• Must read: Bobi Tiglao’s ‘Colossal Deception’

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    colossal20161004Get yourself a copy of Rigoberto Tiglao’s book, “Colossal Deception- How foreigners control our telecoms sector.”

    The book, as its front cover states, is “a case study of corruption, cronyism and regulatory capture in the Philippines.”

    The book benefits from Tiglao’s experience as journalist (Business Day and Far Eastern Economic Review) as he pierced through the corporate layers to see who is really behind what we think is Manuel V. Pangilinan’s expanding empire.

    Tiglao said his book, “tells how an Indonesian magnate built up a new business empire outside his country in just 18 years – dwarfing others owned by Filipino magnates – and why a foreigner has been allowed to do so by Philippine authorities despite the clear constitutional restrictions on foreign control.”

    The Indonesian is Anthoni Salim – a name that most Filipinos have not heard of.

    Tiglao said Salim “ has never been seen in public here, if ever he had stepped on Philippine soil.”

    “Yet his conglomerate in the country consists of public utility enterprises in which the Constitution bars foreigners from controlling,” the author said.

    Tiglao gave an overview of Salim’s hold on Philippine economy:

    “Salim through First Pacific, now controls and most owns the biggest conglomerate of public utility companies in the Philippines. Its 26 percent shares in PLDT make it the controlling stockholder in the country of the biggest telecommunications firm that has 70 percent of the telecom market. Its two huge public-utility firms are Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) which has monopoly of power distribution in Metropolitan Manila and six adjacent provinces, and Maynilad Water, the water-distribution monopoly for the western part of the Metropolis. It also has a major mining company, Philex Mining and Exploration, with its four oil and gas exploration subsidiaries, one of which has as its area of exploration in a disputed area in the Spratly islands.

    “Through his holding firm MPIC (Metro Pacific Investments Corp.), Salim controls Metro Pacific Rollways Corp., now the biggest toll and expressway operator in the country managing the North Luzon Expressway, the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway and Manila-Cavite Expressway.

    “In partnership with the Ayala group (who were big supporters of the Aquino family) the Salim conglomerate also won the P1 billion worth of projects to operate an automated fare collection system for the mass transit lines. Other infrastructure projects awarded to Salim’s group by the Aquino administration are the P11 billion NLEX Harbor Link, the P7 billion NLEX Citi Link, and the P12.4 billion Connector Road/Metro Expressway Link. The group has diversified into bridge construction as well with its P18 billion project to build the Cebu-Cordova Bridge.”

    Tiglao said, “The Indonesian Salim is even the first magnate in the country to establish a health services conglomerate with Metro Pacific Hospital Holdings, Inc. – owned 60 percent by his holding firm MPIC – now owning or controlling eleven of the most advanced hospitals in Metro Manila and other urban centers.”

    Tiglao asked why Philippine media has not dwelt on Salim and his acquisitions that violate the Constitution.

    He provided part of the answer: “Salim has even the gall to go into media, an industry in which the Philippine Constitution bans a single foreign-owned share. Using PLDT’s pension fund called the Beneficial Trust Fund, Salim has built the biggest multi-media empire in the country which includes Philippine Star and BusinessWorld both of which he controls and Philippine Daily Inquirer in which he is the second biggest stockholder. Salim’s media outfits are TV5, the third biggest broadcast media network, with its more than a dozen TV and radio stations all over the country, its Internet news site Interaksyon.com, and the country’s largest satellite direct-to-home television service.”

    Tiglao’s book unmasks businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan as proxy for Salim in the Philippines.

    “Pangilinan is First Pacific’s highest paid executive, with his compensation in 2015 amounting to $7.5 million, bigger than the $2.8 million of the firm’s chairman and majority owner Salim or of the other two executive directors. It is very likely that if included are his other salaries in PLDT, Meralco, MPIC and at least a dozen other First Pacific subsidiaries, Pangilinan is the highest paid executive in the country making roughly P1.5 million for each of his working day.”

    Tiglao, A columnist of The Manila Times (he also used to write a column in The Philippine Daily Inquirer), ends every chapter of his book with the question, “What kind of country have we become?”

    It’s a question that many of us are asking.

    The book is available at the National Book Store and Popular Book Store.

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    8 Comments

    1. Yanie Heartbreaker on

      Deception or not, I’m just glad that PLDT, while it’s not perfect, is way better than it was before MVP took over. I remember the days when a landline was a status symbol. Ironic when you consider that while the telcos are blamed for blocking competition, we cheer on any attack on foreign investors. What should President Duterte do about this, you ask? He needs to open up our country to foreign investment through Charter Change. Isn’t that the point of foreign investment? To improve on businesses that we ourselves are ill-equipped to handle? Mr. Tiglao has never made it a secret about his dislike of any foreign business, not surprising considering his being a former bigwig in the Communist Party Metro Manila-Rizal regional party. Mr. Tiglao is playing the obsolete isolationist ‘Nationalism’ card, which is all emotion but a little weak on concrete results. Charles de Gaulle said it best: Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism is when your hatred for people other than your own comes first.

