Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte Wants His Friends to Get Richer

President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants his “helpful friends” to get richer even as he lashed out at oligarchs he claimed to have dismantled. Duterte’s billionaire friends "He may be bashing the country’s so-called oligarchs at every turn, but in contrast President Duterte is fond of his rich friends in the Philippines’ Davao City. President Rodrigo Duterte promised to destroy the Philippines' elite. Instead, he chose his own

Articles Inside:


Duterte Wants His Friends to Get Richer - gmanetwork.com


Duterte wants his friends to get richer but Palace says it isn't cronyism - rappler.com

Duterte says he wants 'helpful friends' to get rich - news.abs-cbn.com


Duterte’s billionaire friends "He may be bashing the country’s so-called oligarchs at every turn, but in contrast President Duterte is fond of his rich friends in the Philippines’ Davao City - philstar.com


President Rodrigo Duterte promised to destroy the Philippines' elite. Instead, he chose his own - asia.nikkei.com


The Duterte crony has overshadowed the Forbes 50 Filipino bilyonaryos with his debt-propelled buying binge worth roughly P70 bllion in just the first two years of this administration. - politics.com.ph


President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war” against those he calls “oligarchs” has escalated with his latest threats against 3 big names in Philippine business – the Ayala family, tycoon Manny Pangilinan, and the Lopezes - rappler.com


The businessmen who’ve won public accolades from Duterte are either longtime friends from Davao or political allies. - rappler.com


Philippine tycoon Dennis Uy has built an empire spanning oil, shipping, casinos and telecommunications, but eight years ago his oil-trading business was in trouble over government allegations of fuel smuggling. - bloomberg.com


Before Duterte’s rise, the southern province of Davao was better known for its tropical fruit than for business powerhouses like Uy’s; But in the past few years, Uy has spread far beyond the region, assembling assets that are eating into other industries - scmp.com



Duterte wants his friends to get richer but Palace says it isn't cronyism

President Rodrigo Duterte said he wants his “helpful friends” to get richer even as he lashed out at oligarchs he claimed to have dismantled.

Duterte gave the statement on Monday before troops in Jolo, Sulu as he expressed his desire to open the country’s southern border for trade and promoted coal as a source of energy.

‘“Yung kaibigan kong tumutulong, 'pag yumaman ka nang yumaman, mas maligaya ako. Tutal ako, happy na ako sa buhay ko. But I want you to get rich. But we have to talk because there is so much that we can do business,” he said.

“Maraming mas big time pa na negosyo. If we can just, then they can participate in the... Tayo ang mag-usap. Kung yayaman ka diyan, mas maligaya ako. Kaibigan kita eh.”

Sought for clarification on the President’s remarks, Palace spokesperson Harry Roque said on Wednesday that Duterte is not practicing cronyism, which involves giving favors to friends, especially in political appointments.


Source: https://www.gmanetwork.com/news/news/nation/747003/duterte-wants-his-friends-to-get-richer-but-palace-says-it-isn-t-cronyism/story/


Duterte says he wants 'helpful friends' to get richer

‘Yung kaibigan kong tumutulong, ‘pag yumaman ka nang yumaman, mas maligaya ako,’ says President Rodrigo Duterte

President Rodrigo Duterte claims he's on the warpath against "elites" and "oligarchs," but in a speech in Sulu, he said he won't hesitate to help his own friends "get rich."

Duterte made the statement while addressing troops in Jolo, Sulu, on Monday, July 13, directed, in particular, at Sulu Governor Sakur Tan, who was seated in front.

" 'Yung kaibigan kong tumutulong, 'pag yumaman ka nang yumaman, mas maligaya ako (My friends who are helpful, if you get richer and richer, I will be happy)," he said.
"Tutal ako, happy na ako sa buhay ko (Anyway, I'm already happy with my life). But I want you to get rich. But we have to talk because there is so much that we can do business," he continued.

Source: https://rappler.com/nation/duterte-says-wants-helpful-friends-get-richer


Duterte says he wants 'helpful friends' to get rich

President Rodrigo Duterte was referring to "the business community in general" when he said he wanted his "helpful friends" to get rich, Malacañang said Wednesday as it denied that the chief executive was practicing cronyism. 

"'Yung kaibigan kong tumutulong, 'pag yumaman ka nang yumaman, mas maligaya ako (My friends who are helpful, if you get richer and richer, I will be happy)," Duterte said in a speech in Sulu last Monday.
"Tutal ako, happy na ako sa buhay ko (Anyway, I'm already happy with my life). But I want you to get rich. But we have to talk because there is so much that we can do business," he continued. 

Source: https://news.abs-cbn.com/business/07/15/20/duterte-says-he-wants-helpful-friends-to-get-rich-palace-denies-its-cronyism


Duterte’s billionaire friends

He may be bashing the country’s so-called oligarchs at every turn, but in real life, President Duterte does not intrinsically hate the rich.

It seems he just disdains those from imperial Manila – especially Ivy League-educated, cigar-smoking aristocrats who can’t speak straight Filipino – or at least that’s how the narrative goes these days.

In contrast, President Duterte is fond of his rich friends in the Philippines’ D.C. – Davao City – and those from the rest of Mindanao and the Visayas.
Last week, for instance, the President happily graced the 86th birthday of transport magnate Olivia V. Yanson – billionaire matriarch of the warring Yanson family – at L’ Fisher Hotel in Bacolod City. Popularly known as OVY, Yanson is the widow of the late Ricardo Yanson Sr., founder of Vallacar Transit Inc. (VTI), the country’s largest bus company.

In his message during the party, Duterte acknowledged the support of OVY and the entire Yanson clan to his administration, particularly in the 2016 presidential election.

