Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte vowed on Wednesday to open up the economy to new corporations to halt graft and protectionism, telling the country's oligarchs he owed them no favors and to be content with their billions.
The outspoken, populist leader said it was high time to change regulations and liberalize sectors like energy, power and telecoms to make the country more competitive, and give Filipinos better services and a share of the wealth.
Duterte, who was swept to office in May by a huge margin on a platform tilted towards the poor, said he had consciously shut powerful tycoons out of his election campaign and where his reform plan was concerned, they would have to like it or lump it.
"The only way for deliverance of this country is to remove it from the clutches of the few people who hold the power and money," he told a news conference.
"I do not owe you anything, that's precisely why I was avoiding you during the last election. I am not trying to destroy you. You have the advantage, you're here already, be content with that. But let us open everything."