporary restraining orders]. Kasi pagka ganon TRO ka ng TRO tapos na dedelay, I’ve been telling you do not force me to disobey you,” he warned.

Duterte said some business firms who lose in the bidding go the courts to obtain a TRO, stalling the project. He accused some judges get money out of these TROs. “Hindi ako papayag ng ganun because I know that’s plain corruption,” he stressed.

He appealed to the Supreme Court “to do something about it” and warned he “would have to traverse the lines of separation of powers.”

Duterte told the courts that the development projects are not for them to decide. “We decide what is good for this country sa projects,” he added.

“You are there to interpret the law. Do not decide for us, kasi kami yung naghanap ng pera kami rin yung magpapatakbo ng proyekto. Kayo dyan mag-TRO TRO, knowing fully well that’s a corrupt practice,” he said.

If the issuance of TRO is really necessary, Duterte appealed to judges to decide on it immediately.

“Do not delay it, (you) paralyze the government. Magmukha akong tanga sa tao. Matatapos na lang ako, ma-TRO pa. What’s keeping you guys, umabot ng anim na buwan, decide immediately because the project has to start immediately. Wag nyo gawain yan, I know how the game is played,” he said. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)