UNMASKING AN EMPIRE

The Indonesian billionaires behind the ‘MVP Group’

82

First of a series

Part 2: Indonesian tycoon skirts Charter limits through corporate layers

Part 3: http://www.manilatimes.net/closet-billionaires-or-corporate-dummies/193809/

Part 4: The smartest investors … or the most valuable puppets?


The so-called “MVP” group of companies—dubbed after the initials of its public face and chief executive Manuel V. Pangilinan—has emerged as one of the biggest conglomerates in the country today, its newest and the most aggressive.

Yet the real ownership of this vast conglomerate has been kept hidden from the public eye.

Until now.

The conglomerate is dominantly owned and controlled by Anthoni Salim, 66, heir to the fortune of his late father, Soedono,  who was the biggest and closest crony of the late Indonesian strongman Suharto during his 33-year regime. “MVP” has miniscule shares in the conglomerate. That the group has strived to make it known by that name, as will be explained in this series, is for a specific purpose.

Forbes magazine ranked Salim as the third richest Indonesian in 2014, with his $5.9 billion net worth topping that of Philippine tycoon John Gokongwei’s $4.9 billion or Jaime Zobel de Ayala’s $3.9 billion, according to the same list.

Who owns what: “MVP Group”?

Who owns what: “MVP Group”?

The Forbes’ profile of Salim in 2014 is a revelation: “Salim’s Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) has invested $445 million [in]a 10% stake in Germany’s Rocket Internet. His father,Liem Sioe Liong  founded the Salim Group; the clan was later criticized for ties to Suharto.” Salim’s PLDT, not MVP’s nor First Pacific’s.

(The Javanese  name “Soedono  Salim” which  Liem, a   Chinese immigrant from Fuzhou, adopted  for him and his family to blend easier into Indonesian society was suggested by the dictator himself, with “Soedono” meaning “good-money”.)

The Forbes’ writer probably kept scratching his head in confusion. Salim is the only billionaire in the magazine’s list who is indisputably one of Indonesia’s richest tycoons. Yet a big chunk of his wealth is generated in another nation, the Philippines. That’s how broken our nation has become.

From 2000 to 2014, First Pacific Co., Ltd. – Salim’s holding company – generated $2.7 billion in profits from its Philippine operations, mostly from PLDT amounting to $2.2 billion. In comparison, Salim’s companies in his own country generated just about half of that, or $1.4 billion. That means his Philippine operations make up 66 percent of his empire’s profits.

Remember that Salim acquired PLDT in 1998 for $749 million, while Meralco was captured – as these series will explain – with the Indonesian bringing very little new capital into the country.

So much for the argument that foreign investments bring in much needed funds to a capital-deficit country. In the case of Salim’s operations, it has resulted in capital outflow – $2.7 billion in 14 years or $200 million yearly, or nearly fourth of the average foreign equity inflow over the same period.

And as this series will also explain, Salim’s companies have always used local borrowings for much of its operations and acquisitions, even managing to borrow billions of pesos from government banks such as the Development of the Philippines and the Land Bank.

Where Salim has been making money: Your cellphone and Meralco bills have made this Indonesian a lot richer. (Background photo: Salim, behind him a portrait of his father Soedono, also from forbes.com

Where Salim has been making money: Your cellphone and Meralco bills have made this Indonesian a lot richer. (Background photo: Salim, behind him a portrait of his father Soedono, also from forbes.com

Those huge revenues are possible because of Salim’s controlling 26-percent holding in PLDT, the biggest telecom firm in the Philippines, which owns mobile-phone behemoth Smart Telecoms as a subsidiary, and his 52-percent stake in Metro Pacific Investments Corp (MPIC), his holding company of 48 subsidiaries in the country. MPIC’s cash cows are the Manila Electric Co., the electricity-distribution monopoly in Metro Manila, and Manila Water Services, the monopoly for water distribution and sewerage for the western part of the metropolis, covering 17 cities.

It is a mockery of our Constitution, an indictment of the rule of law, and a scandalous demonstration of how weak our state has become by the fact that we have a foreign-owned conglomerate, masked as Filipino controlled, the “MVP Group of Companies.” It has skirted the Constitutional restrictions on foreign ownership in public utility firms and even the media.

The ignorance of our Congress has again been demonstrated when it passed last week on second reading a resolution calling for constitutional amendments to lift purported “restrictions” on foreign investments.

What restrictions are they talking about? An Indonesian tycoon, with the help of clever lawyers and a Filipino partner acting as front man, has craftily woven his way through the loopholes in our laws and captive regulatory systems to gain control of strategic public utility firms, and even media outfits in our country.

In the next few years, Salim’s revenues from his Philippine operations will breach the $1 billion level yearly, as his huge infrastructure and power projects start to yield virtually monopoly profits. That’s why to Salim, it is crucial for Congress to amend our constitution and legitimize foreign capital in restricted industries.

Through MPIC’s Metro Pacific Tollways Corp., the Indonesian is now the biggest toll and expressway operator in the country, managing the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Subic Clark Expressway and the Manila Cavite Expressway.

President Aquino’s Administration has turned over to the Salim conglomerate some of the country’s biggest infrastructure projects.

Among these are toll road expansion projects such as the NLEX Harbor Link (P11 billion project cost, NLEX Citi Link (P7 billion), Cavitex expansion (P8 billion), Connector Road/Metro Expressway Link (P124 billion).