    2. Thank you sir for showing your love for our Nation. I agree with your observation and deep research with regards to the situation our previous government officials lead our Nation. It shows that they love only their self interest and protect their cronies. May I add that the succeeding officials after President Marcos had been salivating to own the GOCC’s that was build by the administration of President Marcos using the government money. Ex. NAPOCOR was deliberately mismanage by the Manager in 1986-1992.Now the manager during that time is controlling most of our energy sources and the rest to MERALCO. Pinaghatihatian nila. Then in 1992-1998. Government land properties were sold at lowest cost to the dummies of the officials at that time. In 1998-2001more corruption and lavish party were seen.In 2002-20010. We see mismanagement of our wealth and government assets.The BOT or build operate transfer was abuse.In 2010-2016.The BOT scheme was change to PPP. The scheme was used by the Oligarchs,Elites in cahoots with the Benigno Cojuangco Aquino to take over Big government projects undertaken by the different government institutions specially DOTC,DPWH,BOC,BIR,LTO,LTFRB,DENR,DA,DOH,DepEd. They used San MIguel Corporatioan and Salim group of companies as front or dummies to hide the big kickbacks for the Aquinbo LP memebers.So we observe the scheme how they get our tax money and at same time operate the tollgates,Mining,Hospitals,Highways with MV.Pangilinan and Anthoni Salim fronting for the government officials of former President Aquino. But the word of God is very strong against such practice and if they will not repent and distribute the income and use the wealth that was ill gotten by them for the welfare of the Nation but continue operating it as milking cow using the PPP scheme. They will face the terrible judgment of God. We must take note that God is not against righteous way of earning wealth. He wants us to be honest and do business the right way! Luke 12New King James Version (NKJV)
      Beware of Hypocrisy
      1 In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, He began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. 2 For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known. 3 Therefore whatever you have spoken in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have spoken in the ear in inner rooms will be proclaimed on the housetops.
      Jesus Teaches the Fear of God
      4 “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!
      6 “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins?[a] And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
      Confess Christ Before Men
      8 “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. 9 But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.
      10 “And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.
      11 “Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. 12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”
      The Parable of the Rich Fool
      13 Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
      14 But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” 15 And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness,[b] for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”
      16 Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. 17 And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ 18 So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”’ 20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’
      21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”
      Do Not Worry
      22 Then He said to His disciples, “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. 23 Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. 24 Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds? 25 And which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? 26 If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious for the rest? 27 Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 28 If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith?
      29 “And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. 30 For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. 31 But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things[c] shall be added to you.
      32 “Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 33 Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. 34 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
      The Faithful Servant and the Evil Servant
      35 “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; 36 and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. 37 Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. 38 And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 39 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and[d] not allowed his house to be broken into. 40 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
      41 Then Peter said to Him, “Lord, do You speak this parable only to us, or to all people?”
      42 And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season? 43 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes. 44 Truly, I say to you that he will make him ruler over all that he has. 45 But if that servant says in his heart, ‘My master is delaying his coming,’ and begins to beat the male and female servants, and to eat and drink and be drunk, 46 the master of that servant will come on a day when he is not looking for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in two and appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. 47 And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. 48 But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more. . Matthew 16:26New King James Version (NKJV)
      26 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? . Proverbs 14:34New King James Version (NKJV)
      34 Righteousness exalts a nation,
      But sin is a reproach to any people…. We intercede and lift up to you almighty Savior Jesus our Nation. Protect it from the Satan’s deceptions.Convict the hearts of the government officials in the past to repent of their sins so that they will be forgiven and not go to hell! Because you said in Romans 6:23 that the wages of sin is death. Convict and open their eyes to the gospel so that they will fear you and love this nation and the people. As you said that if we humble ourselves that you will hear from heaven,forgive our sins and heal our Nation. That is your promise in 2 Chronicles 7:14. We therefore humble ourselves in behalf of our Nation! This we humbly ask in the most powerful name of Jesus our only Savior! Acts 4:10-12.

    3. He become a ruthless bastard with his millions. He bullied Gina Lopez before she become the DENR boss, in a conference for invironmental issues. He tried his antics on Duterte when he was on a campaign trail addressing at a Makati businessmen gathering. When Digong won, he was meek as a lamb.
      Gina was after his mining companies to shut them off for sometime and perhaps included among the 20 mines for closure as non-complaint to invironmental rules.

    4. Thank you for the information! Boobi Tiglao know who to hit with his pen, bravo Drens!

    5. You’re damn right. Duterte knew it long before this book came out. He even called MVP Salim’s puppet

    6. This is a very valuable piece of information. I am hoping the president and General Bato know about this. Please share so it will get to the administration.

      • An odd conclusion – or a wild guess, considering Pangilinan last week defended Duterte who was being blamed for the decline in the stock market. He said the dip was natural and that he had faith in the President’s economic policies.