By Genalyn Kabiling
Notorious loan sharks are the latest addition in President Duterte’s apparent kill list.
The President has threatened to eliminate those behind the 5-6 lending scheme, saying they should stop such practice that keeps Filipinos enslaved by debts.
“Alam ko ‘yang 5-6. Iyan ang gusto kong patayin na sistema. Kung hindi ko mapatay ang sistema, ‘yung nagdadala ng 5-6 na lang ang ating patayin. Mas madali man seguro [I know that 5-6. I want to kill that system. If I cannot eliminate the system, then I’d kill those operating 5-6. Perhaps it’s easier],” Duterte said during his visit to Bulacan last Thursday, drawing applause from the crowd.
Duterte said the 5-6 scheme, an informal lending practice that charges high interest to borrowers, was a “kind of oppression” of cash-strapped Filipinos.
He observed that borrowers end up poorer since they owe money not only for the original loan but also for overpriced appliances sold to them by 5-6 lenders.
“You know, there in Davao, maldito itong… Well, I’m not trying to derogate the nation or the tribe. But itong mga 5-6 kasi sa Davao magpautang. Pagkatapos ‘pag mag-utang ka ng pera, pautangin ka pa ng kama, TV set. So dagdagan nila so you are in perpetual bondage [In Davao, they lend you money then after taking a loan, they will lend you money for bed, TV set. So they will add things so you’re in perpetual bondage],” he said.
“Parang ang tao [The person] is slave working for you or for your money,” he added.
Duterte, in trying to put an end to 5-6 lending scheme, said he just wants to protect Filipinos and be “fair to everybody.” He said such lending practice has been operating in the country for a long time and it was time to end such oppression.
“Sabi ko sa kanila doon, you better stop it. Kung magpahingi ka ‘yung mucho derecho ‘yung the adopted method of lending the money and getting back the payment. Pero kung dagdagan ninyo ng ganun, p***** i** papatayin ko kayo [I told them, you better stop it. If you lend money, do the adopted method of lending the money and getting back the payment. But if you’re adding more loans, son of a b*tch, I will kill you],” he said.
“Ang buang marami ring namatay pero puro disgrasya. Nagmomotor eh. Eh di bungguin mo lang ‘yung puwet diretso-diretso na ‘yan sa impyerno [Many fools have died due to accidents. They were riding motorcycles. So better ram his rear so he’ll fall straight to hell],” he added.
At the start of his term, the President ordered a crackdown on the 5-6 money lending scheme and threatened to arrest and deport foreigners engaged in such usurious business.
The government has already set aside billions for affordable micro-financing for micro, small and medium enterprises to reduce the Filipinos’ reliance on the informal lending scheme.