The group has diversified into bridge construction with its P18 billion project to build the Cebu-Cordova Bridge. In partnership with the Ayala group, the Salim conglomerate has won the P1 billion projects to operate a computerized fare collection for the light-rail lines.

In 2013, its 55-percent controlled Salim consortium won the project to build the P65-billion Light Rail Transit Line Cavite Extension Project, the biggest infrastructure project awarded under the Aquino Administration.

Unexpectedly thrown in as part of the project was the award of the construction of the common station of LRT lines to the consortium, which moved its location close to the Trinoma mall of the Ayalas – Salim’s partners who hold a 35 percent stake – from its original SM North Mall site. Such government decision was so patently anomalous that the SM’s Sys have sued, even bringing the case to the Supreme Court.

Salim’s latest coup was winning the Cavite-Laguna Expressway (Calax) project with its bid of P27 billion, P5 billion more than the next highest bidder, a San Miguel Corp.-led consortium.

PLDT itself, which Salim’s firms control, together with Japanese companies, is a corporate empire with 49 subsidiaries, several in strategic public utilities, the largest of which are the mobile telephone firm Smart Telecommunications and Cignal TV, the direct-to-home satellite TV firm that has the biggest subscriber base.

Newest media mogul

Salim, in effect, has over the past several years become the newest media mogul in our country, despite the categorical constitutional ban on foreign ownership of even a single share in a local media outfit.

Through a PLDT unit his executives control, Salim’s group operates TV 5 with its more than two dozens radio stations and online news edition, interaksyon.com. PLDT’s power to prop up a media outfit with mediocre expertise in the field was, in fact, demonstrated when it threw nearly P1 billion a year into advertising to its start-up firm TV-5 from 2010 to 2014. According to PLDT’s latest report, that financial support will continue until 2021.

Salim indirectly holds, through PLDT’s 70 percent interest in BusinessWorld and a 22 percent stake in the Philippine Daily Inquirer. Soon – I was informed by highly reliable sources – the New Standard newspaper will join Salim’s media stable.

The Salim conglomerate last year bought the Philippine Star publications for P3.5 billion from the family of House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte.

Is it just a coincidence that Belmonte is the principal author of a resolution for the Constitution to be amended to lift all restrictions on foreign investments?

That amendment would render moot and academic a Supreme Court move to implement its 2012 ruling that Salim’s control of PLDT is unconstitutional — which would result in the Indonesian empire’s collapse like a house of cards.

Salim, of course, need not care whether the media outfits make money or not. If these flounder, the loser will be PLDT’s Beneficial Trust Fund, which financed the setting up and acquisition of these media enterprises.

After all, his media empire has a different purpose other than making money. Because of his empire’s tremendous clout in media, our press and press institutions — from the National Press Club to the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism — have turned a blind eye to the capture by a foreign entity of a sizeable portion of the Fourth Estate. I have been told that both broadcast and print media dare not cross Pangilinan, because his firms such as Meralco, PLDT, Smart account for nearly a fifth of media advertising revenues.

The Salim group has even learned to make big money out of disease and old-age maladies. It now operates the country’s biggest hospital chain, which includes top-of-the-line hospitals such as the Makati Medical Center near Ayala Avenue and Asian Medical Center near the Ayala Alabang village. Its hospitals income from 2011 to 2014: P3 billion. Who would have thought the work of alleviating humanity’s ailments could be so profitable?

Gargantuan hoax

That the Salim conglomerate is the “MVP Group” has been a gargantuan hoax. Not even legendary American super-executives Jack Welch or Lee Iacocca, working in US capitalism’s most advanced state in which corporations are owned by tens of thousands of shareholders, had the gall to call their General Electric or Ford Co. as the “Welch” or “Iacocca” group of companies.

Based on its latest report to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mr. Pangilinan owns only 1/10 of one percent of the conglomerate’s flagship firm PLDT.

Salim-controlled firms – details of which will be reported in these series – hold the controlling 26 percent of PLDT, while two firms of the Japanese NTT conglomerate have 20 percent. The rest of the shares are dispersed among thousands of Filipino and foreign investors through the Philippine and New York stock exchanges

A Salim-owned company, Metro Pacific Holdings, owns 52 percent of the capital stock of MPIC. The rest of the shares are dispersed among 1,335 passive stockholders as stock market investments, 34 percent of which are foreign-owned and 14 percent Filipino.

In its March 2015 filing with the SEC, Pangilinan is reported to have “nil” shares, stated only in order to qualify him to sit on the board.

How the heck could it be the “MVP Group of Companies”?

Perhaps “Salim-Del Rosario Group” would be a more accurate name. Metro Pacific’s annual report lists Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto del Rosario, together with his wife Gretchen, as its biggest individual stockholder with 11.5 million shares – though only 0.04 percent of the total.

Summary of ownership of “MVP” companies

Summary of ownership of “MVP” companies

Del Rosario has been a key figure in the conglomerate’s expansion into the country since the early 1980s, and since 2003 until his appointment as foreign affairs secretary, he served as a board director of Salim’s international holding firm itself, First Pacific Co. Ltd., as well as of several Salim firms, including Indonesian companies.

It is certainly ironic that del Rosario has cried to the highest heavens over Chinese occupation of the uninhabited Scarborough shoal, when he has helped Indonesians control key industries at the heart of the metropolis.

