by Al Labita
HE has long shunned politics.
But like a ghost, his name haunts the political landscape now abuzz with rumors in the run-up to the 2016 elections.
From obscurity, Manuel V. Pangilinan, aka MVP, suddenly shot to prominence, being bruited about as a potential “dark horse” in the next presidential race. What props up MVP’s stock is his technocratic skill that transformed the once struggling Hong Kong-based First Pacific Company Ltd. into one of Asia’s profitable corporate titans. He may not have any political affiliation, but he has the money. The self-made billionaire sportsman has made it to the elite list of US-based Forbes Magazine as one of the Philippines’ richest men, joining the ranks of taipans Henry Sy, Lucio Tan and the Ayalas. He was listed as the Philippines’ 50th wealthiest with an estimated net worth of P4.5 billion as of July 2013.
Undoubtedly, MVP boasts impeccable credentials. As the top honcho of First Pacific, he steered its phenomenal growth over the past decades. From selling Indonesian noodles, the company diversified into banking, finance and property, mainly in Hong Kong and Jakarta, the headquarters of parent Salim Group. In mid ‘90s, MVP saw an opportunity to return to his country where he learned the ropes of the trade, so to speak, as an investment banker.
At the time, the telecom industry was liberalized, enabling him and his group to launch a bid to take over the then financially ailing Philippines Long Distance Telephone (PLDT). With PLDT as flagship, there was no stopping him from venturing into other profit centers — ranging from power to mining, toll roads, media, water and related utilities – all under a listed holding firm, Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC) chaired by MVP.
Today, the Philippines accounts for 70 percent of First Pacific’s offshore forays, a sign of his abiding faith and confidence in his country’s business potentials.
The Miracle Man
MVP has earned the trust of the very rich, with track record in making sure stakeholders in companies he runs get back their money’s worth. That kind of character is what the Philippines needs now. One who takes care of the trust given him by stockholders. One who has not and will not betray his bosses, the investors.
Our publication, OpinYon, is of the thought that the Philippines if run like a corporation could get out from the economic hole it is drowning in and bring real prosperity to this country. And who could run giant companies and turn around losses better than the proven miracle man himself – MVP.
Given the chance to run the Philippines like those giant companies he has turned around to make profits, MVP could serve his “bosses”, the Filipinos, like he is serving those who trust him with their money.
Given a change of heart in the people towards trapos, MVP has better than fair chance of earning the trust of the people and win the election for President.
After Pres. Benigno S. Aquino has been stripped of his mask and now earning public ridicule, most Filipinos are asking: who should lead this country?
MVP has the campaign infrastructure to win in a political contest. He has good grip of respected media in, print and broadcast. His business interests are almost everywhere in communications and utilities. He has an army of loyal workers, satisfied in their pay like at PLDT, Meralco and other MVP firms which are among blue chips traded on the Philippine bourse and are the usual top picks by both foreign and local investors.
Credit also goes to MVP for laying the foundation – in terms of infrastructure –of what is now known as “Global City,” a former Army Camp, in Taguig City after winning its public bidding. Amid public outrage over the “pork barrel” scandal, the tycoon appears to be a logical choice as an alternative to dyed-in-the-wool trapos in a rapidly shifting political milieu.
Should he throw his hat in the political arena, it’s likely the media outfits – TV 5, Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star and the Business World – under his corporate umbrella would come in handy in a political campaign.
But in his media comments, MVP has thumbed down any ambition to seek a public office.
‘There is no political blood that runs through my veins. I believe I can serve our people better some other way.”
He reacted to rumors that, on the prodding of friends and business associates, he would seek an elective position in the 2016 elections. Pundits believe he would make a great president, given his “technocratic skills.” At a recent forum on the 2016 presidential elections, organized by the Center for Philippine Futuristics Studies and Management Inc., political analyst Antonio Gatmaitan said Pangilinan “could bring his technocratic skills to address the complicated economic issues that will confront the nation and help address a few selective social issues.”
Gatmaitan knows whereof he speaks as he is the executive director of the Political Economic Applied Research Foundation. In case Pangilinan decides to run for the country’s top post in May 2016, Gatmaitan said: “Imagine the excitement it can create.” Ramon Casiple, the executive director of the Institute for Political and Electoral Reforms, said it is clear that Pangilinan has a political agenda in buying stakes in a diversified mix of financially distressed companies and turning them around as money spinners. He also believes Pangilinan would be the dark horse candidate in the 2016 presidential elections. “I agree there is a dark horse. And that’s MVP,” Casiple said.
