Saturday, September 12, 2009

PDI Get Real 09.12.09 The mysterious case of lawyer Catalino Generillo

Get RealThe mysterious case of lawyer Catalino Generillo
By Solita Collas-MonsodPhilippine Daily InquirerFirst Posted 02:03:00 09/12/2009Filed Under: Graft & Corruption, Government offices & agencies, Legal issues, Litigation & Regulations
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Catalino Aldea Generillo Jr., who broke into the public’s consciousness as a special counsel of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), got fired for doing a good job. But he is fighting on. Earlier this week he wrote a letter to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, in the belief that it is his sacred duty to call her attention to the “appalling conduct of the PCGG and the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) in Civil Case No. 005.” Civil Case No. 005 is entitled “Republic of the Philippines vs Estate of Ferdinand Marcos et al.” It was filed at the Sandiganbayan in 1987 and, by its number, it is one of the first cases of unexplained wealth filed after the People Power Revolt. There are 29 individual defendants and 40 corporate defendants in this case, which is probably why it took almost 17 years to reach the pre-trial stage, and another two years to start its actual trial.

The case made the headlines, not least because Lucio Tan and Imelda Marcos are among the defendants, and Tan’s corporations are among the corporate defendants (e.g., Allied Bank, Fortune Tobacco, Asia Brewery). What made it even more conspicuous is that Ms Marcos filed a cross-complaint against her co-defendant Tan, claiming among others that the Marcos heirs owned 60 percent of Tan’s corporate assets, and she presented documentary evidence to that effect. The Sandiganbayan did not give due course to the cross-complaint, nor did the Supreme Court.

So what is Generillo’s beef? What does he consider “appalling” conduct by the PCGG and the OSG? He is outraged that these agencies have been sitting on the offer of Mariano Tanenglian, one of the defendants in the case and the brother of Tan, to be a government witness in exchange for immunity. Apparently, there had been meetings earlier this year, and on July 18, 2009, Tanenglian’s lawyers formally discussed with PCGG officials his offer to testify for the government.

One would think that the PCGG and OSG would have grabbed the chance to have as witness for the prosecution somebody who figuratively knew exactly where all the bodies were buried. After all, Tanenglian, until he was booted out of the Lucio Tan group this year, was treasurer or held the equivalent position in all of its companies. But nothing happened. So one month later, on Aug. 19, the lawyers of Tanenglian reiterated their offer, only to be met by another blank wall of silence. Thus Generillo’s Sept. 8 letter to the President.

Is Generillo just a case of sour grapes because he was fired from the PCGG? Or more accurately, because his deputation as special counsel was not renewed late last year? (The deputation is done every six months.) Therein lies an interesting tale.

First, let’s look at Generillo’s background. He was with the Philippine National Bank (PNB) since 1973, when he passed its entrance exams—one of 200 who qualified out of 6,000 applicants. Starting as bank examiner, he worked his way up to vice president, at the same time, studying law (graduating magna cum laude from Lyceum) and passing the bar in 1983. He left PNB in 1999, taking advantage of an early retirement package, and started his private practice.

In 2001, he heard Haydee Yorac, newly-appointed chair of the PCGG, over the radio, bemoaning its lack of good lawyers, and sounding the call for public service. He immediately wrote her. She must have been impressed with his qualifications and interview, because she promptly hired him. He stayed on after she left, and was assigned to Civil Case 005 in January 2001, when the lawyer handling it resigned.

And that’s where he started getting into trouble. He apparently did more homework than most on the case, because he uncovered more evidence and interviewed more possible witnesses—a fact which obviously did not sit well with the Tan side, and less obviously with the PCGG and the OSG. A news report has Generillo claiming that he had to overcome the reluctance of both the PCGG and Solicitor General Agnes Devanadera before he could present Bongbong Marcos as a hostile witness to help confirm the alleged “special concessions” obtained by Tan from Marcos.

He also found previously undiscovered documents from the Malacañang Museum with the help of its director, Jeremy Barnes, who he also put on the witness stand—documents like a letter written to Marcos (signed by Tanenglian) in 1984, asking him to approve a deposit of $50 million by the Central Bank to Allied Bank, and another letter requesting tax exemption for 100 million bottles for Asia Brewery—both approved by marginal notation. It took three days for the court to mark all the new documents.

Moreover, he impleaded as witness a former PNB executive who testified that Tan was given special treatment, both by the PNB (a P300-million line of credit when P200 million was the single-borrower’s limit), and the CB.

