By Rosemarie A. Zamora

PRESIDENT Rodrigo R. Duterte launched another tirade against Lucio Tan, linking the Chinese-Filipino tycoon to destabilization efforts against him.

Mr. Duterte claimed that Mr. Tan was able to get away with his tax liabilities because of the tycoon’s threat to fund destabilization efforts against Mr. Duterte.

“Kaya, Lucio Tan, six billion, noon pa ‘yan. Walang kolekta, kolekta, walang bayad, bayad, kasi matakot na mag-enforce ang mayor diyan kasi ‘pag ginalaw mo, gastusan ka raw ng destabilization,” Mr. Duterte said.

(That’s why, Lucio Tan, six billion, that’s way back. No collect, collect, no payment, payment, because the mayor would not dare to enforce because if [he] touches [you], you spend on destabilization.)

“Ako, ‘di mas mabuti mag-contribute siya doon. Kasi kung may maniwala pa na sundalo sa akin, sila, siya ang unahin ko,” he added.

(For me, it would be better if he contributes to [the destabilization]. Because if the soldiers believe me, he will be my first [target].)

Mr. Duterte reiterated his earlier allegation that Mr. Tan had attempted to bribe him when he was still Davao City mayor.

“Hindi ko tinanggap kasi alam ko, balang araw, hihiritan kita and all others,” he said. (I didn’t take [his offer] because I know, one day, I’ll come after you and all others.)

Mr. Tan’s camp was sought for a response but declined to comment for now.

On Sept. 26, Mr. Duterte threatened to shut down the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 2, where Philippine Airlines (PAL) has operated since 1999, unless, he said, Mr. Tan settles his P6 billion in tax liabilities with the government.

Last Oct. 6, PAL reached a settlement with the Department of Transportation (DoTr) for the payment of navigational fees and other charges.