In 2012, San Miguel Corp. and LT Group of businessman Lucio Tan joined forces in Trustmark Holdings Corp. To effect the partnership between two giant conglomerates, San Miguel Corp. used its unit San Miguel Equities Investments Inc. in buying into Trustmark, which belongs to the LT Group. The initials stand for Lucio Tan.
Trustmark is the stockholder of listed PAL Holdings Inc.
Through its unit, SMC ended up indirectly owning 49 percent of Trustmark, which it acquired for P21.506 billion. The LT group remained the majority stockholder with its subsidiary, Buona Sorte Holdings Inc. owning 51 percent.
The business alliance between San Miguel Corp. and LT Group did not last long. How could the bottlers of San Miguel Pale Pilsen and Beer na Beer possibly co-exist as joint venture partners?
Two years after, or on Sept. 12, 2014, the two companies parted ways with SMC selling back to LT Group its 49 minority stake in Trustmark.
In a filing posted on the website of the Philippine Stock Exchange, SMC reported that as of “Sept. 30, 2014 it received $874 million or P38.616 billion” from the sale of its investments in Trustmark.
Did the return of investments net SMC P17.110 billion (P38.616B minus P21.506B) in return on investments (ROI) of 79.559 percent after only two years?
Birds of the same feather
President Benigno Simeon Aquino 3rd, Loyal Government Secretary Manuel Roxas, Budget PDAF Secretary Florencio Abad, Social Welfare and Secretary Dinky Soliman, who is also conditional cash program manager, and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, also Bilibid prison mayor doma. In 2014, they thought they were never wrong. Perhaps, they will continue to think and act the same way this year.
Best friends ever
President Benigno Simeon Aquino 3rd and Local Government Secretary Manuel A. Roxas had only undying loyalty to each other. Remember the most famous quote “You are a Romualdez and the President is an Aquino”? That’s Roxas’ way of putting down his president’s political enemies to please his best friend.
On the other hand, Aquino would trust Roxas even against the interest of more than 100 million Filipinos, minus, of course, the members of the yellowish tribe. Where was he when Seniang was wreaking havoc in the Visayas and Mindanao? Aquino, of course, was preoccupied with attending a wedding.
Dreamer of the year
Francis Tolentino appears to be the dreamer of the year of the Aquino administration. As the chairman of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, he has been trying to impose discipline among motorists in the metropolis, a task that he failed to do when he was mayor of Tagaytay City.
Apparently, he has been imposing his rule on Metro Manilans and outsiders by demanding that they respect his chosen traffic aides who, in the first place, deserve respect only if they are respectable.
Wedding guest of the year
President Benigno Simeon Aquino Jr. for his presence in the wedding of GMA 7’s stars Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera on Dec. 30, 2014 while typhoon Seniang was devastating some provinces in the Visayas and Mindanao. While he was enjoying himself congratulating the newlyweds, the typhoon’s news updates reported Seniang leaving “at least 21 dead.”
Arroyo’s 9-year reign
President Benigno Simeon Aquino 3rd is the 15th president of the Philippines. He succeeded President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is envied for her nine-year term, the longest in the history of this country excepting President Ferdinand E. Marcos, who was in power for 21 years because he used martial law to extend his dictatorial rule.
Incidentally, Arroyo was most hated by Aquino and his late mother, former President Corazon C. Aquino, for placing the family’s Hacienda Luisita under the government’s agrarian reform program.
Incidentally, Aquino the son has succeeded in getting rid of Chief Justice Renato Corona thru impeachment by bribing 20 senators into voting for his ouster. He continues to deny GMA justice that is accorded anyone accused of committing a crime.
Aquinos’ agrarian reform
Both Corazon the mother and Noynoy the son knew how to take advantage of the powers of the presidency. The mother made her campaign promise to distribute Hacienda Luisita to its tenants and she was applauded for it. The voters did not know that she would amend the agrarian reform law to allow corporate agrarian reform, under which tenant farmers would get certificates of shares of stock instead of farm land.
Early during the six year term of the mother, Hacienda Luisita was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission as a stock corporation. The Cojuangcos, led by the mother president, gave the hacienda farmers pieces of paper of a company with deficit of more than P1 billion, meaning Hacienda Luisita Inc. had no profits to distribute as dividend either in cash or in stock.
When the Supreme Court ruled against Cory’s corporate agrarian reform, Aquino the son went after Arroyo and Chief Justice Corona.
Let history judge the mother and the son.
On Dec. 24, 2014, I attributed a topic in “Due Diligencer’s lighter side” piece to Fr. Jose Manuel Paras SDB. I apologize to Father Paras for writing “Manuel” instead of “Antonio.” Pardon me for senior moments, Father.