This burst of activity from a heretofore lackadaisical PCGG may have prompted Estelito Mendoza, Tan’s defense lawyer, to write a letter to the PCGG, pointing out that while the OSG is supposed to be representing the PCGG in all cases, yet it was Generillo prosecuting, “indeed, apparently controlling the prosecution of the case.” He then asked for a copy of Generillo’s designation as special counsel and his authority to prosecute the case.

That letter was written on Nov. 17, 2008. Generillo’s deputation as special counsel was not renewed as of the end of November 2008. Draw your own conclusions.

The Daily Tribune Mr. Expose' 01.27.09

The Daily Tribune
Dismiss Resado

Amb. Ernesto Maceda
Based on his admissions at the House of Representatives hearings last Friday, State Prosecutor John Resado should be charged with tax evasion, doing lending operation..........

Solita Monsod confirms.. Last Wednesday, we wrote that the major cause of BIR’s P60-billion shortfall in its 2008 collections is the failure to pay taxes properly by telecom, cigarette and liquor companies. Former Neda Director General Solita Collas-Monsod, a senior professor of Economics at UP, supplies the details on sin tax evasions. She wrote in her Philippine Daily Inquirer column of Saturday, Jan. 25, the following: “There is one very simple action they can take, which would take at most five minutes of their time: Just remove the poison pill provision that was inserted in the law in 1997 by the bicameral conference committee (it wasn’t in the original bill). In effect, the provision keeps the classification of the tobacco and alcohol products nailed to what they were as of Oct. 1, 1996, “until revised by Congress.” Henceforth, the classification should be based on current net retail prices, as explicitly defined in the tax code, and not prices obtaining 12 years ago!

“The poison pill provision, innocuous as it looks and sounds, has cost the government tons of money in lost revenues, already estimated at something like P20 billion a year by then Finance Secretary Lito Camacho, way back in 2002, just on cigarettes alone. That amount would have to be much larger six years later. It must be pointed out, that the P20 billion in lost revenues is not just because of the freezing of the classifications to 1996 prices. The loss is also due to the rampant under declaration of production — and whistle-blower Elpidio Que has documents purporting to show that for alcohol products, only 10 percent of the actual value of transactions are being reported for tax purposes. The figure is even lower for cigarettes.”

The billions that cigarette and liquor companies contribute to presidential campaigns are a drop in the bucket of the taxes they have evaded. Attention please, Commissioner Sixto Esquivias IV.

Problems, problems. GMA’s problems are piling up by the day. Besides the critical remarks of President Barack Obama and the adverse World Bank report on corruption in road contracts, now comes the withdrawal by the French firm Suez Energy from its offer to buy the Calaca power plant in Batangas for $787 million, ..........

PDI Get Real 01.24.09 Adding insult to injury

Get RealAdding insult to injury
By Solita Collas-MonsodPhilippine Daily InquirerFirst Posted 01:11:00 01/24/2009Filed Under: State Budget & Taxes, Congress, Economy and Business and Finance, Economic Indicators

If anyone had any doubts about the perception of corruption in the legislature, surely they have now been laid to rest with the news reports that Congress had increased its 2009 pork barrel by more than P2 billion over that of last year’s. [Read story]

That has to be adding insult to the injury our legislators have perpetrated on the Filipino people when, in the face of the obvious need for a fiscal stimulus package, they not only allocated a piddling P56.1 billion for the purpose, but also delayed its approval for over six months since the need was recognized. One uses the term piddling advisedly: That amount is about 0.8 percent of one percent of our gross domestic product (GDP), compared with China’s stimulus package of a reported 18 percent of its GDP or Singapore’s of eight percent of its GDP. Even the United States, which has been acting as if it cannot tell its face from its rear end as far as its economic problems are concerned, has approved a stimulus package that is about one percent of GDP, on top of the funds it has set aside to “bail out” the financial sector (roughly five percent of its GDP).

One cannot resist pointing out that these shortcomings on the part of the legislature have been met with equanimity by all concerned, and that had it been President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who was involved, the reaction would have been outrage and impeachment calls.

And in for a penny, in for a pound: it was reported that Singapore, which grew 7.7 percent in 2007 (compared to our 7.3 percent), reported a sharp slowdown in 2008 GDP growth to only 1.2 percent. While official estimates of the National Statistical Coordination Board are still to come out next week, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has estimated that our growth last year was anywhere from 3.5-4.2 percent. Not a bad performance on our part, considering. If we refuse to attribute it to Gloria’s management, much less should we attribute it to the legislature’s efforts. But let us at least congratulate ourselves for once, for having weathered the storm so far, relatively better than Singapore has done. The bad news is that given the size of our stimulus package and the delay in its passage, it is more than likely that we won’t do so well this year.