‘Utang na loob’

“They allowed me to talk to their employees then. Kaming mga Bisaya, malaking bagay ang utang na loob. Malaki ang utang na loob ko kay OVY (For us Visayans, ‘debt of gratitude’ is most important. I owe a huge ‘debt of gratitude’ to OVY)”, the President said.
During the party, which reportedly lasted until 4 a.m. the next day, Duterte being Duterte belted out “Ikaw” and other songs he personally dedicated to OVY.
Other VIP guests at the event were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo and Senators Bong Go, Cynthia Villar and Imee Marcos.

The celebrant

The center of attention during the party, of course, was OVY, who was overjoyed by Duterte’s presence.

As many know by now, OVY is the mother of six warring Yanson siblings caught in the midst of an ongoing intra-corporate war. Two opposing camps are battling for control over the management of the family-owned Yanson Group of Bus Companies, the country’s largest bus firm operating across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

Vallacar Transit is the biggest company under the Yanson Group which operates more than 4,000 buses nationwide, employs 18,000 workers, and serves 700,000 passengers daily.

Opening for reconciliation?

For the first time since the siblings’ bitter war broke out last year, a window of reconciliation seemed to have opened.

During OVY’s birthday celebration, the Yanson matriarch said her birthday wish is for the intra-corporate dispute to be resolved soon.

She appealed to her children to set aside their differences for the benefit of Ceres and Sugbo bus passengers across the country.

Even President Duterte shares OVY’s wish. Presidential spokesman Sal Panelo said the President told OVY about his wish that her family would reconcile on her birthday.

And why not? Given the bus company’s strategic importance in transporting goods and people across the country, it’s not surprising for the President to be keenly interested in the company’s stability.

With his persuasive powers, it’s not even far fetched for Duterte to broker peace among the warring Yanson siblings. After all, the smooth operation of the transport firm is in the country’s best interest.

But will the warring factions within the Yanson family accept the olive branch and end their bitter feud? That’s something everyone, including OVY, President Duterte and thousands of workers, are hoping for.

ABS-CBN’s fate

Speaking of billionaires, I heard that some of the country’s richest tycoons – both from imperial Manila and non-Manilenos – are quietly waiting in the wings in case the Lopez Group sells ABS-CBN.

Even those who are not in the business of media affairs or showbiz are suddenly eager to buy the beleaguered network should the Lopez family decide to sell. People close to The Palace believe that the network’s franchise would be renewed if the Lopezes will give up ownership.

But that would be absurd. I’m still hoping that Congress would approve the Lopez-owned network’s franchise renewal.

There are tens of thousands of jobs that are at stake. Between 10,000 and 11,000 people will immediately lose their jobs if the franchise is not renewed, said the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines.

As I said before, ABS-CBN is not perfect. With its nonsense soap operas and slapstick jokes in its variety shows,  it is partly to blame why the masses do not think critically and why they are easily lured into voting people into public office  even if their only track record is to be a heroic vigilante leader in Ang Probinsyano.

But I stand with the network because press freedom in the country is clearly at stake here. I would rather call on them to improve their shows rather than see them off the air.

I have added my signature to an online campaign at Change.org calling for ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal. I hope we all do.

I hope we all realize that a free press is necessary for democracy to flourish in the country and that threats against the press are also threats to our individual civil liberties.


Source: https://www.philstar.com/business/2020/01/27/1987970/dutertes-billionaire-friends


Crony capital: How Duterte embraced the oligarchs


President Rodrigo Duterte promised to destroy the Philippines' elite. Instead, he chose his own

The day Rodrigo Duterte became president, Roberto Ongpin was one of the Philippines' richest men. Ongpin had survived -- and prospered -- under six presidential administrations by trading favors and greasing friendships with politicians. He had a full arsenal of luxuries at his disposal, including a billionaire's island dotted with villas, serviced by butlers and accessible by a fleet of private jets, and an exclusive club at the center of the capital's business district, where the whiskey was poured each day at precisely 5 p.m. and far into the night.

During his populist campaign for president in 2015 and 2016, Duterte took aim at the corruption and excesses of wealth-hoarding ruling families like Ongpin's. He called them "a cancer on society," and "illustrious idiots" who flew around in private planes while the Filipino people suffered.

Then, just four days into his term, Duterte unloaded. "The plan is to destroy the oligarchs embedded in the government," he said. "I'll give you an example publicly: Ongpin, Roberto."


Shares of Ongpin's public companies plummeted. By Duterte's second month in office, the tycoon had stepped down as chairman of PhilWeb, his online gambling company. "He knew the game was up," Apa Ongpin, Roberto's nephew and former executive at PhilWeb, recounted in an interview with the Nikkei Asian Review.

The stunning takedown of a man who was a fixture in the murky borderlands between Philippine politics and business sent waves of shock and fear through the country's elite.


Three years on, what Duterte framed as a systemic transformation has come to look more like a personal vendetta. One prominent tycoon who spoke on condition of anonymity described the takedown of Roberto Ongpin as ultimately insignificant -- "a grain of sand." Rather than sending a clear message to the country's business oligarchs, the episode left many believing that Duterte has simply opened the door to a new wave of businesspeople and loyalists, who have been given access to political power and lucrative government contracts.

"The cast of characters is not changing," said Lala Rimando, a journalist, who is writing a book on the Philippine business elite. "They're just being added to."

One former high-ranking elected official went a step further. Far from taking down a system of businessmen and politicians working together for personal profit, Duterte is "cultivating his own set of cronies," he said.


Davao connections

Few men have had a more spectacular rise than Dennis Uy. Uy, a 45-year-old third-generation Chinese-Filipino from Davao del Norte, is the son of provincial traders who dealt in copra, maize and bananas. As he described in an interview with Nikkei in 2017, Uy met Duterte in Davao city, where he was mayor for over two decades. The men became friends. "He is a mentor in life [and] in leadership," Uy said of Duterte.

Uy built Phoenix Petroleum Philippines, his fuel company, into one of the largest in the country, capable of going head-to-head with Chevron. He also expanded his business into shipping and logistics. By 2016, Uy was one of Duterte's top presidential campaign donors. The next year, Duterte rang the bell at the Philippine Stock Exchange on the 10th anniversary of Phoenix going public. Uy and Duterte patted each other on the shoulders and traded effusive public compliments.