Apolitical he may be, MVP’s thoughts – often expressed in media interviews – betray what could be his hidden political agenda. In not a few instances that he articulated his own vision for the country favoring investments in such critical businesses as tourism, mining, utilities and information and communications technology.
To him, investments in infrastructure such as power plants, toll roads, seaports and airports are vital to lower the cost of domestic production – ideas that would serve as dividends or profit-sharing with Filipinos should the government turn corporate-oriented and business-like under the banner of what would become the Philippines, Inc and with him as a prospective CEO.
Pangilinan believed that the country’s leaders should be more involved in coming up with long-term solutions and move beyond short-term crisis management if they aspire for the country to grow and move forward.
On election, his view is that it should provide a rare opportunity to define the country’s long-term economic and social priorities, and form a broad consensus around them.
He noted that the private sector should take the lead in mobilizing and directing infrastructure spending, adding the government’s assistance is needed as well.
“The private sector cannot operate on its own. It must seek government help and assistance. In infrastructure, public-private-sector partnership will be critical—the private sector being the moving force and the government providing the relevant incentives, support and enabling regulatory framework.” In more ways than one, MVP is also a philanthropist through his Kapatid Foundation.
In Bacolod city, the City Council approved a resolution declaring MVP an adopted son, noting that his life’s success story is an inspiration that is worth emulating by all Filipinos.
During his years in Hong Kong, he founded and chaired the Bayanihan Center that provided cultural and vocational activities for Filipino domestic workers there. In December 2012, he mobilized his telecommunication companies in a national telethon that raised millions of pesos to aid the victims of typhoon Pablo.
“This simple and hearty resolution is a manifestation that the city government of Bacolod truly recognizes the services and contributions of Pangilinan in the different sectors or our community,” the resolution reads.
Talk about MVP running for president is not new. In 2010, media placements launching the “Ako Mismo” advocacy movement fueled speculations that he was keen in the country’s plum post. Public perception then was that the movement was meant to be MVP’s platform had he decided to throw his hat in the political arena.
“If given the chance and if there is a possibility of winning, MVP will run for president,” a businessman said.
But, in a statement, MVP clarified that the movement was intended to awaken and spread the Filipinos’ sense of responsibility as an individual. “Our legacy is that reliance on community, government and family must be balanced by strong personal accountability,” he says.
“As for myself, I am not running for any political office. I am truly at home running a business,” a statement viewed with skepticism by doubting Thomases among eagle-eyed political watchers.
- A Worm’s-Eye View of the Current State of the Philippines (grbusinessonline.wordpress.com)
- Claim letter (innieyyyy.wordpress.com)
- Estrada: Why single us out? (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Savills Expands in Asia with New Philippines Associate (savills.co.uk)
- Candy Pangilinan not jealous over Eugene Domingo (entertainment.inquirer.net)
- Top PH firms help quake victims (rappler.com)
- From Pastor Leovin Pangilinan (happybirthdaypastorronald.wordpress.com)
- Nearly 100 Philippine rebels killed or captured (bigstory.ap.org)
- San Miguel to Raise $2 Billion Selling Stake in Manila Electric (bloomberg.com)
- Adjustment letter (innieyyyy.wordpress.com)
by: Prof Enrique Soriano
MANY would say (and they have a point) that initially, family members are only active in family businesses, because of the obvious reasons like being able to receive extraordinary financial gains (which they could never receive from other companies), better treatment by the administration, and the opportunity to select their preferred line of duty and their freedom to maintain a particular lifestyle. These are all undeniably true in most cases, but nonetheless, family businesses remain standing, because the family members eventually learn the value of teamwork amongst themselves.
In order to prepare the family members to develop solutions in salvaging the family business, it is always helpful to be honest with everybody’s needs and opinions. A dialogue wherein every single family member will have the chance to voice out his/her needs and thoughts about the company’s situation and other specific issues that need to be addressed could be a healthy practice. Stressing the guidelines beforehand and doing consistent reminders are ways to preventing these from happening. #OpinYon #business
read cont | http://bit.ly/GKaHla
- How do you know it’s the right thing to do? (bcrhawaii.wordpress.com)
- Can marital bliss translate into small business success? (hiscoxusa.com)
- Conway Center for Family Business Educates Family Businesses for Success (themetropreneur.com)
- Family business act in the pipeline (timesofmalta.com)
- Use External Surveillance to Secure Your Home, Family and Business (epicahome.com)
- How to prevent ownership disputes in family businesses (theguardian.com)
- Cult of entrepreneur trumps the family enterprise (ft.com)
- 7 Pitfalls That Can Cripple a Family Business (hispanicbusiness.com)
- These virtual events will teach you the importance of cyber security, explain what the Affordable Healthcare Act means for your small business and more (hiscoxusa.com)
- Family Businesses in Transition (greencompass.wordpress.com)
[by Miguel Raymundo]
THE guessing game is on. Will PNoy finish his term?