But maybe Pangilinan’s huge shares will show up in that Hong Kong-based holding firm First Pacific?

Not at all.

While he owns 1.4 percent equity shares in First Pacific Co., Ltd — mostly the result of his stock options over 30 years — this isn’t really a significant shareholding, as Salim’s top strategist Edward Tortorici has 1 percent.

It is even surprising that Pangilinan owns only so few shares, despite his 34 years as Salim’s top executive and his crucial role as the Indonesian conglomerate’s face in the country. “MVP” really means Salim’s “Most Valuable Professional,” or maybe the “P” more accurately stands for an unflattering word.

Salim, through First Pacific and labyrinthine corporate layers, is the biggest single stockholder with unchallenged control of what is called in this country as the “MVP Group of Companies.”

The next biggest, but a poor second with much less shareholding of just 3 percent in First Pacific  is Sutanto Djuhar and his son Tedy, ranked 39th in 2010 in Forbes’ richest billionaires list until 2010 with a net worth of $500 million.

Djuhar, 85, had been a close business partner of Anthoni’s father, who with two others, established First Pacific in 1981 as a venue for bringing out of Indonesia some of the wealth they generated as Suharto’s cukong — a term used in that era to mean Chinese businessman providing funds for Indonesia’s military and political leaders in exchange for patronage and protection.

“Yes, I was an antek, but I was not a bad one,” Soedono was quoted as saying in a recent book, which was fawning over both Anthoni and Pangilinan, using the stronger Javanese term for “crony” or  “lackey.”  During Suharto’s rule, the four were referred to in whispers in Jakarta as the “Gang of Four,”  being the strongman’s tight-circle of cronies during his regime.

Or maybe Pangilinan’s shares have been deliberately concealed? But why would he, especially since the foreign-owned conglomerate isn’t supposed to be in public utility firms, if the Constitution is to be complied with?

But there is an obvious motive for portraying Salim’s conglomerate as the “MVP Group,” and the person who thought of the scheme must be a PR genius. It veils the reality that a foreign firm has come to dominate profitable public utility firms, even monopolies, which our Constitution — even in its earlier versions — categorically prohibits. These series will explain how Salim, with Pangilinan’s help, has managed that feat.

What kind of a country have we become?

Aquino will be giving away central Mindanao to the MILF, who will annex the area to a state of Malaysia in a few years. He wants the US to acquire pockets of territory here the Americans euphemistically will call “forward operating sites.” He has lost Bajo de Masinloc, which has been ours since the Spanish times, to China, and everyone is furious at that regional bully’s moves to claim everything in the West Philippine Sea.

Yet for more than 10 years now, we’ve given away strategic industries to … an Indonesian billionaire?

NOTE

My requests for interviews or replies to e-mailed queries to Pangilinan and his officers, made through his companies’ press officers, his closest friends, and even a former media colleague now with him — the first of which was made several months ago — have all been ignored. This series is based on research for a book I am working on, titled “Philippine Hoaxes,” to include essays on the Bangsamoro, the Jabidah “Massacre,” DAP, and, of course, the biggest, President Aquino.

Part 2: http://www.manilatimes.net/indonesian-tycoon-skirts-charter-limits-through-corporate-layers/190644/

Part 3:Closet billionaires . . . or corporate dummies?

Part 4: The smartest investors … or the most valuable puppets?

tiglao.manilatimes@gmail.com
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82 Comments

  1. Narinig k n nuon p ang ingay na c MVP ay ttakbong presidente. Baka lang natunugan n ng kalaban at npka ganda ng pangalan, estado s buhay at kilalang business man c Manny Pangilinan. Sa panahon ngaun matitinik maghalunkat ng personal background ang mga politicians kesa maglinkod ng tunay at tapat sa inang bayan. Pag enendangered katayuan ng mabigat n candidate, unahan na agad crain s publiko ang kalaban. Ayos di bah. huag basta magttiwala sa mga balita, magttiwala sa sariling kakayahan n pumili ng tamang iboboto mag lead sa bansa. pati mga media ay may kanya-kanyang kinikilingan.

  2. Felimon A. Soria on

    I was aware of this hoax few years ago but was very sketchy. This guy MVP the so called genius of business Manuel V. Pangilinan who seems like God when he talks is nothing but a dummy of this Indonesian Salim. Is there anything can be done about it? I doubt very much since they have already monopolized the media and the power sector of the country. All we can do like what we have been doing all these years is pray. Pray that something miraculous will happen. Because most of us Filipinos are like lambs we take everything that comes our way lying down. May God Bless Us All.

  3. I am a retired German-Filipina wishing to go back for good in the Philippines. This informations scared me a lot! I left the Phils. 1970 because I cant get a good job. Now, the situation in the Phils. seems to get worst. The gov’t is more corrupt,and the poor population is getting poorer. The Phils.is overpopulated, the Catholic church refuses to accept the RH Bill so, many newborn and newly delivered mothers die due to malnutrition. In the coming years, there will not be enough rice and water for the Filipinos. Now, the main sources for living, water, electricity,pharmaceutical companies are in the hands of foreigners! What will happen to our country, when they would just turn off these sources to put us on pressure? How about the young generation? They will be OFW’s in their own country? Is it worth going back home? I presently live in a country where my personal and social needs are secured. Is it good to come back to my roots???

    • Ireneo M. Panopio on

      Yes as regular visitor, but not for permanent stay. You’re doing fine over there, so keep and cherish it. (My concern for you is ‘personal safety’).