But our legislators can still redeem themselves partially, if they so wish. For example, they want to make sure that the budget deficit does not increase, so that if they want to increase expenditures, revenue collections must increase at least at the same pace. To that end, they are, according to news reports, looking at the “sin” taxes — excise taxes on tobacco and alcoholic drinks.

On the other hand, while they are studying the matter, there is one very simple action they can take, which would take at most five minutes of their time: just remove the poison pill provision that was inserted in the law in 1997 by the bicameral conference committee (it wasn’t in the original bill). In effect, that provision keeps the classification of the tobacco and alcohol products nailed to what they were as of Oct. 1, 1996, “until revised by Congress.” Henceforth, the classification should be based on current net retail prices, as explicitly defined in the tax code, and not prices obtaining 12 years ago!
That poison pill provision, innocuous as it looks and sounds, has cost the government tons of money in lost revenues, already estimated at something like P20 billion a year by then-secretary of finance Lito Camacho, way back in 2002, just on cigarettes alone. That amount would have to be much larger six years later. The Filipino people will probably (grudgingly) concede Congress its additional P2-billion pork barrel, if it paves the way for getting P20 billion more a year in sin taxes.

It must be pointed out, that the P20 billion in lost revenues is not just because of the freezing of the classifications to 1996 prices. The loss is also due to the rampant underdeclaration of production — and whistleblower Elpidio Que has documents purporting to show that for alcohol products, only 10 percent of the actual value of transactions is being reported for tax purposes. (The figure is even lower for cigarettes.)

That is where the executive branch should come in. Because if Congress has shown an obvious bias in favor of certain cigarette and tobacco interests to the disadvantage of the Filipino people (but to the private benefit of the legislators), the executive has shown equal, if not greater laxness. To wit: the Bureau of Internal Revenue, more than six months after Que blew his whistle on Lucio Tan’s Asia Brewery Inc. and Fortune Tobacco Corp., has still to report what the results of its investigations (if any) have been on the matter.

But what has been happening in the tobacco and alcohol sectors is also happening in petroleum. A few statistics tell the story: In the 10-year period from 1997 to 2006, the economy grew at an average of 4.3 percent a year, the number of petroleum-powered motor vehicles increased by 70 percent, and our population grew by 15 million. Yet, over that same period, the official statistics show that our consumption of petroleum products decreased from 138 million barrels of oil equivalent to 101 million barrels!

Smuggling is what explains the discrepancy — and here the loss in revenues because of oil smuggling was estimated at P29 billion for 2006 alone. The good news is that smuggling should be relatively easy to stop: the movement of oil is not easy to hide.

The way is clear: Congress focusing on tobacco and alcohol (or even just tobacco alone), the executive focusing on petroleum products. Surely that is not too much to ask? It may spell the difference between some growth and the specter of recession.Copyright 2008 Philippine Daily

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PDI Get Real 12.06.08 The Que stories: who's listening?

Get RealThe Que stories: who’s listening?
By Solita Collas-MonsodPhilippine Daily InquirerFirst Posted 01:48:00 12/06/2008
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Elpidio Que. The name may not be a household word, as is Joc-joc (Bolante) or (Rodolfo) Lozada. But if he perseveres in what he is doing, and his stories prove to be correct, it surely will be. Who is Elpidio Que? Well, for one, he is one of the few individuals who have publicly taken on the multibillionaire Lucio Tan. And for another, like Lozada and Joc-joc, he should know where the bodies are; and like Lozada, but unlike Joc-joc, he has been spilling the beans. In other words, Que is a whistleblower.

Unfortunately, while Lozada’s stories have been eaten up by the public, and resulted in the resignation of a high government official and the cancellation of a multibillion-peso, corruption-tainted project, the Que stories have not been picked up. One can only speculate that perhaps, with regard to the Lozada stories, both the political opposition and the media picked them up. No such luck yet for Que.

But Que deserves as much attention, if not from the public, at least from government, particularly the Department of Finance and the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), which have been pursuing tax evasion cases against Tan for about 20 years, and so far have failed miserably at it. Whether government has sufficient evidence or not is a matter of perspective: Per Liway Chato, former BIR head, the government had “truckloads” of evidence, and as per the investigative report of Raul Locsin’s Business Day newspaper (now BusinessWorld), it was an open and shut case. But per Chato’s successor, Beethoven Rualo, and his administrative superior, Finance Secretary Edgardo Espiritu (during the Joseph Estrada administration), there was insufficient evidence.

