Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Warns of 'The Few Who Hold Power and Money'

Rodrigo Duterte
Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte gestures while delivering a speech, Manila, Philippines, November 14. Romeo Ranoco/REUTERS

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has vowed to "share the money of the entire country," which could only happen by removing it "from clutches of the few people who hold the power and money," Al Jazeera has reported.

Duterte spoke Wednesday after arriving in the Philippines from the summit of the 21-member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation in Peru, where leaders agreed to fight "all forms of protectionism."

The leader said that confronting oligarchs and conglomerates across the Philippines would contribute to its growth.

"The only way to make this country move faster to benefit the poor is really to open up communications, the air waves and the entire energy sector," Duterte said from his home city of Davao. "Or else, you can count on your fingers the power-players of this country. I would not say that they are the elite."

"I would like just to send this strong message: it's about time that we share the money of the entire country and to move faster, make competition open to all."

Duterte has repeatedly threatened to fight corruption and protectionism, having already issued warnings to the country's telecoms duopoly of Philippine Long Distance Telephone and Globe Telecom to shape up or face new competition from the likes of Chinese companies.