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Duterte apologizes to Philippine tycoons he threatened to jail

Share prices of big businesses surge as president offers olive branch

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (center) has apologized to business tycoons Manuel V. Pangilinan (left) and Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala (Source photos from Getty Images/AP/Weixiang Lim)

MANILA -- A "humbled" President Rodrigo Duterte apologized to business tycoons he once threatened to jail after saying he welcomed their response to the coronavirus crisis.

The Philippine leader, who has had an antagonistic relationship with the country's commercial elite, said during a televised address late on Monday that he was prepared to talk with owners of conglomerates Ayala Corp. and Metro Pacific Investments. Their high-stakes dispute with the president had led to state contracts being reviewed and shares being sold off.

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