Duterte disrupted the cronyism that continued under the Aquinos, Cojuangcos, and Lopezes after 1986

It’s obvious that ABS-CBN is biased against Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. This is evident in the way it publishes a “report” with a headline like “Duterte sees Xi as ‘personal protector’ vs mutiny – Carpio”. Note that there is no author named for this “report”. It essentially just quotes retired Supreme Court Justice Antonio Carpio without providing additional context, corroboration, or alternative information from other sources.

Asked what he makes of Duterte’s recent statements on the West Philippine Sea which run contrast to the strong stance taken by at least 2 of his Cabinet secretaries, Carpio cited a previous statement by the President, that the Chinese leader will “protect” him if there’s a mutiny or a coup d’etat.

“I think that is what’s behind his mind, that President Xi Jinping is his personal protector against his own military if there is a coup d’etat, so he will side, whenever possible, with China against the Philippine interest and we see that every day,” Carpio told ANC’s Headstart.

The public should know that Paul Aquino, Ninoy’s brother, was responsible for the transfer of the National Power Corporation’s (NAPOCOR’s) geothermal energy assets when he was given a post at Energy Development Corporation, which was a Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) subsidiary.

Who said cronyism died after 1986?

The Lopez family’s holding company, Benpres, controls First Philippine Holdings, which is involved in power generation and distribution through Meralco. Benpres’s diversification strategy failed as a result of the 1997 Asian financial crisis. Hardest hit were Maynilad and Bayantel. In 2004, they were given the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) as a reward for their key role in former President Joseph “Erap” Estrada’s ouster in 2001. But the combined debt load of Bayantel and Maynilad were such a drain that they were forced to sell NLEX to Manny Pangilinan. They were eventually forced to do the same with Meralco.

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Maynilad and Meralco are now part of the MVP Group, also known to be Anthoni Salim’s two biggest companies in the Philippines. Pangilinan himself gained control of the PLDT shares not included in the sale of the block which belonged to Ramon and Antonio Cojuangco, that was under Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) sequestration.

The status quo was disrupted by Duterte when he became President. We must remember that cronyism didn’t disappear after former President Ferdinand Marcos was deposed in 1986. New cronies were minted. You can check the records of the number of government owned and controlled corporations were privatized from 1986 – 2004, including those seized by the PCGG from Marcos cronies. This is why these oligarchs will not stand for either a Marcos or Duterte Presidency in 2022.

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