In a sign that he could be broadening his social campaign from drug dealers and crooked officials to tycoons, Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte has publicly named business mogul Roberto Ongpin as the kind of “oligarch” he wants to eradicate.
“The plan is to destroy the oligarchs that are embedded in government,” Duterte reportedly said on Wednesday at the Malacañang Palace, according to local news portal Rappler. “I’ll give you an example, publicly — Ongpin, Roberto.”
Duterte denounced the Harvard-educated Ongpin — whom Forbes ranked as one of the top 50 richest Filipinos worth $900 million — for allegedly using political ties to benefit his business.
“These are the guys who just sit in their airplanes or their mansions,” Duterte claimed. “Their money adds up like the fare adding up in a taxi’s meter.”
Duterte — also known as “the Punisher” — has repeatedly promised to eradicate drugs, crime and other social ills from the Philippines, but until now tycoons have not been one of the major targets of his campaigning.