The answer to that question is not a dare to impeach him, but also how deep the Filipinos are hurt by an incompetent and dishonest President.
“Impeach me!” President Benigno S. Aquino III dares the people.
Believing in “doctored” surveys, Aquino is confident—and deludes himself that the people love him and his family so much that they can empty with impunity this poor country’s coffers and that still more Filipinos will keep them on the pedestal.
He is likely to lose this dare as the middle class has taken to the streets and is now leading the march to stamp out corruption in government and bring behind bars those who have stolen people’s money. #OpinYon #PNoy #Incompetent #Dishonest#Philippines
read cont | http://bit.ly/15UPQqq
- Sins of Cory (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- Aquino dare smacks of political arrogance – militants (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- PH ups penalties for animal cruelty amid ‘crush video’ fury (rappler.com)
- HK newsmen heckle PNoy; axed at APEC (manilastandardtoday.com)
- Aquino warned to heed call to scrap ‘pork’ or face ‘point of no return’ (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Aquino, other gov’t execs in plunder raps (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Rappler Newscast | October 2, 2013 (rappler.com)
- Filipino troops retake 70% of rebel-held villages (bigstory.ap.org)
- PNoy rules out second term even if Charter allows it (manilastandardtoday.com)
- PNoy dares critics: Impeach me (rappler.com)
by: Erick San Juan
WHEN former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at the East-West center in Hawaii in October 2010, she emphasized three key elements of the US engagement in Asia. The US’s relationship with its allies, their relations with partners across the Asia pacific region and US participation in the region’s multilateral institutions such as the ASEAN, APEC and EAS. (Source: China vs US: Military Conflict in the South China Sea, The World Outline)
Since then, there has been much talk of the mighty Uncle Sam’s return to Asia-Pacific region and even referred to himself (President Barack Obama) as ‘America’s first Pacific President’ without even consulting first his history books of America’s past leaders who deserves the title better.
With so much rhetoric and doublespeak of the real intentions of this pivot to the region, the truth of the matter is, they never left.
“They have maintained a forward military, political and economic presence in Asia as well as Europe since the Second World War. In short, they have pursued a political and economic open door policy underpinned by the ability to project force outside their own western hemisphere.” (Ibid) And in this case, the classic example of what I am trying to emphasize here is the US military presence in the Philippines. #OpinYon #opinion
read cont | http://bit.ly/19gODur
- US and China tussle for trade dominance at APEC (channelnewsasia.com)
- APEC should lead a more open world economy, play a bigger role: President Xi said (rightways.wordpress.com)
- Disputes Cloud Asia-Pacific Summit Focus On Trade (theepochtimes.com)
- China, Russia to join forces in Asia Pacific (thebricspost.com)
- Southeast Asia in global spotlight with APEC, ASEAN & East Asia summits (indrus.in)
- Disputes cloud Asia-Pacific summit focus on trade (sfgate.com)
- John Kerry: U.S. commitment to Asia strong despite Obama’s absence (upi.com)
- Russia’s economics minister: Global economy shifts focus to Asia-Pacific region (rbth.asia)
- Russia sees a peaceful, stable and developed Asia-Pacific region (indrus.in)
- Rise in Investment to Continue in Asia Pacific (virtual-strategy.com)
by: Erick San Juan
A LITTLE over a year now, Russia hosted the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum in its Pacific port of Vladivostok. Back then. Russian President Vladimir Putin signaled that Moscow’s interest in Asia was rising as the traditional market for its energy and raw materials—the euro zone–wallowed in crisis and stagnation. And After America’s much-ballyhooed “pivot to Asia,” it is now Russia’s turn. (Source: Russia’s Pivot to Asia? by Ariel Cohen, Ph.D.)