      As to the economy and how things go on the business side, I believe it is just fine. ‘Protectionism’ is what kept the Philippines behind what before were lesser countries (So. Korea, Malaysia, and now, Vietnam!). It did not really benefit the common tao.

      If we can do it the Singapore way: discipline, righteousness, and all, Let’s go for it!

  4. Warning every article you will read nowadays in newspapers MUST NOT BE TRUSTED. Remember that eveything from now on has to do with 2016 elections and obviously someone ‘s afraid of MVP running for President.

  5. Ordinaryong Tao on

    Simple lang akong tao, ang daming nagsasabi na wala namang masama at merong masama. eto po ang opinyon ko…. let’s start by comparing the leaders of yesterday and today. WHY DO THEY (YESTERDAY LEADERS) PUT THE RESTRICTION FOR FOREIGN COMPANY AND FOREIGNER TO OWN 100% A PIECE OF PHILIPPINE LAND OR A PHILIPPINE COMPANY? It is because they care about the Filipino’s of the future. If they will allow mockery of the Philippines through this ownership of foreigners, time will come “WE WILL ALL BE A SLAVE” to none-Filipino businessman or foreigners… YES! we have jobs and hired by this companies owned by MVP and other foreign company… but how safe we are tomorrow? they can easily remove you from your post… there will be no Filipino owned business we are all slaves of the foreigners… maybe not today… but think about tomorrow. Yun lang.

    • Manuel C. Diaz on

      Have you ever thought of all these foreign companies being nationalized by a true Filipino leader?

  6. Demi Gabito on

    Whats your alternative Mr. Tiglao on what these groups doing to our kababayans. As fas as I know they were creating jobs that will help them put food on their table everyday.

    • Manuel C. Diaz on

      Yes these foreign carpet baggers are creating jobs with starvation salaries!

  7. Lyann Campos on

    If this is true, at least this direct foreign investor continues to believe in the Philippines despite the filp flopping changing in rules of our government. Malapit na tayo maungusan ng Myanmar at Vietnam sa FDIs na pumapasok sa bansa nila.

  8. Val Enriquez on

    I always doubted MVPs financial capability to acquire this so called mvp group of companies. And i am terrified at the thought of having one individual, let alone a foreign national having control of our basic utilities.
    Imagine one man having control of the water we drink, the electricity, telecommunications, roads and highways and media, print and broadcast.
    we are at the mercy of this one man

  9. Rora N Suppitsu on

    I posted a comment here yesterday but I still don’t see it. And I think I know why.

    I read Mr. Tiglao’s exposition and I think back to the days before MVP and the Indonesiands were involved with the said utilities. Everything was in shambles: Poor power and water supply and a near-bankrupt PLDT. Today PLDT has a Triple A rating and the utilities provide service never before seen by old Meralco and ‘Nawasa’.

    I, for one, do not subscribe to Mr. Tiglao’s leftist-protectionist policies which he had been pushing since he caught the public eye. If he had his way, everything would be state-controlled. Well, at the rate investors are leaving the country, he may have his way soon. In the meantime I am relieved that the Indos still see investment possibilities in us and with this influence bringing in more FDIs, we may soon surpass even them instead of beoing the cellar-dwellers of ASEAN like we presently are.

    And this time, I hope this comment does not get suppressed . . .

    • Ireneo M. Panopio on

      Problem is: in Salim’s case, there was NO INVESTMENT, NO FDIs other that the initial $700M+. It is local capital being utilized for “foreign interest in the country”. Ang tawag dyan: “niluluto tayo sa sariling mantika”

      I have no qualms about FDI’s into the country, controlling or otherwise, In the end, tayo pa rin ang beneficiary, one way or the other.

  10. All of the biggest conglomerates in Philippines has been co owned by foreigners through their investments.

    There is nothing wrong with that. It creates jobs, income and opportunities to Filipinos. Economic cha cha is coming in which
    Foreigners can own businesses and land 100 percent in Philippines. Lawmakers are just doing their job to ease our economic policies
    Just appropriate to sustain economic growth and generate more jobs.

  11. Rizalino Bonifacio on

    Let us ask ourselves this question……..

    “WILL THIS GIVE US FOOD OR BETTER FOOD ON OUR TABLE”

  12. Gracie Loren on

    My father has been working in one of the companies of MVP for many years. My siblings and I are fortunate to graduate from college because of my father’s job. Even if the real owner is an Indonesian tycoon, what’s important is that these companies sustained jobs for the majority of Filipinos like my father. And come to think of it, these companies have been changing the way we live more in a positive way than in a negative way. Why can’t we be just grateful for that?

    If the businessmen in this country cannot run a business that will thrive and provide jobs, then let others do. It’s us who will dictate what our future holds.

  13. Alvin_matters on

    I don’t see the point of this, even if this is real.. So what?! Whatever they’re doing is just business and it’s mostly what we need so what’s wrong with that? Plus, our country is also benefiting from this. They’ve produced more jobs and infrastructures. You know what a shame? Is this is brought up because I think they see MVP as a threat (politically) and doing this as black propaganda for nothing…. MVP said it a million times he’s not running for any political position so stop this non-sense.