Since then, Uy has embarked on a head-spinning acquisition spree: convenience stores, a digital startup, a casino franchise, a bakery chain, a Ferrari dealership, and a water utility -- H2O Ventures, which was used to gain a backdoor listing on the stock exchange, and has since been turned into a casino developer. On top of all that, he gained rights to develop a 177-hectare multiuse city with office buildings, high-end retail outlets, sport centers and a resort, rising from a former American air base 90 km north of Manila.

Uy has racked up directorates and seats on the boards of companies, many of them owned by old-money oligarchs eager to associate with a man so closely linked with Duterte. Before Duterte became president, Uy was on the board of three public companies. By 2019, Dow Jones research shows that he is CEO, chairman or director at 27 firms, and a member of numerous professional and regional organizations. This year, he debuted on Forbes' list of the richest Filipinos at number 22. He has, in the past, denied using his personal relationship with Duterte for economic gain. Uy did not respond to multiple requests for an interview for this article.

Even though Uy projects an image of soft-spoken, provincial humility, one tycoon who has had dealings with him described a man fond of ostentatious displays of wealth and with a penchant for sports cars and other luxuries.

"He has a Richard Mille watch that you should not be wearing when you've got so much debt to the banks," he said, referencing timepieces that sell for six figures. He wants to be a "big shot," the tycoon said. "He wants to be the next taipan."

His rush to the top has been fueled partly by borrowing. Uy is estimated by Forbes Asia to have amassed around $2 billion in debt.


Source: https://asia.nikkei.com/Spotlight/The-Big-Story/Crony-capital-How-Duterte-embraced-the-oligarchs


Uberpacman: Duterte crony Dennis Uy buys or forms 36 companies in 24 months

Everything counts in large amounts for bilyonaryo Dennis Uy who has come from obscurity to supernova under the term of his patron, President Rodrigo Duterte.


The Duterte crony has overshadowed the Forbes 50 Filipino bilyonaryos with his debt-propelled buying binge worth roughly P70 bllion in just the first two years of this administration.
The Davao-based businessman, who reported a P30 million donation to Duterte’s campaign kitty in 2016, has expanded his oil distribution business into shipping, estate development, hotel and casino, food retailing, water, and power.
Here are the 36 companies that Uy has bought or formed so far under the Duterte administration:

2016

1) Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp. 2) Udenna investments BV 3) Davao Gulf Marine Services, Inc. 4) Trans-Asia Shipping Lines, Inc. (TASLI) 5) Ocean Star Shipping Corp. 6) Starsy Shoppe, Inc. 7) Dynamic Cuisine, Inc. 8) Quality Metal & Shipworks, Inc. 9) Chelsea Marine Manpower Resources, Inc. (CMMRI) 10) KGLI-NM Holdings, Inc. (majority owner of Negros Navigation which2Go shipping Group)

2017

12) Phoenix LPG Philippines Inc. 13) Duta Inc. (owner of Petronas LPG) 14) Kaparangan Inc. 15) Enderun Colleges Inc. 16) ADF Enderun 1010 Inc. 17) Lapu-Lapu Land Corp. 18) Global Gateway Development Corp. (GGDC) (Cayman) 19) GGDC Holdings Inc. (Cayman) * The Cayman firms were used for his P50.2 billion takeover of the Clark project from Kuwaiti investors

2018

1) Philippine FamilyMart CVS, Inc. 2) Joint venture with TIPCO Asphalt Public Company Limited (TIPCO Asphalt) 3) Pos!ble.net, a digital payment startup (P72 million) 4) Restauarnt chian Conti’s Holdings Corp. (CHC) 5) H2O Ventures Corp. (Calapan Waterworks Corp.)

6) PXP Energy Corporation (formerly Philex Petroleum Corporation) 7) Autostrada Motore Inc.(Philippine Ferrari distributor)

Before Duterte won as president, Uy formed or bought into less than a dozen firms in 20 years since his first investment:

1) Udenna Trade Corp. (2014) 2) Udenna Tower Corp. (2014) 3) Udenna Capital Inc. (2012) 4) Udenna Energy Corp. (2010) 5) Udenna Environmental Services Inc. (2010) 6) Udenna Development Corp. (2010) 7) Udenna Managements and Resources Corp. (2007) 8) Phoenix Petroleum Holdings Inc. (2007) 9) Phoenix Udenna Insurance Brokers Inc. (2007) 10) Global Synergy Trade and Distribution Corp. (2007) 11) Calaca Industrial Seaport Corp. (1996)

These figures were culled from the report made by Uy to the Securities and Exchange Commission in compliance with the disclosure requirements for its backdoor listing through ISM Communications Corp. of Marcos crony Roberto V. Ongpin to hold Uy’s P72 billion assets.


Source: https://politics.com.ph/uberpacman-duterte-crony-dennis-uy-buys-or-forms-35-companies-in-24-months1/


KONTRATA NG WATER FIRMS IPAPASA SA CRONIES?

IBINUNYAG ng isa sa mga malaking samahan ng mga manggagawang Filipino ang pinaniniwalaan nitong ‘masamang plano’ ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte sa pagbira sa dalawang kumpanyang may kontrol sa negosyong distribyusyon ng tubig sa National Capital Region (NCR) at mga karatig lalawigan.

Ayon kay Leody de Guzman, tagapangulo ng Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP), malaki  ang kanilang duda na kaya binibira ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang mga korporasyong hawak ng mga Ayala at Pangilinan ay para agawin at ibigay sa kanyang mga malapit na kaibigan o cronies.

Ang tinutukoy ni De Guzman ay ang mag-asawang dating Senador Manny Villar at Senadora Cynthia Villar, Ramon Ang at Dennis Uy.

