Duterte reveals how he forced Smart, Globe to give up frequencies they hoarded to block rivals
President Rodrigo Duterte has revealed how he forced Smart and Globe to give up the frequencies they hoarded and kept idle to block other rivals from breaking their telecom duopoly.
In a speech in Iloilo City, Duterte claimed that Smart and Globe received the telecommunication frequencies from former Marcos Trade Minister Roberto V. Ongpin for “free” and they intended to play hardball with him to squeeze billions from the government before giving up the frequencies.
“Binibigay ng gobyerno ?yan for free if you are really into it, in good faith. Alam mo itong dalawa, alam mo na kung sino ?yung dalawa. Kinuha nila kay Ongpin. ?Yang si Ongpin marunong ?yan eh. Talagang any administration. Tapos binili nitong dalawa ngayon. So I am hankering for a third player,” said Duterte referring to his plan to handpick a third telco player to provide cheaper and better services than Smart and Globe.
But Duterte was in no mood to play along with Smart and Globe’s game plan.
When he was told during a Cabinet meeting that Smart and Globe would not return the frequencies without compensation, Duterte said: “Fuck you! Sabihin mo sa kanila, you return that frequency because it was given free. Kinuha ninyo kay Ongpin ?yan.”
He told acting Information and Communication Technology Secreteray Eliseo Rio to send that same night Smart and Globe this message: “Fuck you! Nakagastos kayo. O putang ina. Bukas magdating ang BIR (Bureeau of Internal Revenue). Tingnan ko ?yung papel niyo, ?yung gastos ninyo. O eh sabihin na diretso ka lang magbigay. So may transaction ?yan. O ?di titingnan ko ?yung libro ninyo.”
Duterte beamed with pride that his gambit worked. “Following day, ang Globe nagsauli. Three days after, si (Manny V.) Pangilinan sinauli.”