    • the point of this is obvious, pinapapasa ni Belmonte na pwde nang magmay ari ng properties ang mga foreign investors. Jobs are temporary gain for a country. If this stupid things happen we the entrepreneur of the Philippines will be powerless and Filipinos will be like slaves like the old times. It’s obvious that other countries benefiting from our stupidness. That’s why Chinese are bullying us because we are selling our country little by little. They are manipulating our laws, sooner the government. And someday our children or future generation will be slaves working 12hrs or more. Like we are exchanging our wonderful future for temporary jobs.

  14. Patrick Galvan on

    If this investigative article is true, how come we’re not doing anything about it? If the government has any way of proving that all these alleged companies are owned by Salim, we can prosecute him in the international court of law. Why don’t we get what is truly ours then?

    But if everything is just hearsay, then we should all stop the crab mentality and be thankful that MVP is providing millions of jobs to Filipinos nationwide. That’s just my opinion anyway.

  15. Lacson Maria on

    Let us look at PLDT now, they transformed it to a company with a credit rating higher than the Philippine sovereign.

  16. Regino Regina on

    But after all these word, what do you think that companies giving to Filipino people? They created jobs and lead them to have foods on their table. Lets look at the bright side.

  17. The biggest question and mystery of all if all company acquisitions are part of the 60% 40% deal, where is the 60% of all these? 40% are on the Salims

    This is one good reason why we pay higher internet, high price electricity and water plus toll gates and it all ends up on the Indonesian pockets which is all sums up for Mr. MVP’s treason

  18. johnny lopez on

    Good that this had come out ofof a general circulation paper.
    However, you dont have to prss the blame on the admin of Pnoy as the company First Pacific was already in the country, if i remember it right, they were already here in 1998 for the construction of the Skyway via the company Citra. So it was yet in the admin of FVR. So it goes that your elfin goddess have also a hand in fattening the company.

  19. MVP should be punished for economic sabotaged. He allowed himself to be used for the gain of foreign individuals.

  20. If you want to be as rich as them, then go acquire as many stocks as you can in their companies. Simple as that.

    Or better yet, build your own corporations so you make yourselves useful by providing employments to Filipinos.

    After a hard days work and getting his salary, the chinese will skimp and put aside savings, the rest for needs. The filipino on the other hand will invite friends to join him in the nearest sari-sari store and drink beers and sing karaoke.

    Truly, Nationalistic pride is the cheapest form of pride.

  21. Jihadi Juan on

    Kaya lahat ng kumpanyang hawap ni MVP nagtaasan lahat ng singgil sa bayad dahil wala syang pakialam sa pinoy kundi para sa kapakanan ng amo nyang dayuhan.

  22. Bobi, yun si Orly na kapatid ni Rey ng Mapua, sya yata ang utak ng SMART at baka pwede mo kausapin na baka bigyan ka ng higit na paliwanag. Marami rin yatang mga Alpha Sigma na mga kasama nuon na andyan na maaring magbigay linaw sa yo para higit na maraming laman ang iyong aklat.

    Ganito yan, mga kaibigan. Kung di ako nagkakamali, ang tatay ni Manny ay si Dominador na kaibigan ni Mr. Andy. Si Dominador ang syang nasa Traders Royal Bank na kalaunan ay naging pagaari ni Bobby Benedicto. Ang Traders Royal Bank ay maraming binigay na tulong pinansyal sa industriya ng asukal nung panahon ni Mr. Andy. Dahil anak sya ni Dominador na malapit na kaibigan ni Mr. Andy at dahil kaibigan din ni Mr. Andy si Ginoong Sukarno, malaki ang posibilidad na hindi rin lahat ng salapi sa likod ni Sukarno ay sarili nito. Tandaan na pati si Mao Tse Tung nung nagsisimula pa lamang magbukas ang tsaynah ay binigyan nuon ng tulong na kulang kulang USD20M ni Mr. Andy. Dahil abugado din si Mr. Andy, di na natin alam ang kontrata kapalit ng tulong na ibinigay.

    Ang pinakamalaking “hoax” siguro na pwede mo mapagtuunan ng pansin ay kun buhay pa si Mr. Andy dahil wala naman akong nabalitaan na meron Death Certificate nuon galing sa Hawaii.

  23. Most of the Oligarchs have criminal behavior, like bribery, bid rigging, price fixing, smuggling, overpricing,,,,,,,,our country will never get anywhere unless we put these big time crooks in jail .

    China is doing it……

    More important sid stye overhaul of the judicial system,,…out source it to HKH, SIN, or some developed country…….or put majority of CA and SC , foreigners from developed countries whose courts are unsaillable,,,,,,also where it is a crime to get bribed or to bribe in their home country ,,,even if dome in a foreign country

  24. Hello Bobby,
    would you like to discuss the total disregard of Salim of our laws, like they did in Indonesia ?

    I have direct experience with Antoni Salim.
    We have met during FVR time. thru Bobbit Sanchez who was our in house counsel.
    When I opposed the ENRON project in PH as a Joint venture with Chemphil……

    They have raoed our company but our judicial system is accomplice to a lot of shenanigans in this country >

  25. What PhilStar and Inquirer, my two favourite newspapers are partly owned by foreigner? I stopped following The Manila Times because I believe it had been an instrument of the Marcos dictatorial regime, but a friend posted your story in Facebook and it caught my attention. I think, I shall continue to follow the series to its conclusion. Thanks Mr. Tiglao, it is an interesting reading.

