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Friday, November 9, 2018

Global Pinoys: Is President Duterte Following The Marcos Playbook on Business Cronies?

Marcos Business Cronies:Danding Cojuangco, Lucio Tan, Roberto Benedicto, Rodolfo Cuenca, Ricardo Silverio, Herminio Disini, Kokoy Romualdez, etc.
From Wikipedia:
Certain associates of the former Philippine president and dictator Ferdinand Marcos have benefited from their friendship with Marcos - whether in terms of legal assistance, political favours, or facilitation of business monopolies, during the latter's administration.Marcos critics, and the local and international press began referring to these individuals as "cronies" during the latter days of the Marcos dictatorship, and the Philippine government - especially the Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG) - continued using the term after the ouster of the Marcoses in 1986.
These "cronies" were awarded government commissions, projects and funds, many of which were later investigated for corruption, misuse of funds, and disregard for the the Philippine constitution. Marcos' cronies were given strategic positions both in the government and in private sectors, in order for the Marcoses to seize control of the major industries of the country.

The largest, most productive, and technically most advanced manufacturing enterprises were gradually brought under the control of Marcos's cronies. For example, the huge business conglomerate owned by the Lopez family, which included major newspapers, a broadcast network, and the country's largest electric power company, was broken up and distributed to Marcos loyalists including Imelda Marcos's brother, Benjamin "Kokoy" Romualdez, and another loyal crony, Roberto Benedicto. Huge monopolies and semimonopolies were established in manufacturing (Lucio Tan), construction(Rodolfo Cuenca), and financial services. When these giants proved unprofitable, the government subsidized them with allocations amounting to hundreds of millions of pesos. Philippine Airlines, the nation's international and domestic air carrier, was nationalized and turned into what one author has called a "virtual private commuter line" for Imelda Marcos and her friends on shopping excursions to New York and Europe .
Probably the most negative impact of crony capitalism, however, was felt in the traditional cash-crop sector, which employed millions of ordinary Filipinos in the rural areas. (The coconut industry alone brought income to an estimated 15 million to 18 million people.) Under Benedicto and Eduardo Cojuangco, distribution and marketing monopolies for sugar and coconuts were established. Farmers on the local level were obliged to sell only to the monopolies and received less than world prices for their crops; they also were the first to suffer when world commodity prices dropped. Millions of dollars in profits from these monopolies were diverted overseas into Swiss bank accounts, real estate deals, and purchases of art, jewelry, and antiques. On the island of Negros in the Visayas, the region developed by Nicholas Loney for the sugar industry in the nineteenth century, sugar barons continued to live lives of luxury, but the farming community suffered from degrees of malnutrition rare in other parts of Southeast Asia.
“The business crony who engineered the Bataaan Nuclear Power Plant deal for Ferdinand was Herminio Disini. Disini was part of the royal family, married to Inday Escolin, a first cousin of Imelda Marcos who also served as one of her physicians. Like Eduardo Cojuangco, Disini was twenty years Ferdinand’s junior.” Disini built Herdis Group, Inc., a conglomerate of fifty companies with $1 billion in assets.  From The Marcos Dynasty, by Sterling Seagrave
 Another Marcos business crony was Ricardo Silverio. He owned and/or controlled several giant companies that included automobile company (Delta Motors-Toyota), industrial engine maker Kawasaki, and construction equipment manufacturer Komatsu Philippines.
Dennis Uy, top Davao crony- he also owns now Contis, Family Mart stores, Phoenix Petroleum and even Enderun College in Bonifacio.
Third telecom winner: Dennis Uy, Duterte's pal & China Telecom! 
Dennis Uy's ties to Duterte are well known & he was a contributor to his 2016 election campaign, hailing from Davao.
Uy has interests in other businesses such as petroleum,transport/shipping, real estate.
From CNN PH:
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 8) — Malacañang on Thursday denied allegations that links between President Rodrigo Duterte and Mislatel Consortium abetted its winning bid for the country's new major telecommunications player.
"I think it's a baseless assumption because given the character of this President, it is far-fetched," Presidential Spokesperson Sal Panelo said in a press briefing.
Davao tycoon Dennis Uy's Udenna Corporation and Chelsea Logistics Holdings, state-owned China Telecom, and the Mindanao Islamic Telecommunications (Mislatel) formed a consortium and bagged the provisional spot as the third telco player on Wednesday. Uy is a known supporter and campaigner of the President.
"The President's policy is not to interfere with its departments," he said.
In an earlier statement, Panelo said the selection process by the National Telecommunications Commission was fair.
"There was a transparent, fair, public and open selection process, done in accordance with laws, as well as with pertinent rules and regulations," he earlier said.
Mislatel was selected from three bidders. The two others were Philippine Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (PT&T) and SEARS Telecom, the consortium of the LCS Group of Companies by Luis Chavit Singson and TierOne Communications. Both, however, were disqualified on the grounds of alleged lacking documents.
Singson on Thursday said he will file a motion for reconsideration for the disqualification of SEAR, adding that Udenna Corporation has a standing partnership with their consortium. PT&T also plans to appeal the NTC's ruling.
On Thursday, Senator Grace Poe called on the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) to lay out the considerations that qualified the bidder.
"There were security concerns earlier raised over the participation of a foreign firm and these should not be sidestepped," she said.
In November 2017, President Rodrigo Duterte had earlier given Beijing permission to operate another telco player in the country to break the duopoly of Globe Telecom and PLDT-Smart.
Udenna Corp. slogan: When people ask who’s thinking up of the next bold move that will set the country in productive motion, you can say, “Udenna, that’s who”.
Udenna Corporation (“UDENNA”) was incorporated in the Philippines on March 19, 2002. UDENNA is one of the fastest growing holding companies in the Philippines and is at the helm of the UDENNA Group of Companies. It is in the business of distribution and retail of petroleum products and lubricants under the Phoenix brand and is engaged in shipping and logistics through its wholly owned subsidiary, Chelsea Logistics Holdings Corp. The continued expansion of the group in the recent years has allowed UDENNA to grow exponentially and diversify its business portfolio to include real estate and property development, education, leisure, gaming and tourism and infrastructure. 
From Pinoy Ako Blog:
Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy has obtained a provisional license from the state-controlled Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) to develop a $300-million integrated gaming resort in Cebu.