The pitfall of foreign ownership


Here’s one reason why some Filipinos are pessimistic about 100 percent ownership of local businesses by foreigners even as some lawmakers these days are steadfast in seeking to amend the constitution for this provision.

Jose and Rita Magno know very well what happens when a foreigner takes over a Filipino company. They lost their family corporation to a Canadian holding company. Here’s their story: Sometime in 2001, Canadian David Ronald De Bora, chairman of Great Returns Intl., Ltd. invested $200,000 to the Lifestyles (Asia Pacific) Phils., Inc, a distributor of herbal medical products that they owned.

The money, representing only the minimum amount of investment, was deposited in the company’s dollar account in Metrobank-Makati branch and continues to remain there to this day according to Rita Magno.

Surprisingly, even before the formal turnover of the new board of directors and officers, Jose Magno was fired from his position and his office padlocked indefinitely.

In short Magno was kicked out of the said company and was not paid a single centavo by De Bora of Great Returns Intl. from Canada as its former owner and was denied of his shares of stocks from the company, based on the court documents provided by the Magno family to this columnist.

In 2001, Lifestyles was worth P350 million based on its assets and sales.

Magno wants to get his 10 percent share of the amount of his former company since its new owner refused to pay what is supposedly due to him.

To cut the story short, the Magnos won their case from the regional trial court all the way to the Supreme Court. The High Tribunal ordered the lower court to have De Bora pay the couple.

Surprisingly, Sheriff Nicanor Ramos of Mandaluyong RTC, for reasons only known to him, refused to issue the “writ of execution” of the court to Great Returns Intl. to this day.

Great Returns Intl. of Canada is definitely not the kind of investor the country wants!

The Senate has finally approved on Monday the Freedom of Information Bill (FOI) while the lower house has yet to give its thumbs up on the said bill that has stalled in the halls of congress for the past 21 years.

Senate Chairman on Mass Media and Public Information Grace Poe spearheaded the FOI passage since earning a seat in the senate during last election.

All of her colleagues voted unanimously for the said bill to become a law that will finally give access to anyone on the expenditures of government agencies and its officials, including their lifestyles.

The House of Representatives has yet to deliberate on the plenary whether this bill becomes a law as some lawmakers fear will put their lives and work under the microscopic eye of the public, including their family and wealth.

However, the official reason congress gave of its pessimism on the said bill is the fear that it might jeopardize the country’s national security and eventually the information might end up on the hands of the enemies of the state.

Sen. Poe, however, assured her colleagues that safety nets or measures are in place to prevent this kind of fear to happen.

So, to our lawmakers in the House of Representatives…what are you waiting for, Your Honors???


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  1. Mr.Edwin Tulfo,u can’t expect d Congressmen/politicians to reveal “d MANY/NUMEROUS SKELETONS” in their closets BUT they shouldn’t underestimate d POWER of d MASSES.Lets ensure that d FOI bill will be passed by Congress within this few months.We always hear them preaching transparency,fight corruption etc then “walk ur talk congressman/politicians.we laymen just tired of ur gimmicks hoodwinking d Filipino people.we are not illiterates neither are we blind…..

  2. Manuel C. Diaz on

    This move by Congress to amend the Cory Constitution to allow foraigners to own 100% of corporation engage in business limited to Filipinos is another Resurrection of the US LUAREL LANGLY AMENDMENT TO THE 1935 CONSTITUTION THE PARITY AMENDMENT. Why not this idiots and morons in Congress and in the Senate amend the constitution selling the whole Philippines to Communist China they already control our economy. Chines now control PLDT, MERALCO and THE NATIONAL GRID to name a few.