  26. I do not understand how MVP could allow himself to just be a stooge of a foreign billionaire. So all these talks about MVP buying large companies, TV stations, etcetera – this and that – are not really MVP’s original ideas, but he is only doing so in behalf of his benefactors who has full “remote control” of his business moves.

  27. Dong Malonga on

    Don’t wonder why MVP and Imelda Marcos have both penthouses in Paciific Plaza BGC. It’s all connected. Marcos billions are in the Salim group. This was already exposed in 1996. But the story was killed.

  28. Thank you Sir Tiglao for this excellent write-up. However, some PH irresponsible but powerful bloc of ruling class has been doing the same thing for a long, long time. Possibly, MVP only learned from this bloc the ways and means how to skirt PH laws as we have a damaged culture. Elite class is very, very different from the “masa” class who mostly thought they are equal with the former but in reality,a big NO.

  29. Send Gokongwei, Andrew Tan, and Henry Sy to start acquiring some Indonesian utility companies and see how they like it

  30. HazelBiatch on

    The people behind MVP had the advantage of the ASEAN integration before it even happened.

  31. William Tubig Dungo on

    why do we let this thing happen now we make the 100 percent ownership of land by foreigners to own property the price per hectare is $25,000.00 but had 5 billion. so us pilipino are poor then we go down the drain because he will buy all the the land and be slave of this person. kaya pala ang meralco electricity,water, transportation use natin ang expensive. kaya dapat ang congresso limitahan ang bilang nang
    companya, na puwede silang mag invest sa pilipinas. kasi they put monopoly on all products and they can control the prices. buwagin at ipahiral ang and anti trust law cageya sa america microsoft, goggles amazon, oil companies, and companies dinimanda nang US at EUROPEAN country nang anti trust suit. manopoly of product and services sa laki nang company hindi poweding magumpisa ang maliit na business dahlia hawak nila ang business so they issue what the price they want on their. Pangilinan tut nang malaysian billionaire you don’t have compassion to poor pilipino and your traitor to us by supporting that person. i know its business but you must have ethics in running your business your first subject in MBA huwag making hudas sa kapwa. first use ethics then have all the profit. THANK YOU

  32. Just asking, what is the Securities and Exchange Commission doing about this revelation. Is this government agency also corrupted from the top to bottom in the same way the DBP and SSS are? Or they just chose to ignore this subject matter, scared of PNoy and Sec. Alberto del Rosario.

  33. marsha rosario on

    all govt officials who allowed this to happen should be charged with treason. alam nila ang nangyayari, pwedeng binayaran sila or had deals to shut their mouths up. pwedeng isa ito sa naging kapalit ng buhay ni maryjane, pera at siguradong pwesto sa gobyerno ni pnoy

  34. Thank you very much for this expose on who the real “MVP” is, and the people behind him. I have long wondered about this person, more so when his “MVP group” made an unsuccessful bid for what was then the crown-jewel of Philippine companies: San Miguel Corp. He also attempted a bid on Del Monte Phils (my former employer) but failed when the owners, the Lorenzos, exercised their right-of-first-refusal and promptly sold the firm. Before TV-5, he also tried to capture control of BW (my daughter’s former employer) but the Locsin-inspired editors refused to budge. On the 2nd attempt, he was successful.
    It has been a modest, private, campaign of mine to unmask this person as a Trojan Horse in behalf of his Indonesian handlers to undermine Philippine business, and now he has succeeded – thanks to laxity, laziness and our political leaders and their businessmen minions – not to recognize economic invasion in the guise of opening up investments to foreigners.
    Truly we Filipinos are being SOLD OUT TO FOREIGNERS BY OUR LEADERS, to such countries as Malaysia, Indonesia and China. This is rank treachery in any language!!
    It has been a modest, private, campaign of mine to unmask this person as a Trojan Horse in behalf of his Indonesian handlers to undermine Philippine business, and now he has succeeded – thanks to laxity, laziness and our political leaders and their businessmen minions – not to recognize economic invasion in the guise of opening up foreign

  35. Manny V. Pakyaw on

    ay, aguy, berto! dalhin ang mga yan sa indonesia at sila ang i-firing squad. now i am doubting this so-called economic growth the country is having (one of the fastest now in asia, they say); it could possibly be all just lies? hindi ako pabor sa aktibismo, pero sa ngayon nararapat lang na magkaroon ng rebolusyon ulit sa edsa.

  36. Wolfgang Struck on

    MVP was Manager of the year of Hong Kong (HKG) 1991, when he still was with Citibank HKG, maybe doing FM accounts. Then Ramos had the brilliant idea (kahit konting illegal) to sell part of Fort Bonifacio (246 hectares) in Makati. Ayala came in and claimed: “You cannot do that, we own that.” Spanish title, no longer valid, covering Makati, outsch, Makati Mayor Jejomar Binay brilliant idea, switch it to Taguig. Now Ayala bid P9,750 per square.

    First Pacific HKG gets MVP to front for Christopher Young who controls the funds. “We buy that, tell them any price.” 1992, Metro Pacific Philippines, daughter of First Pacific HKG, President and Chairman MVP, builds Pacific Plaza along Ayala and bids P33,000 per square for Fort Bonifacio. MVP signs contract with Art Bartholome Urban Bank, 50% down P19.5B, 50% upon presentation of valid title before end of Ramos term. 1994, still no title. MVP checks with Landbank. Wala na ang pera. Someone must have taken care of the P19.5B. MVP cancels deal, demands cancellation of the second check P19.5B. Urban Bank president Art Bartholome found dead. New owner of “Global City Taguig” is Bases Conversion something selling to Ayala and Gokongwei. End of story? No. Court of Appeals rules Global City is Makati, not Taguig. Still no title. Where is Binay in this? He helped Ayala, did he not?