Nabatid ang nalalaman ni De Guzman makaraang kunin ng Saksi Ngayon ang pahayag ng beterang lider ng BMP kaugnay sa inihayag ni Duterte na tinatapos na ng Department of Justice (DOJ) at Office of Solicitor General (OSG) ang bagong laman ng kasunduan ng pamahalaan sa pamamagitan ng Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), at Manila Water Company Inc. at Maynilad Water Services Inc.

Matatandaang idiniin ni Duterte na pinatanggal niya ang mga “onerous provisions” sa kontratang pinagkaisahan noong 1997 (panahon ni Fidel Ramos) na hanggang 2022 ang itatagal ng serbisyo sa  distribyusyon ng tubig ng Manila Water at Maynilad sa NCR at mga karatig lalawigan.

Pinahaba ito ng MWSS hanggang 2037 noong 2009 (panahon ni Gloria Macapagal Arroyo).

Batay pa sa sinabi ni Duterte, sa bagong kontratang iaalok ng pamahalaan sa Manila Water at Maynilad ay hindi nangangahulugang hindi na hahabulin ng kanyang Duterte ang mga dalawang dambuhalang kumpanya na posibleng kasuhan pa ng iba’t ibang kasong kriminal.

Ayon naman  kay DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra, kung sakaling tanggihan ng Manila Water at Maynilad ang “bagong kasunduan,” mapipilitang kumpiskahin ng pamahalaan ang distrisyusyon ng tubig at ialok ito sa ibang mga kumpanya.

Inihayag ni De Guzman na ang tunay na layunin ni Duterte sa pagsasabing hindi plano ng pamahalaan na patakbuhin ang sektor ng tubig  para sa interes at kagalingan ng mamamayan ay dahil ipapasa ito sa mga kaibigan ng pangulo.

“Ang patunay d’yan, wala s’yang plano na ipagbawal na ang privatization sa tubig at sektor ng serbisyo tulad ng kuryente, ospital , paaralan at transportasyon,” patuloy ng lider-manggagawa.

Idiniin pa ni De Guzman na walang plano si Duterte na huwag pahirapan ang mamamayang Filipino dahil wala sa adyenda niya na tapusin na ang patakarang praybitisasyon ng mga serbisyo-publiko.

Nagsimula ang praybitisasyon sa panahon ni Corazon Cojuangco Aquino III, ina ni dating Pangulong Benigno Aquino III.

Sina Manny at Cynthia Villar ay pinaniniwalaang nagbigay ng pondo sa kampanya ni Duterte sa pagkapangulo noong 2016 at ang pagkakapuwesto umano ng anak nilang si dating Las Pinas Rep. Mark Villar bilang kalihim ng Department of Public Works and Highways at ng asawa niyang si Emmeline Aglipay Villar bilang DOJ undersecretary ang umano’y “bayad”.

Ang pamilya Villar ay pasok sa negosyong distribyusyon ng tubig sa mga lalawigan sa pamamagitan ng kumpanya nilang Prime Water Infrastructure Corporation.

Ayon kay Senador Richard Gordon, 63 sa 76 water districts sa bansa ay nakuha ng Prime Water Infrastructure Corporation.

Ang nakuha naman ni Ang ay ang patuloy na paglago ng negosyo ng San Miguel Corporation (SMC).

Si Dennis Uy naman na taga-Davao ay biglang naging higanteng negosyante.

Nakuha ng pag-aari ni Uy na Dito Telecommunity Corporation (dating Mislatel o Mindanao Islamic Telephone) ang pagiging “third telco” ng bansa.

Kasosyo ni Uy ang China Telecom na pag-aari ng pamahalaan ng China.


Source: http://saksingayon.com/nasyunal/kontrata-ng-water-firms-ipapasa-sa-cronies/


Meet Ramon Ang, Filipino billionaire and Duterte's friend

As Ramon Ang aggressively expands his businesses, he stays on the good side of President Rodrigo Duterte through his philanthropy and campaign donations


Amid President Rodrigo Duterte's war against a select business elite, Ramon See Ang remains on the administration's good side.
Ang, who has an estimated wealth of $1.4 billion and the 11th richest man in the Philippines as of June 2017, according to Forbes data, is unlike other tycoons and business families that Duterte has targeted. Ang's businesses, including diversified P255-billion conglomerate San Miguel Corporation and newly listed Eagle Cement Corporation, have remained unscathed. 

A year into power, Duterte's tirades against select big business have caused tremors. Gaming and mining tycoon Roberto Ongpin gave up Philweb Corporation after Duterte threatened to "destroy" him. The Lopez family, the object of the President's ire because of the alleged unfair reports of ABS-CBN,  saw the top broadcast firm's stocks plummet

The Prieto family, which controls the Inquirer, recently announced a pending sale of their media assets, including the country's top broadsheet, to Ang.

Ang, who provided financial and other support to Duterte during the 2016 presidential campaign, has long wanted a media arm in his growing business portfolio. (READ:  Ramon Ang and his media interests)

The 63-year-old businessman surely knows the importance of politics and politicians when it comes to doing business in the Philippines. Since he handled the businesses of tycoon Eduardo Cojuangco Jr, who fled the country following the 1986 EDSA Revolution that toppled the Marcos regime, Ang has been swimming with the political and economic tide under 6 presidents already.


While some oligarchs of old have blatantly used their access to top politicians to curry favor and snag government contracts, Ang has charmed Duterte to just let him be. 


Under Duterte

Under Duterte, who repeatedly said he will leave business alone, Ang and other business groups have either been supportive or have stayed neutral on Duterte's pet issues, such as the war on drugs and terror.

Ang is among several Filipino businessmen who openly support Duterte on these issues. He even vowed support for Duterte's war on drugs, which the international community has criticized.

It's a formula that is seemingly working, and investors have amply rewarded Ang for this strategy. 

A year into Duterte's 6-year term, shares of listed San Miguel Corporation jumped P25.2 higher to P104 each on July 1, 2017, from P78.8 on June 30 last year. 

Bloomberg reported that the conglomerate's shares soared to the highest level in over 3 years during this period.