What Que adds to the equation is that he claims to have a smoking gun, so to speak. His bio-data says that he was with Tan’s Asia Brewery Inc. for eight years as sales manager, at various times, for North Metro Manila, Southern Tagalog and Bicol, and North Region and Central Region. And he has not hesitated to share this experience in writing—as when he protested Tan’s being made an adopted son of Ilocos Sur province (where Que is from), and more recently, when he testified during a session of the city council of the Ilocos Sur capital Vigan, which invited him to elaborate on such experiences.

You would think that the government, at all levels, would be all ears—the BIR, for example, and its Large Taxpayers Unit; the Department of Justice; the Department of Finance; the City of Vigan, etc., etc. The letters that that they received detailing the operations of the “dummy” companies of Tan were signed by Que. And there is no question that the letters were received because Que sent them by registered mail, and he has the registered mail numbers. In fact, I devoted two columns last July, yes, five months ago, on Que’s allegations.

But so far, nothing. On the national level, no announcements about an investigation by the BIR, or by the Department of Finance; and, according to Que, no reply acknowledging receipt of his letters. On the local level, the provincial board of Ilocos Sur has not replied to Que’s letter of protest (sent over six months ago). The Vigan City council , as adverted to above, did ask Que to attend their “Question Hour” four months ago (August), and Que not only testified, but followed it up two months later, and even sent them a letter recapping what he said. But that’s it.

Excuse me. Not quite it. Que claims that a closed-door meeting was held last Oct. 21 between Vigan City Mayor Eva Singson Molina and Vice Mayor Franz Ranches on one side, and one Alvin Go (allegedly a lawyer for Tan’s Fortune Tobacco Corp. and Allied Banking Corp.) and one Angelo Ang (general manager of Tan’s Northern Tobacco Redrying Co. Inc.) on the other. What they discussed is anybody’s guess because, according to Que, the city council was not briefed on the minutes.

I am also in receipt of a copy of a letter on a City of Vigan letterhead, signed by one Milagros Contreras as city treasurer, informing a company (supposedly one of Tan’s) that its books were to be examined. It was undated but was allegedly delivered to the company in the second week of October.

But Que says that he will not be deterred in his campaign. (I have yet to meet him, although we have talked on the phone.) And he continues to send me papers.

The Philippines has the dubious distinction of having one of the lowest tax effort ratios in the region, if not the world. Que, a former Tan executive, is willing to testify in court on what he says he knows of the alleged tax evasion practices of the Tan group of companies and its dummies. Que says that another former associate, one Romeo Tan, is also willing to tell his story—Romeo Tan being an incorporator of one of eight companies in the original government case against Lucio Tan.

That case, which the government lost, involved P26 billion in unpaid taxes (including penalties and interest). Former secretary of finance Lito Camacho and former undersecretary of finance Nene Guevara have given estimates of what the government loses in taxes from Tan—something like P20 billion a year. Que says that last year, Philip Morris (a Fortune Tobacco competitor), which is supposed to have about 25 percent of the market, reported sales revenue of P30.3 billion, while Fortune Tobacco, with about 70 percent of the market, reported sales revenue of P30 billion for the same period.

Que’s witness presents a golden opportunity for the government. Missing it, would raise many questions about the government’s campaign against tax evasion.

Copyright 2008 Philippine Daily Inquirer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

This shows that all the Filipino politicians and government officials, from Malacanang and down, are all in the service of the Yellow Economic Lucifer Lucio Tan!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Asiaweek Magazine The Power of Lucio Tan

Asiaweek Magazine

The Power of Lucio Tan

With his high court win, the magnate looks invincible

By Tim Healy and Antonio Lopez / Manila

DEPENDING ON WHOM YOU believe, Lucio Tan is either a victim of Gestapo tactics by the Philippines' Bureau of Internal Revenue, or a tax dodger of mythic proportions. Recently, a five-man division of the 15-member Supreme Court disagreed with the BIR and came down on Tan's side. In a 3-2 ruling, it upheld an injunction stopping the Justice Department from hearing a tax fraud case against him. The cigarette, beer, banking, property and airline billionaire had argued that the suit would single him out and violate his right to due process.