    They say Indonesian money, but it is Marcos money. Christopher Young, PLDT, is a son of the late UBS Chairman Dr. Nikolaus Senn. He knows, we should all know that, in the Philippines, it is forbidden to talk about the true Marcos. All money will be held and confiscated. That is why. All eager beaver writing nationalistas, calm down, easy lang. The enemy is within. It’s not Indonesia and not MVP. He is a good guy actually.

    And thank you for this article, it’s very revealing.

    Wolfgang Struck

  37. Any foreign-owned business must have a Filipino co-proprietor in order for it to be granted the license to operate (as per SEC). So happens MVP is the co-proprietor. If we’re to go to credentials, when MVP stepped up, PLDT, Meralco, etc. did improve on the way those companies do business. I also been following MVP’s story and I believe he never made claim those companies were his’. so I get to think the real motive for writing the article.

    • Manuel C. Diaz on

      There is a recent Supreme Court decision that ruled against the foreign ownership of PLDT.But the Philippine Government as of now has never files an echeat proceedings against PLDT.

  38. what a mess our country is in. if i recall correctly, tony lopez of standard made a calculation the boy sisi is turning over to the milf/malaysian faction 40% of the land area of the phil. and now, the most lucrative businesses are controlled by the indonesians. bakit hindi umaangal ang mga taipans at si ayala for this outright violation of the constitution regarding foreign ownership of businesses??

  39. Foreign investments entered in our country because we Filipinos has no capital to run businesses and to form a corporations to give these services to our countrymen because majority of us Filipinos are so poor that our the income is only enough and even not enough for our food, few for clothing, indigenous shelter and education.

  40. Bert o romero
    I think any conflict of interest needs looking into.
    There is a long list, but pnoy aquino is short on political will or ethics.
    The business and political values reflect a 3rd world banana republic, and why FDI is so low, and why filipino ‘businessmen’ never rise in global companies – they are little fish in their own little murky pond
    No-one, except american MNC’s want to deal with crooks and thieves.

  41. Well researched and presnted to the readers. Congratultaions Mr. Bert Tiglao. I hope you run for President in 2016. You are most qualified of them all. I suggest you will have either Kit Tatad or Ernie Maceda as Vice President due to their excellent records of honesty,integrity and vast experience. The following may compose your senatorial slate: Dick Gordon,Tingting Cojuangco,Mitos Magsaysay,Renato Corona,Toby Tiangco,Tony Tiu,Gerry Limlingan,Ebeng Baloloy,Joey Salgado,JonVic Remulla,Mikey Arroyo,JokJok Bolante,Merceditas Gutierrez,Delfin Lee,Benjamin Abalos,Romulo Neri,Jack Enrile,Oscar Cruz,Renato Reyes,Joma Sison and Elenita Binay.

  42. ARTICLE XII; 1987 CONSTITUTION……SECTION 11;…no francise, certificate of any other form of authorization for the operation of a public utility shall be granted except to citizens of the Philippines or to corporations or associations organized under the laws of the Philippines, atleast sixty percent of whose capital is owned by such citizen; nor shall such franchise, certificates, or authorization be exclusive in character or for a longer period than fifty years. niether such any franchise or right be granted except under the condition that it shall be subject to amendment, alteration or repeal by the congress when the common good so requires..the states shall incourage equity participation in public utilities by the general public. the participation of foriegn investors in the governing body of any public utility interprize shall be limited to thier proportionate shares in its capital, and all executives and managing officers of such corporations or associations must be citizens of the Philippines……is mvp liable for this offense?

  43. Ermi Villafuerte on

    Well written. MVP is just a dummy and a very good dummy. Hope the masa will have the chance to read. Pls rush the book.

  44. Alex Salcedo on

    Let’s make this a presidential election issue. Let’s vote for the candidate who has a clear and effective plan to dismantle this MVP Empire, and give back the ownership of these firms to Filipinos. I’ve always known about Pangilinan’s links to the Salims of Indonesia, but I never imagined it would be this deep, and this widespread. Why, they almost control the country now: telecommunications, health care, media, water, energy, entertainment, mining, infrastructure, etc. What else is Congress waiting for? Any Filipino should be outraged at this creeping “Indonesianization” of the Philippines.

    • MVP was nobody when I met him in Baesa, QC about 30-35 years back. Why in Baesa, his group purchased Scott Paper and I was the lead auditor for SGV. He emerged today as very rich businessman but being unmasked as a front for a foreign MNC. RP Gov’t should investigate this guy 1) Is he a RP national, if yes then what are the remedies to exile this guy to Indonesia? 2) What are the legal parameters to bring upon him the case of TREASON…the threshold is 50 Million pesos illegally taken out of corrupt dealings..how about billions gained from business dealings skirting the RP constitution to benefit his foreign master?

