I was puzzled and bewildered when I heard the story that Presidential candidate Rody Duterte respectfully declined millions in voluntary financial support offered by a top official of a giant telecommunications company recently.
The Makati-based telecom executive sought an audience with Duterte in Davao earlier this month and said that he had with him a sizeable amount which he wanted to give the Mayor to support his campaign.
I was told that the telecom executive told Duterte that the amount would be the first tranche of a considerable financial contribution from him and his group involved in the company.
To the surprise of many, however, Duterte, after thanking the telecom executive for the offer, declined the money.
Even those close to Duterte were left wondering why the Presidential candidate who has publicly declared that he has no money to finance a national campaign would refuse financial contributions from well-meaning individuals and groups.
Today, however, as I went through the messages posted by the followers of this page in reaction to an article I wrote about the very poor service of the telecom companies, I have nothing but great admiration for the foresight of Duterte.
I am not sure what was in his mind at the time he refused the money but I would assume that he was aware that if he wins the Presidency, he would have to deal with corporations involved in the vital industries supervised by government.
Telecommunications companies would be among those that the next President has to deal with, especially in the light of the complaint of very poor services by millions of subscribers.
Reading the posted messages in reaction to the article “Giant Telecom Companies Robbing Flipinos Bigtime,” I now understand that the only hope of the telecom subscribers who are aggrieved and shortchanged because of the lousy service would be a President ready to crack the whip on these companies.
And that President, in order to enforce the law to give justice to the millions of subscribers, must not be beholden to the telecom companies.
Duterte, by refusing the money of the telecom company which may have been offered as a sincere gesture of support, has effectively avoided a situation where he will be torn between his Presidential obligation to protect the interest of telecom subscribers and repaying a debt of gratitude to a campaign contributor.
Said one Duterte supporter: “Yan ang maganda kay Digong, hindi matakaw sa pera. Nag-iisip ng implikasyon bago tumanggap ng tulong.”
So, there you are fellow telecom subscribers, there’s hope for a better telecom service under a Duterte Presidency.