Under Ang's leadership, San Miguel continues to grow its network by undertaking merger and acquisition deals, as well as participating in public infrastructure projects.

In February 2017, Ang revived San Miguel's proposed $14-billion international airport project, rivaling the offer of the group of Henry Sy, the Philippines' richest man. It's meant to either replace or complement the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, the country's main gateway that is bursting at the seams.  


This multibillion-dollar unsolicited proposal is now undergoing review of the National Economic and Development Authority.

The following month, San Miguel announced plans of proposing a $2-billion, 14-meter spillway project that will allow the waters of Laguna de Bay in the east of Metro Manila to flow directly to Manila Bay. In exchange, Ang wants the government to give San Miguel the right to use waste materials from Laguna de Bay for power generation.

Over the course of Duterte's first year in office, the conglomerate has bought and merged with several firms – latest of which is its acquisition of Australian bottler Barossa Bottling Services.

In 2017, San Miguel also plans to break ground of its single biggest investment so far: a P1-trillion petrochemical facility in the south of Manila.

Donations, sponsorships

Ang, who did not come from an established Philippine business elite, has cultivated a friendship with Duterte, himself a political outlier from Davao City before bursting into the national political scene.    

Duterte disclosed that Ang offered to buy him a private jet for his safety, but he refused. (READ: Duterte: San Miguel's Ramon Ang was campaign donor)

From Singapore to Davao City, Ang has been there whenever Duterte needs support. During the President's state visit to Singapore in December 2016, the San Miguel president made efforts to gather Singaporean businessmen to meet with Duterte. In a housing project event in May, Duterte was all praises for Ang for his "philanthropic" deeds – even if the President had to wait for about 10 minutes because the businessman was stuck in traffic.


Aimed at helping the government pursue economic development in Sulu, Ang has promised to do the following: build a 50-megawatt coal-fired power plant, rebuild Hadji Butu School of Arts and Trades, and create a feed mill supply chain.

On several occassions, Ang has also expressed his optimism in the country's economic growth under Duterte. 

San Miguel donated P1 billion to the government to build new drug rehabilitation facilities. The conglomerate also pledged a P2-million business start-up package to the kin of each military personnel killed in action in Marawi City.

"Mark my word: This country will fly. This country will be a better place for our children and grandchildren because the drug problem will be eliminated under Duterte," Ang once said about the Duterte administration.

"If the President solves the problems of drug, criminality, and corruption, he will become the best president the Philippines has ever had," Ang added. 


Single concern

If there is one thing the self-made tycoon is skeptical about the administration, it would be its shift to official development assistance from public-private partnership (PPP) when it comes to implementing public infrastructure deals.

"It will be very complicated," Ang said in Filipino during a media briefing on Eagle Cement's market debut in May, when asked to comment on the policy shift.


With the government's plan to spend about P8 trillion on infrastructure until 2022, private investors are looking for ways to make the most of the ambitious program. But Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III had said the government will veer away from PPP deals as much as possible, causing uncertainty among investors.

"They want government-to-government because (of) low(er) cost, but if the government loans billions and billions, it will destroy the balance sheet of the Philippines," Ang told reporters.

Since the PPP thrust's launch in 2010, San Miguel has been an active participant in biddings. Of all the auctions it has participated in, San Miguel bagged a total of 4 PPP projects: NAIA Expressway project, Metro Rail Transit Line 7, Bulacan Bulk Water Supply project, and Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3.

"Me, I'll just bid and bid....I think the best is stick to the pronouncement of President Rodrigo Duterte: public bidding and unsolicited Swiss challenge. That's better," Ang told reporters. "I just hope for the faster delivery of these projects." 

San Miguel is banking on infrastructure for its long-term growth. The conglomerate aims to triple its net income to P156 billion by 2020, as it expects its investments in toll roads and other infrastructure deals to start contributing to its bottomline.


If achieved, it would be a "historical" income growth for San Miguel, which has diversified extensively under Ang's leadership.


Self-made

Gutsy and hardworking as described by friends and associates, Ang started by repairing and selling used Japanese truck and car engines before he linked up with Mark Cojuangco, son of Eduardo Cojuangco Jr, to sell aluminum wheels. They both shared the love for cars. 

When Francisco Eizmendi retired in 2002, Ang was appointed president and chief operating officer of San Miguel, monitoring the company's day-to-day operations. (READ: How Ramon Ang paid for Cojuangco's shares in San Miguel)

Ang was able to turn San Miguel from a food and beverage company into among the country's most diversified conglomerates. San Miguel now has interests in brewery, oil, power, mining, infrastructure, and most recently, car distribution. (READ: San Miguel's latest venture: BMW vehicles)

"When we started to diversify, people said I was crazy. But when you look at how far we’ve come today, do you think we made the right move or not?," Ang told Inquirer in 2012.


But not all ventures worked for Ang. The diversified conglomerate also entered telecommunications and aviation under Ang's leadership, but the businessman later  decided to divest from these sectors. (READ: San Miguel selling telco assets to PLDT, Globe and PAL buyback: Lucio Tan's change of heart)


Source: https://rappler.com/business/business-duterte-friend-ramon-ang-san-miguel


Look back: Duterte's tussles with big business

Going from threats to defying an international court order, President Duterte proves more and more that he will use every presidential power to pressure some of the country's biggest firms

President Rodrigo Duterte’s “war” against those he calls “oligarchs” has escalated with his latest threats against 3 big names in Philippine business – the Ayala family, tycoon Manny Pangilinan, and the Lopezes – all in the same curse-laden speech.

He’s been targeting certain businessmen early on, starting with property and mining magnate Roberto Ongpin in August 2016, a little over a month after he took his oath in Malacañang.

The presidential threats are ignited by any “injustice” Duterte perceives is done to the government – something he always takes very personally.

People close to him say that, even as mayor, and as early as his youth, Duterte had always exploded whenever he felt “cheated” or tricked.