The decision is the latest in a string of legal victories for Tan, but it is hardly the end of the tax fight. Manila aims to take the matter to the entire Supreme Court after it returns from a recess on June 19. If Solicitor-General Raul Goco gets the go-ahead to sue, then the magnate will finally have to answer tax evasion charges in court. (Contrary to many reports, the fraud case against Tan has yet to proceed, precisely because of the injunction against Justice hearings.) If the government loses its appeal, it could still issue him an assessment for back taxes. If the claim is proven valid (this could take years) but left unpaid, it could lead to a criminal case.

For now, however, Tan's riches and power seem unbeatable. The evening after the June 4 ruling, he was in Hong Kong's Island Shangri-La hotel for cocktails hosted by his Eton Properties, which owns prime real estate in the city, and graced by Philippine Foreign Secretary Domingo Siazon. Tan, 62, certainly had reason to raise the beer mug. Recently he negotiated with the government for solid control of flag carrier Philippine Airlines. The House Ways and Means Committee has watered down a tax bill that would effectively raise duties on beer and tobacco, his cash cows. Last week, despite a special session called by President Fidel Ramos for the measure, Congress did not pass it.

"Lucio Tan appears unstoppable," writes columnist Amando Doronila, "and Filipinos are not even alarmed over his economic power." The high court ruling, says BIR Commissioner Liwayway Vinzons Chato, "has brought us to the doorstep of a clear and present danger." By compelling the authorities to issue assessments for back taxes before they can sue for fraud, the decision may hamper Manila's campaign against evaders. They could tie up assessments by appealing all the way to the Supreme Court, and do the same with any fraud charges. During this interminable process, the guilty could obstruct or flee justice. Moreover, the high court ruling seems to contradict a 1980 Supreme Court decision. It allowed the BIR to file criminal charges without first assessing for back taxes, if there was strong evidence of fraud.

In Tan's case, the government is confident it has enough to prosecute . In the BIR's submission to the Justice Department where it filed fraud charges, Tan's Fortune Tobacco Corp. is alleged to have falsified transactions with 2,000 fictitious buyers and several dummy marketing firms in order to evade taxes for 1990, 1991 and 1992. The manufacturer allegedly sold cigarettes at artificially low factory prices -- the basis of taxation -- to those entities, which then resold the goods at much higher prices. The amount sought from Fortune, including interest and penalties: $1 billion. Tan and other directors and principal officers of the cigarette maker would be the accused if the case is tried. If convicted, each defendant would face five years in prison for each year that tax fraud is proved.

The tycoon's lawyer Estelito Mendoza, a solicitor-general under Ferdinand Marcos, stresses: "As of today, not a single peso of tax deficiency is due from Fortune Tobacco, Mr. Lucio C. Tan or any of the private respondents" in the tax case. He contends that Tan is merely a "scapegoat for the BIR's failure to collect taxes effectively. He is a hardworking, very aggressive businessman who spends all his waking hours working."

Last month an anonymous letter alleged that the three justices who subsequently ruled in Tan's favor were "lavishly bribed." The day before the ruling was announced, the entire high court vigorously denied the letter's allegations. The government itself discounted the accusation. But Goco did ask Santiago Kapunan, one of the three judges, not to cast a vote. Kapunan was Mendoza's subordinate when the latter was solicitor-general. Mendoza's daughter and Kapunan's wife were partners in a restaurant. Kapunan rejected Goco's motion.

This is hardly the first time Xiamen-born Tan has been in the thick of controversy. Working as a janitor when he first arrived in Manila decades ago, Tan rose to become a close Marcos associate. A former bagman of the late president once stated that Marcos owned a half-share in all of Tan's businesses. Yet after the dictator was booted out of the Philippines in 1986, Tan prospered under President Corazon Aquino. She even issued an executive order lowering the levies on his cigarettes.

But when Ramos was elected president in 1992, having beaten Tan-backed Ramon Mitra and five other major candidates, the climate for Tan's businesses began to change. First, the preferential tax rate on Fortune Tobacco's cigarettes was removed. Then came the fraud charges in 1993, part of Ramos's crusade to stop tax cheating by the privileged. The billionaire's lawyers subsequently got the injunction against the BIR. Around that time, it emerged that Tan was the secret majority shareholder of the PR Holdings consortium that had bought two-thirds of Philippine Airlines. While he has wangled a deal to keep control of PAL, a group of senators recently asked Ramos to retake the carrier in the "national interest."

