MANILA Filipinos should not be alarmed over China's co-ownership of the National Grid Corp. of the Philippines (NGCP), a private consortium that manages and operates the Philippines' power grid, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday.
In an interview with CNN Philippines, the President said China merely intends to earn money and has no intention to control the Philippines' power transmission infrastructure.
"My answer to that is very simple. It's a business so why would China cut it (power grid)?" he said.
"Ang China tumulong lang. Nagmagandang loob kasi gusto rin niyang may kakampi sila kasi puro kakampi ng Amerikano. (China just helped us. It acted in good faith because it wants to improve ties with other nations since most of them are Americans's allies). So they are trying to help everybody," Duterte added.
China's State Grid Corp. controls 40 percent of the NGCP, which supervises the management and operation of the country's power transmission lines owned by state-owned National Transmission Corp.
Former Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio on Tuesday said Beijing's co-ownership of the NGCP should be a cause for concern because it has the capability to shut down the Philippines' power grid.
In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said such claim was completely groundless, while the NGCP clarified that State Grid Corp.'s role is limited to being a technical adviser.
Duterte assured the public that China has no potential to stop the power grid's operations.
He also said there is no basis for Beijing to take actions that are detrimental to its ties with Manila.
What a million miles away, he said, when asked if China can control the Philippines' power grid.
Duterte said while he considers China as a friend, he would not hesitate to pick a fight against Beijing, in case it shuts down the transmission lines.
Sasabihin ko sa (I will tell China), 'Look China, we're friends, we're doing business. You want money. We want money. It produces money for both of us. Now do you intent to cut it and for what reason? You answer me,' he said.
Why would you take control out of a thing that you would offer. I will not allow that. You know China, if you do that, there will be a quarrel. I may not overcome you but you will receive from me a mouthful, the President added. (PNA)
Source: Philippines News Agency