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Sara blasts Mega over project

DAVAO CITY—Mayor Sara Duterte on Thursday lambasted Mega Harbour and Development Corp. and demand an apology from the firm after it called her decision to terminate the multibillion-peso Davao Coastline and Port Development project “reckless, callous and unethical.”

In a letter to Mega Harbour, a copy of which the Manila Standard obtained from a reliable source, Duterte said she did not “put the company in a bad light” after she terminated the joint venture agreement a week ago.

This was after Mega Harbour stated in a letter that the mayor “put their company’s name in a bad light” and “tarnished, even blackened beyond repair, [Duterte’s] reputation” with the unilateral move.

The mayor said that ever since “she opened her mouth” about ending the P39-billion project—which was an unsolicited proposal from Mega Harbour that Duterte’s father, President Rodrigo Duterte, approved during his tenure as Davao mayor—she never did “immeasurable humiliation or ridiculed men and women from your company.”

“As local chief executive, I have the obligation to inform the public of my decision, after a year of telling them that I will review the project documents. The fulfillment of my obligation is not publicity, it is accountability,” she said.

Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte

Duterte said she “does not have any obligation to repeatedly sit down and listen” to the company’s proposal, and rather opted to review all the documents it had submitted, and even hired a consultant to help assess the project.

“I purposely did not disclose what information significantly formed part of my decision to terminate the agreement, because I expected a legal case from your end,” she said. “What I did not expect from you is to call me out as a reckless, callous and unethical individual. You should be the last person to speak about ethics if you write letters such as the one I received.”

“Finally, it is utterly fiddling of you to threaten me with a legal suit, should I continue to fulfill my obligation to explain to the public why I terminated the agreement. And you certainly do not have the right to tell me how and when I should do my job. I demand an apology,” the mayor added.

Earlier this week, Councilor Jimmy Dureza said one of the provisions of the joint venture agreement of Mega Harbour and the city government is that either party may terminate the agreement anytime “for the reason of breach of contract.”

Since Mayor Duterte took over from her father in June 2016, she was already adamant about the Mega Harbour project, and promised to review all the documents related to it, even though now-President Rodrigo Duterte already signed off on the project.

Topics: Mayor Sara Duterte , Mega Harbour and Development Corp. , Davao Coastline and Port Development project
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