Why not, given the following statistics, can Russia rebalance the two ‘superpowers’ in the Asia-Pacific region–United States and China. To wit: Russia produces more oil and natural gas than anyone else on the planet and because of this Russia is the number two oil exporter in the world and supplies 34 percent of Europe’s natural gas needs.
read cont | http://bit.ly/1dNlkyF
- 100 million dollar trip to Africa is not enough. The Obama’s head to Asia for Vacation. (gopthedailydose.com)
- TheObamaCrat™ Wake-Up Call: Monday The 30th Of September. (theobamacrat.com)
- $100 Million Octoberfest — Obama’s planning week-long trip to Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines… (redflagnews.com)
- PM to attend APEC and the East Asia Summit (pacific.scoop.co.nz)
- Putin to participate in APEC summit (indrus.in)
- China calls on APEC to promote FTA integration (nzweek.com)
- PM to attend APEC and the East Asia Summit (national.org.nz)
- LET US EAT CAKE?? – Obama Vacation to Asia covered in political spin ‘to increase U.S. political engagement’ (newsninja2012.com)
- Russia’s Strategic Choices In The Asia Pacific – Analysis (eurasiareview.com)
- Xi to address APEC summit on China’s reform (sierraexpressmedia.com)
by: Ramon Orosa
THE successful holding of the Million People March has caused such reverberations in the political life of our nation. The march has sent a strong message to the political leaders that people have reached a point of such disgust in the guileless and unconscionable corruption being so broadly practiced in the higher reaches of our land. Reforms must happen and all individuals involved must be charged and held to judicial account and, I might add, made to make restitution of what had been obtained fraudulently.
Real changes. Not the cosmetic variety which some politicians are still trying to bring forth to calm the people down, meaning fool them even more, but let’s keep the system going because we must not ruffle the feathers of the legislators who are good at grandstanding at the Administration’s expense. Or else, let us see if we can give the pork another collar or disguise it in another account title in the Budget and announce with much fanfare that PDAF has been eliminated. But, he…he…he…now we have greater control of the funds and thus improve our persuasive power and hold over Congress! #OpinYon #opinion
read cont | http://bit.ly/18oPxCQ
- The “Reform” Argument on the PDAF (socialwatchphilippines.wordpress.com)
- Interactive Communication (ckalisky.wordpress.com)
- PDAF scam – – a way to manipulates us all (collideanddecline.wordpress.com)
- Palace, solons ask SC to lift TRO on ‘pork’ (manilastandardtoday.com)
- Roles played by few political leaders under scanner (assamtribune.com)
- House of Cards: Episodes 1 & 2 (gethimtothegreek820.wordpress.com)
- Social media (thehindu.com)
- Regaining the people’s trust (opinion.inquirer.net)
By Miguel Raymundo
PRESIDENT Aquino’s choice to stay in the Zamboanga war zone and away from Malacañang is taking a toll on his Presidency.
With much of Zamboanga’s commercial and business facilities shut down because of continued fighting between government forces and Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) rebels, the President is unable to attend to other issues of import that require his immediate attention.
Away from the public eye since Sept. 14 when he left the Palace for Zamboanga City, many are wondering what the President is doing there and who’s running the government’s affairs while he is away.
Is the President still in control? Has he gone AWOL to escape public censure over the P10-billion pork barrel scandal? Is he just sitting around playing his video games—content to sit in the sidelines while the lives and livelihood of the people of Zamboanga lie in the balance?
read cont | http://bit.ly/15srVOR
- Schools reopen in Zamboanga (channelnewsasia.com)
- Classes resume in 149 schools in Zamboanga City (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- PNoy: Zambo standoff ‘getting closer to an end’ (mindanews.com)
- Financing Misuari (opinion.inquirer.net)
- Truce talks fail (manilastandardtoday.com)
- Aquino in Zamboanga for 5 days: No newspapers to read, no stand on key issues (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- P3.89B to rebuild Zamboanga City, says Aquino (rappler.com)
- President on top of things from Zamboanga – Coloma (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Zamboanga City: The Death of Army 2nd Lt. Meneses (5secondsofsummerfacts.wordpress.com)
- Malacañang condemns Zamboanga City attack (rappler.com)
by: Boy Villasanta
IN the recently concluded maiden edition of the Film Development Council of the Philippines’ Sineng Pambansa National Film Festival, alternately dubbed as All Masters Film Festival, participated in by the country’s veteran directors, Filipino matriarchs were once again painted and presented in multi-colored and multi-dimensional types.
These were, more or less, underscored in the three (out of nine official entries) films we’ve watched.
In Gil M. Portes’ “Ang Tag-Araw ni Twinkle,” there were at least two mothers, one, Twinkle’s (Ellen Adarna) biological mom, a New People’s Army amazon who was shot dead by a junior military official during an encounter in the boondocks her baby wrapped in cloth around her chest during the fatal shootout, the other, the adoptive ma (Rina Reyes), the wife of senior officer General Payawal (Cris Villanueva).
