The Zobel brothers running Ayala Corp. and PLDT Chairman Manuel Pangilinan took to Twitter on Tuesday to thank President Rodrigo Duterte for saying sorry for hurtful words in the past.

“We are grateful for President Duterte’s statement at the briefing last night. We have always believed in building a strong partnership between the private and public sectors in addressing our country’s problems and in investing in the country to create jobs and improve the lives of Filipinos,” said Ayala Corp. Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala and President Fernando Zobel de Ayala in a joint statement.

Pangilinan tweeted on his personal account: “I would like to thank the President for his remarks tonight, most especially for his sincerity and kindness.”

“I wish to assure him that our Group is fully committed to being a partner of Govt in addressing the heartbreaking moments of Covid 19 on our people, in building a better tomorrow for them. We are, and have always been here, for the country,” he added.

President Duterte apologized to the Zobel brothers and Pangilinan after acknowledging that the businessmen extended help to the government amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

“Yung masasakit ko na salita sa Ayala, Pangilinan, I apologize… I hope you find it in your heart to forgive me. If you do not, I will undercut you and go directly to God,” Duterte said in an address televised shortly before midnight on Tuesday.

Duterte in December lashed out at water companies led by the Zobels and Pangilinan following the government’s defeat before an international arbitration dispute involving supposedly lopsided concession contracts.

This forced water concessionaires, Manila Water Co. and Maynilad Water Services Inc., to waive nearly P11 billion in arbitration awards they had sought from the government.

Manila Water, owned by Ayala Corp., also suddenly took in a new partner, multinational ports operator Enrique Razon.

Maynilad is a joint venture between Metro Pacific Investments Corp. led by Pangilinan and DMCI of the Consunji family.

READ: Palace: Duterte outraged over arbitration defeat vs Ayala’s Manila Water
READ: Water concessionaires cave in to Duterte in arbitration dispute

Ayala Corp. shares rose nearly 15 percent to P642.50 apiece on Tuesday. Manila Water shares also jumped 12 percent to P11.72.

PLDT however was down 1.5 percent to P1,240 apiece at the close of trading, but reached an intraday high of P1,269. Metro Pacific rose 13.5 percent to P2.85 per share. (