Lucio Tan spooks son’s entry into MRC Allied

THE paid advisories placed by taipan Lucio Tan distancing himself and his group of companies from the reported acquisition of the listed MRC Allied by his eldest son, Lucio "Bong" Tan Jr., have apparently had the desired effect.

According to the grapevine, MRC Allied chairman Mariano "Mimo" Osmeña and his fellow directors were now thinking of unwinding the transaction, especially since the young Tan has yet to fully pay the reported P600-million acquisition cost for the 87-percent stake.

Osmeña, a son of former Cebu Gov. Emilio "Lito" Osmeña, and the Chinoy directors of MRC Allied apparently did not want to antagonize the taipan with their continued association with his son, especially with the very public warning issued by one of the country’s wealthiest men.

If the same grapevine is to be believed, the only one left rooting for Tan Jr. was his friend, MRC Allied president Benjamin Bitanga.

Tan Jr. was apparently caught unaware by the MRC disclosure that it had acquired about 6,000 hectares in mining claims in Mindanao adjoining the Tampakan deposit, which is said to be the largest undeveloped copper-gold deposit in the Southeast Asia.

On top of the disclosure, Tan Jr. was also apparently caught unaware that Bitanga had been reinstated by the MRC Allied board as president from the more humble position of corporate information officer.

Lucio Tan's brother asks to delay presentation of evidence
Posted at 11/18/2010 7:48 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Typan Lucio Tan's estranged brother, Mariano Tanenglian, has moved for the cancellation of the deadline set by the anti-graft court for his presentation of evidence in a 24-year-old ill-gotten wealth case.

In his 9-page motion filed last November 12, Tanenglian questioned the directive to present a rebuttal evidence before the Fifth Division of the Sandiganbayan.

Tanenglian cited the assurance by the court in the October 13, 2010 hearing that he would be given time to seek resolution of his application for immunity.

During the hearing last October 27, Tanenglian was ordered in open court to complete his presentation no later than November 25, 2010 as the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), represented by the Office of the Solicitor General, has been told to present rebuttal evidence starting December 1.

In the same motion, Tanenglian admitted that his previous application has been turned down by the PCGG and then Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera.

Likewise he said he received no reply to his letters of appeal to former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. Tanenglian said he has also written to President Benigno Aquino III to review his immunity application.

In her opinion sent to the PCGG on July 13, 2009, Devanadera expressed wariness at Tanenglian’s "obscure motives" for his offer of cooperation with the government case against his own brother.

She noted that Tanenglian’s offer came 20 years after the filing of the case and only after his reported rift with Tan.

In addition, Devanadera noted that Tanenglian held high positions in Tan’s companies and was named as one of the principal defendants in Civil Case no. 0005 because of his alleged active collaboration with former President Ferdinand Marcos and former First Lady Imelda Marcos in amassing ill-gotten wealth at the expense of public interest.

The Sandiganbayan ordered the termination of government presentation in April 2009 after OSG lawyers repeatedly failed to present any of its supposed witness resulting in several cancellations of hearing dates.

PCGG is claiming that 60% of Tan’s holdings in his companies including Fortune Tobacco Corp., Asia Brewery Inc., Allied Banking Corp., Foremost Farms, Himmel Industries Inc., Grandspan Development Corp., Silangan Holdings Inc., Dominium Realty and Construction Corp. and Shareholdings Inc. in behalf of the State.

The Marcos family has also stake its claim on the same shareholdings claiming former President Marcos was the actual owner of the said assets and he only named Lucio Tan as his nominee.

However, like Tanenglian, the Marcos family has yet to present any evidence in support of its claim.

On the other hand, Tan took less than 30 minutes last August 24 to complete his own presentation, submitting in court several pre-marked documents that lawyer Estelito Mendoza said sufficiently proved that Tan acquired all of his businesses without using any public fund.

PAL to pursue ‘anti-worker’ policies with people’s money
November 17, 2010 05:22:00
Philippine Daily Inquirer

PHILIPPINE AIRLINES’ plan to borrow P2.6 billion from government financial institutions such as the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) and Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) to finance its restructuring scheme is both appalling and alarming. It is appalling, as PAL has the audacity to seek help from the government in its effort to throw out 2,600 ground crew employees. It is disturbing that it is using the people’s own resources to fund its anti-people policies. Clearly, this is a classic case of niluluto tayo sa sarili nating mantika (frying ourselves in our own lard).

We warn DBP and LBP not to give in to the loan application of PAL. They must not be a party to this year’s massive retrenchment and in the further weakening of the workers’ right to security of tenure. The role of government financial institutions (GFIs) is to spur economic growth by financing job creation and small and medium enterprise endeavors in the urban and rural areas. When they lend money, which would only be used to retrench workers, they are contradicting their own principles and goals. They are financing unemployment. Worse, they are skewing efforts away from economic development.

The government is already in hot water over the labor department’s wrong decision approving the dismissal of thousands of regular workers. If the state banks approve PAL’s loan request, then it is also giving its consent to the obliteration of job security here in the Philippines.

Thus, we challenge the GFIs to immediately reject any loan application from PAL in order to fund its restructuring scheme with the end view of dismissing thousands of regular workers. They have no business acting as the union buster’s financier to its unfair labor practices. Instead, the state banks should prioritize the funding of small and medium enterprises as well as the financing of programs that will generate real jobs, including those in agriculture, which is the real core of economic development.

For our part, we will block all efforts from PAL to use the people’s money to finance anti-worker policies. We will be on our toes to ensure that no such deals push through. The people’s resources must not be part of any business plan that would place the workers and their families’ future in jeopardy.

spokesperson, Akbayan Party,
36-B Madasalin St. Sikatuna Village,
Quezon City

Brother against brother

THE FEUD between taipan Lucio Tan and Mariano Tanenglian was raised to new heights Sunday after the group of the airline and beer magnate took out an ad in this newspaper disavowing business ties with Kapitan’s estranged brother.

The ad-paid for by the Lucio Tan Group of Companies-told customers, clients "and all parties dealing with [it]" that Tanenglian "has ceased to be a director and/or officer" of some 22 firms under the group, including PAL, PNB, Asia Brewery and Fortune Tobacco.

"He has no authority to transact business and/or represent in any manner whatsoever any of the above-named companies," it added.

And lest anyone wonder what Tanenglian looks like, the ad also carried a picture of the taipan’s brother-wanted-poster style.

According to one source, the move was prompted by reports of Tanenglian’s return to the country from a self-imposed cooling off period (a.k.a. exile) abroad.

"The lawyers of the group just want to make sure there is no confusion on anyone’s part on his status," said another.

It now remains to be seen how Tanenglian will return the favor, given that he has already presented himself as a witness for the government’s case against Tan (with little success, so far).

The notice comes just a few weeks after Tan’s lawyers "clarified"-via a similar ad-the nature of the links (or the lack of them) between the group and the business of his son and namesake, Lucio Jr.-Daxim L. Lucas

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