When it’s an “injustice” done by big business, Duterte takes on the tone of a populist champion, pitting the firm and its owners as the enemy of the people and abusers of privilege.

Pakita ko sa Pilipino paano mag-sampal ng mga milyonaryo, bilyonaryo,” he boasted on Tuesday, December 3, before promising to give tycoons “a taste of prison life.” (I’ll show the Filipino how to slap a millionaire, billionaire.)

More than halfway into his presidency, Duterte has proven fully capable of pushing every button in his presidential arsenal to pressure businesses into giving in to government.


But for every magnate Duterte has threatened, there’s a tycoon he’s embraced. This has led observers to conclude that Duterte is not threatening the oligarchy but only introducing new faces, people loyal to him.

Weeks before his latest threats, Duterte visited the wakes of taipans John Gokongwei and Bong Tan.

Here’s a look back at the big businessmen he’s punished, and what became of them after the presidential tantrum.


Ongpin, Ferdinand Marcos’ former trade minister and among the richest Filipinos, was the first major business personality Duterte publicly condemned.

“The plan really is, destroy the oligarchs that are embedded in government. I'll give you an example, publicly – Ongpin, Roberto,” said Duterte in August 2016.

Ongpin’s PhilWeb Corporation was then days away from the expiration of its license agreement with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor). A day after Duterte’s remarks, its shares plunged by 36.88% to end at P8.95 each, their lowest level on the local bourse.

Ongpin resigned as PhilWeb chairman and sold his entire 53.76% stake in the firm to businessman Gregorio Araneta III, another Marcos crony. PhilWeb’s Pagcor accreditation was eventually renewed a year after.

Despite everything, Ongpin remains among the Philippines’ richest, ranking 15th in the Forbes 2019 list, with a net worth of $1.75 billion.


Less than a year later, in March 2017, Duterte’s ire had shifted to a cigarette manufacturer, Mighty Corporation, led by the brothers Alexander and Caesar Wongchuking. The government accused the firm of evading taxes by, among others, using fake tax stamps on their products.

The Bureau of Customs already planned to file a P1-billion tax evasion case against the company, but things moved much faster after Duterte’s public threat to arrest the brothers.

The firm eventually paid a P30-billion tax settlement case which Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III crowed was the “largest tax settlement in history.” Mighty Corporation had to sell its assets to Japan Tobacco International to come up with the settlement.

The billions from Mighty were used to fund the government’s Build, Build, Build infrastructure program, Malacañang said later on. Duterte’s spokesmen have since never wasted an opportunity to say such big money would never have landed in the government’s lap were it not for the President’s political will.


Less than a month later, Duterte made his first serious threat against two influential clans who own media companies he accused of unfair reporting about his government – the Lopezes of ABS-CBN and the Prietos of the Inquirer Group of Companies.


What began as threats of impending “karma” against the television-radio network and broadsheet ripened into a vow to block ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal and to file charges against the Prietos over various business deals.

After Duterte’s latest repetition of his threat against ABS-CBN, the network’s shares dipped. The House of Representatives, in charge of deliberating over the franchise renewal bill, said it would tackle the measure in 2020 instead of in 2019 as it earlier promised. The franchise expires on March 30, 2020. All bills end up on Duterte’s desk for final approval.


Two weeks after railing against the Lopezes and Prietos, Duterte went after an even bigger taipan, billionaire Lucio Tan.

“Lucio Tan has almost billion, P30 billion [in unpaid taxes]. He has to pay,” said Duterte on April 15, 2017, in front of Filipino migrants in the Middle East.

Since 2016, the transportation department had been breathing down the neck of Tan’s Philippine Airlines for unpaid taxes. In September, months after Duterte’s outburst, it asked PAL to settle some P7 billion in tax liabilities in 30 days.

Duterte publicly backed the department, with a threat to close down the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2, exclusively used by PAL, if it did not pay up. PAL coughed up the funds over a month later.


Since then, there has been a marked shift in Duterte’s public statements about Tan.

In 2018, after PAL flew home stranded overseas Filipino workers for free and made various donations to Marawi rehabilitation and other projects, Duterte declared Tan his new friend.

"Because of this incident, Mr Lucio Tan, I am going to shut up forever. Okay na sa akin, tapos na (It's okay with me, it's over)," said the President in February 2018.

Duterte now often graces events hosted by Tan and business groups he leads.

Evidently, helping government programs is one way into Duterte’s good graces. Conversely, Duterte could be using his threats to get big business to do what he wants.


Duterte’s beef with Maynilad Water Services is not the only issue he has with billionaire Manny Pangilinan, whose Metro Pacific Investments Corp holds a controlling stake in the water concessionaire.

The President had also fumed after hearing that Pangilinan expected his company, PLDT Incorporated, to be paid some P3 billion for frequencies it surrendered to the government and which Duterte wanted to give to a 3rd telco player.

Back in 2011, PLDT and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) agreed that PLDT would get monetary compensation for the frequencies of Cure (Connectivity Unlimited Resource Enterprises). Duterte didn’t want to give this compensation, saying that Cure’s frequencies were provided by the government for free and thus should not cost the government when it wanted them back.


A month later, Duterte got what he wanted. Pangilinan formally gave up the frequencies, at no cost to the government, paving the way for a 3rd telco. This new telco is now Dito Telecommunity, owned by Duterte’s longtime friend, Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy.


The Ayalas had so far managed to avoid any public tussle with Duterte, until March this year when one of Ayala Corporation’s subsidiaries, Manila Water, got a tongue-lashing from the President over the water crisis.

Even then, Duterte didn’t mention their family publicly. That all changed last Tuesday.

“I can assume that money really talks. Sabihin ni Ayala, “Wala.” Huwag mo akong bolahin. Don’t fuck with me. I know you. Nilaro ninyo ‘yung Pilipino sa pera,” said Duterte on Thursday, two days after his first outburst.