In Jose Javier Reyes’ “Anong Kulay ang mga Nakalimutang Pangarap?,” there was one matriarch (each generation played intermittently by Madeleine Nicolas and Kimberly Diaz) and a surrogate one, the nanny Teresa (Rustica Carpio). #OpinYon #ePlus #entertainment
read cont | http://bit.ly/19xY9Fm
- 2013 National Film Festival starts Sept 11 (ivejustseenafilm.wordpress.com)
- An emerging ‘summer’ of fine cinema (opinion.inquirer.net)
- All-Masters Edition: 2013 National Film Festival (rappler.com)
- Indelible portrayals buoy up uneven lineup at Sineng Pambansa (entertainment.inquirer.net)
- Theater Time: Ang Tag-araw ni Twinkle (2013) (ivejustseenafilm.wordpress.com)
- Film events push industry development (manilastandardtoday.com)
- National Film Festival at SM Cinemas (manilastandardtoday.com)
- National Film Festival features 12 of the best directors in PH (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Ellen Adarna takes pride in indie role (rappler.com)
- Fdcp’s All-masters National Filmfest at Sm Cinemas Nationwide (naomispenny.blogspot.com)
ABOUT 10,530 kilometers of land and ocean separate the Philippines from Switzerland. But in an instant, Filipinos can easily answer what comes to mind when they hear “Swiss”—the Swiss knife, chocolate, cheese, watch, and the Swiss Alps.
Many generations of Pinoys have been raised on products made by the Swiss food and beverage giant Nestle and treated for various ailments using Swiss-manufactured medicines.
Fact is, Switzerland has had official relations with the Philippines since 1862, when the Philippines was still a Spanish colony and most of our revolutionary heroes were still toddlers. The Swiss Consulate in the Philippines was the very first consulate in Asia and have maintained consular offices here until today.
Their man in Manila today is Ambassador Ivo Sieber. And, the Philippines is close to Sieber’s heart because he has been married for some 20 years now to Gracita—a beautiful Filipina with whom he has two teenaged girls. #OpinYon #Foreign #Swiss
read cont | http://bit.ly/14F88t2
- Philippine revolts against Spain (en.wikipedia.org)
- PH picked to head UN bodyâs meeting on womenâs rights (globalnation.inquirer.net)
- Philippine Church ‘right’ despite Pope Francis comments (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Mug # 10 | Starbucks Icon Mug | Manila Starbucks Icon Mug (starbucksmugs.wordpress.com)
- Wake up. Love Philippines. (viejayordillo.wordpress.com)
- The Philippines, Pinoys in coming Oscars race (entertainment.inquirer.net)
- First in Asia: Philippine bananas to be sold in US (globalnation.inquirer.net)
- 3 Philippine-themed films submitted to Oscars (rappler.com)
- Orcollo, Corteza bring back World Cup of Pool title to Philippines (sports.inquirer.net)
- Philippines Is Ready for Fed Taper With Tools to Curb Outflows (bloomberg.com)
By Herman Tiu-Laurel
IN AUGUST of 2012 at the height of peace talks between the GRP (Government of the Republic of the Philippines) and the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front), the two negotiating parties belittled the possibility that the forces of Nur Misuari and the MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) and Amerail Umbra Kato’s BIFF (Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters) could derail the talks.
The convulsions the past week in Mindanao shows the folly of the government and MILF’s presumptuous disregard for the other stakeholders in Mindanao’s future. Then chief GRP negotiator and now Supreme Court Justice Marvic Leonen said, “As far as Nur forces, it is nothing we are too bothered about.”
On August 12, 2013 MNLF founding Chairman Nur Misuari declared the establishment of the United Federated States of Bangsamoro Republik in in his Sulu stronghold, envisioning a territory consisting of Mindanao, Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-Tawi, Palawan, and Sabah. This declaration came amidst the final stages of peace negotiations between the GRP and MILF to set up the Bangsamoro Political Entity that will replace the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) that became part of the 1987 Philippine Constitution and created by law through Republic Act No. 6734 known as the ARMM Organic Act.
continuation | http://bit.ly/1a2XwES
- Is the Moro Problem really over? Part II of Two Series (mussol22.wordpress.com)
- Misuari still in Sulu, says ARMM gov (rappler.com)
- Misuari, myths and the MNLF (rappler.com)
- Philippines Struggles With Muslim Rebels (ipsnews.net)
- Habier Malik: Trapped in the city he seized (rappler.com)
- Nightfall comes to Moro armed separatism (opinion.inquirer.net)
- OIC steps in; Misuari loses Kiram (manilastandardtoday.com)
- UPDATE: 200 civilians held hostage in Zamboanga City standoff; 6 killed, 24 wounded (mindanews.com)
- Betraying the Moro cause (dinmerican.wordpress.com)
- A BOHOLANO’S VIEW: Nur Misuari’s Challenge to the Bangsamoro Peace Process (mindanews.com)