Paranoia keeping progress off Paquibato, Duterte says

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte warned that there will be no development introduced in Paquibato if residents continue to have a “paranoid” state of mind.

Speaking Saturday night, Duterte said he decided to drop his plan to bring in foreign investors to Paquibato because of propaganda circulating in the area against the entry of plantation businesses that will drive them out of their homes.

“If they [residents and New People’s Army members in the area] are in that frame of mind that they will be abused, they will be cheated, we cannot do anything about it,” said Duterte.

Earlier, he said that before the foreign companies can come in, rebels and other armed groups must hide their arms and not demand revolutionary taxes, and in return they would be prioritized for employment.

But he has said it was not a forced surrender of their ideals.

“But if you are that pessimistic or skeptic, then forget it,” he said.

Duterte said he would not force the issue and instead asked the companies to look for other areas of development.

In the “Gikan sa Masa, Para sa Masa” program after the BIMP- EAGA (Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area) summit in the city, he said he met with prospective investors already but they said the best flatlands were not in Davao, but in areas like Sultan Kudarat.

He said the Paquibato residents should not worry about land- grabbing issues because he would make sure their rights won’t be abused. “But if they do not trust me, if they are paranoid, we cannot do anything about it,” he said.

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