• Govt eyes probe of ‘Salim empire’

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    PRESIDENTIAL Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. on Tuesday said the government may initiate a probe into allegations that Indonesian tycoon Anthoni Salim and his group managed to establish a business empire in the country by circumventing the constitutional limits on foreign ownership of local companies.

    But the official stressed that there should be enough evidence for such investigation to push ahead.

    “If our Constitution or any law was violated, of course it is the government’s duty to investigate and hold the culprits liable. That’s why if there’s information about that, it should be brought to the attention of the government,” Coloma said.

    The Palace official was reacting to a series of articles written by The Manila Times columnist, former Ambassador Rigoberto Tiglao, detailing how Salim built his business empire in the Philippines, using the influence of businessman Manuel Pangilinan.

    “Pangilinan owns only 0.09 percent of Salim’s flagship firm Metro Pacific Investments, and 1.4 percent in the parent company, First Pacific. The Indonesian tycoon’s holding companies own in those firms 56 percent and 45 percent, respectively, with the rest of the shares dispersed to thousands of stock market investors,” Tiglao said in his column.

    “For his huge role in building up Salim’s empire, Pangilinan has no share at all in any of the three offshore firms, which at the end of the corporate layering ultimately own the empire,” he added.

    The Times column further revealed that “according to Hong Kong-based First Pacific Co. Ltd. in its 2012 annual report, Salim’s holding and ‘command’ firm, profits from its Philippine operations now exceed those in the magnate’s home country, Indonesia, by about $200 million.”

    Salim’s firms in the Philippines include the Manila Electric Co., the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., telecommunication companies Smart and Sun, and several other utilities and media outfits.

    Coloma, meanwhile, said the issues should be made clear first by anyone who would formally accuse the businessmen of breaking the law and the Constitution itself.

    “We should know the issue. It is the job of government to implement the law if particular complaints are raised by any group,” he stressed.

    It was further alleged that Salim’s lieutenants are the ones pushing for the economic Charter change being espoused by no less than House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.
    Pangilinan is known to have an interest in Belmonte’s Star Group of Companies that publishes, among others, The Philippine Star.

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    8 Comments

    1. I’ve. Had sent my comments last night and nothing happened.
      Govt will do nothing of the sort. Maybe Partylist will but none among them

    2. Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. says’ “government MAY initiate a prove into allegations that Indonesian tycoon Anthoni Salim and his group manage to establish a business empire in the country by circumventing the constitutional limits on foreign ownership of local companies.”. Pero may pang bawi na kaagad, “but the official stressed that there should be enough evidence for such an investigation to push ahead.” WOW HA!!! So ano pa ang aasahan natin!!! Who will look into to find sufficient evidence for the government to start an investigation. MGA HONORABLE, LAHAT PO NG TRANSACTION AY REGISTERED, BAKA NAMAN PO SIGURO SA ISANG TINGIN O SENYAS LANG NI PNoy AY PUWEDE NG SILIPIN AT MAGLABASAN NA ANG LAHAT NG EBIDENSYA NA KAILANGAN NINYO! Kung sabagay 2 1/2 years na lang kaya yata wala ng nakikinig kay PNoy diyan. KAWAWANG BAYAN, BIKTIMA NA NAMAN NG KASAKIMAN (greed) NG IILAN.

    3. Can the Salim group bring those assets out of the country? We should invite more investors, foreign and local by cutting red tape.

    4. The comments of Malacanyang about this issue is something like ‘too late the hero’ attitude. However, who knows all politicians in this country took advantage of the generosity of this empire during elections time, that’s why nobody in the government wants to touch them. It should be very easy to investigate by moving the asses of SEC, NBI and DOJ people to get the necessary evidences but maybe we are dreaming only because we are not in America or Europe.

    5. Be careful of Cha Cha these are like poison ivy wrap inside a delicious cakes it will only make Filipino lick their garbage. We must not give in to excessive foreign ownership. Japan, America, and Taiwan. Very successful countries without allow extensive ownership by foreign.

    6. Pete Gabriel on

      Unbelievable how this Salim character manage to acquire all this assets that are vital to National Security. This are utility companies, and telecommunication companies. Pangilinan is a sold out and a traitor, and he should be investigated thoroughly about his role in making this deal to happen. Thank God he was not elected President, this guy is all about himself and money.

    7. Am all for amending the economic provisions of the constitution to allow foreign ownership of Phl assets. However, monopolies in public utilities must be curtailed, regulations strenghtened and enforced. Investors are entitled to get a return without fleecing consumers.