(I can assume that money really talks. Ayala will say, "Nothing." Don’t lie to me. Don’t fuck with me. I know you. You’re playing with the Filipino’s money.)

Duterte is ready to defy an arbitration award won by Manila Water against the government. He’s refusing to pay the P7.4 billion which the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Singapore says the government owes the Ayala-led firm.


Apple of Duterte's eye

If it’s “trickery” by corporations that pisses Duterte off, flattery and loyalty can win him over.
The businessmen who’ve won public accolades from Duterte are either longtime friends from Davao or political allies.
There’s Dennis Uy, the young Davao-based businessman now on a dizzying acquisition spree and whose firm was recently named by the government as the 3rd telco player. Uy has easy access to Malacañang and was even named Duterte’s presidential adviser on sports. The year 2019 saw Uy debut in Forbes' list of the country's richest.
There’s Manny Villar, declared the country’s richest man in 2019 by Forbes, whose political party, the Nacionalista Party, is allied with Duterte’s. The President sang Villar praises in the same speech he made threats to the Ayalas and Pangilinan. The businessman’s son Mark is Duterte’s public works secretary, despite conflict of interest arising from the Villar family’s real estate business.
Duterte has effusively lauded Ramon Ang, chief of San Miguel Corporation and yet another of the country’s wealthiest, for his “guts” as a businessman and for his philanthropy. (READ: Meet Ramon Ang, Filipino billionaire and Duterte's friend)
Ang has donated several times to government efforts and is the major benefactor of the Pilipinong May Puso Foundation, a charity created in honor of Duterte’s mother. Duterte claimed Ang helped his 2016 presidential campaign though the businessman’s name is not in the list of campaign donors Duterte submitted to the Commission on Elections.
Like any other politician, Duterte owes a debt of gratitude to businessmen, mostly from Davao and Manila, who donated to his presidential bid.  (READ: Who's who in Duterte's poll contributors list)

Despite his spats with some of the country's richest, Duterte has consistently scored high approval ratings among the upperclass.

Businessmen avoid criticizing Duterte in public and most business chambers and groups generally say they support his governance. Will this last until the end of his presidency or will tensions between him and powerful conglomerates escalate to breaking point?


Source: https://rappler.com/newsbreak/iq/look-back-duterte-tussles-big-businesses


Duterte’s Lesson Taught Philippine Tycoon to Toughen Up

Philippine tycoon Dennis Uy has built an empire spanning oil, shipping, casinos and telecommunications, but eight years ago his oil-trading business was in trouble over government allegations of fuel smuggling.

Uy went to see the local mayor, a family friend from childhood, for advice. The mayor was Rodrigo Duterte, the country’s current president.

“He said my image is soft, so I should practice before a mirror saying, “You son of a b****,’ 100 times,” Uy said in an interview in Manila. “He doesn’t like when a person is bullied.”

Uy says Duterte hasn’t played a direct role in his businesses, but the advice worked. He was cleared of the smuggling charges and went on to quadruple profit at his Phoenix Petroleum Philippines Inc. in the five years through the end of 2018. Along the way, he says, he gained the toughness Duterte had been trying to instill in him.

“If you survived petroleum and shipping, it trains you to be battle ready,” said Uy, 46. “In petroleum, to get your 1 peso margin, you watch everything from storage to trucking, and it’s common to give credit and deal with currency and oil price fluctuations.”

Before Duterte’s rise, the southern province of Davao was better known for its tropical fruit and an endangered species of monkey-eating eagle than for business powerhouses like Uy’s.

But in the past few years, Uy, who donated to Duterte’s presidential campaign, has spread far beyond the region, assembling assets that are eating into industries ruled by some of the country’s richest and oldest business dynasties.

In 2018, Uy’s teamed up with China Telecommunications Corp., to win a telecommunications license to challenge the duopoly of Smart Communications Inc.and Globe Telecom Inc. Uy had no previous experience as a carrier, but his company, now called Dito Telecommunity Corp., emerged as the sole bidder. Duterte has repeatedly called for greater competition in the industry, which has some of the highest mobile rates and slowest service in Southeast Asia.

After Duterte encouraged the Chinese wireless giant to join the competition, Norway’s Telenor ASA and Austria’s Mobiltel AG, which had bought documents to participate, didn’t bid. Streamtech Systems Technologies Inc., led by the Philippine’s richest person Manuel Villar, withdrew from the race.

Smart is owned by PLDT Inc., whose Chairman Manuel Pangilinan has been repeatedly criticized by Duterte as an out-of-touch elite. The carrier’s largest shareholders include JG Summit Holdings Inc., the banking, aviation and retail conglomerate now run by Lance Gokongwei, founder John Gokongwei Jr.’s son.

The other telecom operator, Globe, has Ayala Corp. as one of its largest shareholders. Ayala is led by Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala II, a frequent Duterte target.

Philippines Lets China Telecom Venture Build on Military Land

President Duterte has also been a strong critic of the current telecommunications duopoly.

“The Philippines has been gravely fooled by the rich people in the Philippines,” he said on Jan. 23. “Just like Ayala and Pangilinan who own Globe and Smart. They are all thieves, those sons of b******,” he said, according to the official transcript of his speech.

A spokesmen for Ayala Corp. said the company didn’t want to comment on Duterte’s speech. A PLDT spokesman, who also represents Pangilinan, said he wouldn’t comment. Duterte’s spokesman hasn’t responded to requests for comment.


Source: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-02/duterte-s-lesson-taught-philippine-tycoon-to-toughen-up


How Duterte’s ‘tough’ advice helped Philippine tycoon Dennis Uy

  • Before Duterte’s rise, the southern province of Davao was better known for its tropical fruit than for business powerhouses like Uy’s

  • But in the past few years, Uy has spread far beyond the region, assembling assets that are eating into other industries

Philippine tycoon Dennis Uy has built an empire spanning oil, shipping, casinos and telecommunications, but eight years ago his oil-trading business was in trouble over government allegations of fuel smuggling.