      This guy’s loyalty to RP is questionable..he enriches other nationals because of his business savvy gained from a prestigious univesity in US..to the detriment of Juan DC. Where is the makabayan conscience there..none. Our OFW heroes, me included, sweat blood abroad to bring money for our beloved country, this guy in return toys upon our sovereign laws to bring money out of RP..MVP are you a Filipino? I 100% doubt. It is about time to bring this matter under national attention and let Juan DC see what NGO or Gov’t agency, or patriotic personalities bring to fore this concern as their main initiiative.

      Let this be a call to all OFWs..SOMEBODY is ANTI-OFW and his initials is MVP. Let us do something abou this. Write your thoughts..flood all newspapers with your comments and let us all OFW see if we are really look upon as HEROES back home.

  45. Manny Pangilinan should be punished for economic sabotage. He allowed himself to be used by Salim, a foreigner who owns PLDT, an ownership prohibited by the Constitution.

  46. kung ganoong lang di mas mabuti pa kay Macoy noon. we had many local industries like SRDP, Bataan Nuclear power plant, Elisco tooling, Ford Fiera, sakbayan, eh ang kurakot ngayon after Macoy almost the same tapos wala pang accomplishment while Macoy did many things. And China would not

    • Not too fast Emile, hold your gun until we get the whole pictures. We still don’t know if the Marcoses money is part of MVP anomalies.

    • move on din, kaya ndi umuulad ang ating bansa eh.. dahil sa kagaya mong nabubuhay sa past

  47. rodeldbaladad on

    What kind of country have we become?

    ….. “PALAGATASAN” ng mga abusadong mamamayan na nagpapanggap na “lingkod-bayan”!

  48. Vic PenetranteVic on

    And Congress is for ‘cha-cha’ for ‘economic’ reasons! We are the most generous poor nation.

  49. Manny pangilinan can join the roll call of traitors who are all too keen to help other countries, and their own self interest, but do nothing for the philippines, except give it away.
    What a despicable individual.
    Certainly no businessman – devoid of ethics.

    • Bert O. Romero on

      What does that make of Foreign Secretary del Rosario? A patriot? This article explains why del Rosario is the wealthiest cabinet member. It’s all Indonesian money in exchange for what? What happens if there is a conflict between Philippine and Indonesian interests? Which will del Rosario uphold? Don’t you think this conflict of interests needs looking into?

  50. MVP – biggest Filipina front for the massive and illegal ownership of Indonesia in public utilities and MEDIA!

    A.K.A. – MVP – One big SCUM!

  51. Good exposé but it’s better late than never, this is a no holds barred revelation. Filipinos are ginigisa sa sariling mantika..only few are getting the benefits because corruption is everywhere, in private and public offices. Wake up Filipinos!!!

  52. Noynoy should apologize to our people and immediately resign because of this new revelation, a national scandal, if he is a good catholic and a good follower of Christ’s teachings!

    • This is not knew revelation, it’s been going on for severals years now. The thing is that Filipino people are apathetic to the situation. Kaya nga sabi ni Mr. Tiglao ” What kind of country have we become?” ZOMBIE!!!
      When Charlie Hepdo publication in Paris, France was attack and killed 10-12 staff by Islamist group, 4 million Parisian when out to denouce the attack. 44 SAF troopers was massacred by MILF in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. Did the Filipinos do what the Parisian did? When the Abnoy in Malacanang throwing away monies to the lawmakers in the form of DAF, did Filipinos went out of the streets? NO!!!
      WHAT KIND OF COUNTRY HAVE WE BECOME!!! MA at PA (MALAY KO, PAKI ALAM KO)

  53. Robert Balmes on

    I’ve been suspecting since day 1 that MVP is just a front man for his so-called industry conglomerates. How can MVP be the owner of these companies when he is not even included in the lists of Philippines’ billionaires much more in Asia’s billionaires. Where are his assets — all hidden under the umbrella of many companies that purportedly his. Now that everything is in the open, the secrets on MVP success is no longer a myth. It is reality time!

  54. A very good article! What else can we say about our present leaders and our government? We are being screwed by some shrewd and smart foreigner businessmen and still our mayabang na Presidente is turning a blind eye to all these damn things while our majority poor are wallowing in abject poverty!

  55. After reading this article, I realize that we should be wary of APPEARANCES of wealth,” good character” of people in the public eye. We should be on the lookout of what is behind their so-called “successes”, “wealth” , “influence”, ” power”.

    How sad that we have people both in government and outside of government who have the guts to ignore the constitution for their self-interest and get away with it.

    Our only consolation is that all of these are temporary. These people will not bring all their “successes”, wealth , influence and power to the next life. There is an end to all these.

  56. Manly Garcia on

    MVP does not own or never owned the MVP Group of Companies. He is the group’s highest paid employee. He truly is very good to be tapped by the Salims.

    • HazelBiatch on

      Nobody talks about his mistakes, only his successful acquisitions. Ang lakas ng loob niya sa investments kasi hindi niya pera. And besides he bullies Filipino businessmen with Indonesian money – Treason!

    • HazelBiatch on

      The liberal party represents the political and business elite. The cause of all our problems like unequal distribution of wealth, privileges, franchises, and contracts that favor the rich.

  57. Bonifacio Claudio on

    “What kind of a country have we become?” interjected Mr. Tiglao…

    NOW it could be said:
    After the New Society was dismantled by the EDSA Revolution of 1986, our country slid back to the “old ways”… This is now the country we have become…

    • Now..election time…MVP Group will surely support running candidates..if these politicians win..do you think they will lift a finger to see whats going on..your gueass is as good as mine… :(