Uy went to see the local mayor, a family friend from childhood, for advice. The mayor was Rodrigo Duterte , the country’s current president.

“He said my image is soft, so I should practice before a mirror saying, “You son of a b****,’ 100 times,” Uy said in an interview in Manila. “He doesn’t like when a person is bullied.”

Uy says Duterte has not played a direct role in his businesses, but the advice worked. He was cleared of the smuggling charges and went on to quadruple profit at his Phoenix Petroleum Philippines in the five years through the end of 2018. Along the way, he says, he gained the toughness Duterte had been trying to instil in him.


Dennis Uy, chairman and CEO of Phoenix Petroleum Philippines. Photo: AFP

Philippine tycoon Dennis Uy has built an empire spanning oil, shipping, casinos and telecommunications, but eight years ago his oil-trading business was in trouble over government allegations of fuel smuggling. Uy went to see the local mayor, a family friend from childhood, for advice. The mayor was Rodrigo Duterte , the country’s current president. “He said my image is soft, so I should practice before a mirror saying, “You son of a b****,’ 100 times,” Uy said in an interview in Manila. “He doesn’t like when a person is bullied.” Uy says Duterte has not played a direct role in his businesses, but the advice worked. He was cleared of the smuggling charges and went on to quadruple profit at his Phoenix Petroleum Philippines in the five years through the end of 2018. Along the way, he says, he gained the toughness Duterte had been trying to instil in him. “If you survived petroleum and shipping, it trains you to be battle ready,” said Uy, 46. “In petroleum, to get your 1 peso margin, you watch everything from storage to trucking, and it’s common to give credit and deal with currency and oil price fluctuations.” Before Duterte’s rise, the southern province of Davao was better known for its tropical fruit and an endangered species of monkey-eating eagle than for business powerhouses like Uy’s. But in the past few years, Uy, who donated to Duterte’s presidential campaign, has spread far beyond the region, assembling assets that are eating into industries ruled by some of the country’s richest and oldest business dynasties.

In 2018, Uy teamed up with

China Telecom

, to win a telecommunications license to challenge the duopoly of Smart Communications and Globe Telecom. Uy had no previous experience as a carrier, but his company, now called Dito Telecommunity, emerged as the sole bidder. Duterte has repeatedly called for greater competition in the industry, which has some of the highest mobile rates and slowest service in

Southeast Asia

.

After Duterte encouraged the Chinese wireless giant to join the competition, Norway’s Telenor and Austria ’s Mobiltel, which had bought documents to participate, did not bid. Streamtech Systems Technologies, led by the Philippine’s richest person Manuel Villar, withdrew from the race.


Smart is owned by PLDT, whose Chairman Manuel Pangilinan has been repeatedly criticised by Duterte as an out-of-touch elite. The carrier’s largest shareholders include JG Summit Holdings, the banking, aviation and retail conglomerate now run by Lance Gokongwei, founder John Gokongwei Jnr’s son.


The other telecom operator, Globe, has Ayala as one of its largest shareholders. Ayala is led by Chairman Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala II, a frequent Duterte target.


Duterte has also been a strong critic of the current telecommunications duopoly.


“The Philippines has been gravely fooled by the rich people in the Philippines,” he said on January 23. “Just like Ayala and Pangilinan who own Globe and Smart. They are all thieves, those sons of b******,” he said, according to the official transcript of his speech.

A spokesman for Ayala said the company did not want to comment on Duterte’s speech. A PLDT spokesman, who also represents Pangilinan, said he would not comment. Duterte’s spokesman has not responded to requests for comment.

Uy also lacked experience in the gambling resort business, but won the first such license offered after Duterte became president, gaining permission to build a US$300 million casino complex on a resort island in Cebu.


With a casino, Uy will be in competition with Enrique Razon, a third-generation heir of a ports and cargo empire who founded Bloomberry Resorts, developer of the Solaire Resort and Casino in Manila’s Entertainment City suburb. Razon, with a net worth of about US$4.6 billion, is the country’s richest person after Villar, according to the Bloomberg Billionaire’s Index.

Uy’s gambling resort will also put him in competition with the family behind Belle Corporation, which owns a stake in Manila’s City of Dreams casino. Belle is part of the family-controlled empire built by the late Henry Sy. The Sy group encompasses BDO Unibank, Uy’s biggest creditor, and has a shipping and logistics venture with him, 2GO Group.

“You always have to look out for opportunities whether small or big or whether it’s aligned to what you’re doing or not,” Uy said. “We look at industries where we can be where we can be in the top 5, or where we have the means to compete or there is room to serve the customer better.”


Uy built his group on the foundation of Phoenix Petroleum, which he started in 2002, four years after the nation deregulated its oil industry. It is now the No 3 Philippine petrol retailer after taking market share from Royal Dutch Shell local unit and Petron by offering round-the-clock service to business clients such as Cebu Air, part of the Gokongwei group.

Uy’s surge into the ranks of Philippine conglomerates was largely financed by borrowing. Total debt has mushroomed from about 14 billion pesos (US$275 million) to 111.5 billion pesos in the four years ended December 2018, based on the most recent regulatory filing from his Udenna Corporation holding company.


“His friendship with Duterte opened opportunities to enter into new business that he grabbed aggressively,” said Rachelle Cruz, an analyst at AP Securities in Manila. “Uy’s main challenge now is making these businesses work and turning Udenna into a holding that would last beyond Duterte.”

Uy says his connection to the president isn’t the reason for his success.

“I am not close to the president,” he said in the interview. “He isn’t involved in any of our deals. He only gets to know from what he reads from newspapers.”

Uy said his aggressive expansion under Duterte is partly from confidence that the president has created a level playing that allows an outsider like him to do business.

“I’ve been always confident on the Philippines, but it’s different when you know the leadership and you are both from the same place,” Uy said


Source: https://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/3048743/how-dutertes-tough-advice-helped-philippine-tycoon-dennis



©2019 by bloggersjournalph. Proudly created with Wix.com