Tan also is fighting with the government and San Miguel Corp. over a new tax system for beer and cigarettes based on volume. SMC says the present scheme based on price favors Tan's Asia Brewery, which markets Carlsberg and produces a San Mig rival generically labeled Beer. SMC has said that while Asia Brewery has a 20% market share in the Philippines, by volume -- San Miguel controls virtually all the rest -- it pays only 7.4% of nationwide levies. SMC says the latest version of the tax bill would worsen the disparity.

All of this suggests that Tan and the government will be at loggerheads a while longer, and not just on the judicial, commercial or congressional fronts. In two years, the highest office in the land will be up for grabs again. Presidential candidates will be going around for support. With his wealth, political connections and media clout, Tan would make a powerful ally for any aspirant. In 1998 he might just bet on the winning horse.

This illustrates how this Yellow Economic Lucifer can easily corrupt Supreme Court justices to sell their own Filipino kind, and how brilliant lawyer Estelito Mendoza, just because of money, can do the same instead of using his God-gifted talent for the goodness of humanity.These corrupt Filipino bigwigs should be ready to burn in hell when reckoning time comes!

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

PDI 10.07.08 Dam's rehab meant to protect Lucio Tan's fortune

Dam’s rehab meant to protect Fortune

Philippine Daily InquirerFirst Posted 02:41:00 10/07/2008

This is a reaction to the article titled, “Citizen Lucio Tan focuses on irrigation.” (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 8/19/08)

On the surface, the efforts of Lucio Tan appear to be laudable: P4 million for the rehabilitation of the Silag-Pacang diversion dam, which can irrigate tobacco fields in Ilocos Sur province. But when one looks past the rosy picture, things start to smell fishy.
Tan put money into the dam’s rehabilitation not because he sympathized with the plight of hundreds of tobacco farmers in the area but because he was protecting the interest of his Fortune Tobacco Corp., Ilocos Sur being a source of raw material for his cigarette manufacturing business.

If Tan’s heart is pure, why would his company — as reported by former Ilocos Sur Provincial Board member Elpidio Que — buy Virginia tobacco leaves from farmers in Ilocos for only P40 a kilo but pay the equivalent of P200 per kilo to growers in Yunnan, China for the same type of tobacco?

If Tan is truly benevolent to the tobacco farmers, and considering his massive wealth, has he done anything to eliminate, if not address, the various health problems that tobacco farmers — some of whom are children — suffer? A study in 2002 revealed that several children working in tobacco farms in the Ilocos area suffered various diseases—among them, dermatitis, melanoma, nicotine poisoning, asthma, rhinitis, acute pulmonary responses and burns (from contact with fertilizers and pesticides) — from exposure to too much sunlight and chemical fertilizers.

If he is truly compassionate, Tan should use his riches to help tobacco farmers find better alternative livelihood and income-generating activities that do not put them at risk. (Frustrated by the oppressive pricing and trading practices of buyers, many tobacco farmers have converted to other cash crops.)

The World Health Organization pinpointed tobacco smoking as the leading preventable cause of death worldwide, with about five million people dying each year, or an average of one death every six seconds.

In the Philippines, 87,600 Filipinos — about 8 to 10 every hour — die every year due to just four of tobacco-related diseases: lung cancer, stroke, heart disease and chronic obstructive lung disease. A 2005-2006 study showed that public health spending on the four diseases alone amount to P276 billion. In the same period, the Bureau of Internal Revenue had P92 billion in revenues from the tobacco industry. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out whether or not the country is benefiting from Tan’s tobacco business.

Tan may have shelled out P4 million to rehabilitate a dam, but he knows very well that his company can recover the same amount from the millions of smokers.
Tobacco farmers cannot — and should not — be deprived of livelihood, but this is one situation where we cannot afford to have trade-offs, where there shouldn’t be any losers because the consequences are a matter of life and death.

ANDREA TRINIDAD-ECHAVEZ, program manager, media advocacy, Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance Philippines (FCAP),

(The bogus philanthropist Yellow Economic Lucifer in the Philippines thinks he can fool anybody with his "philanthropic" feats? P4 million is nothing to the billions of taxes he is stealing from the Filipinos!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Newsbreak Who Inherits Lucio Tan's Billions?

Who Inherits Lucio Tan’s Billions?

Friday, 17 August 2007

Whenever people who have dealt with taipan Lucio Tan talk about him, anecdotes about four aspects of his life never seem to end: his love life, restaurant manners, political connections, and detest for paying taxes.

His political connections have been reported in the media, and the alleged tax dues have been recorded in voluminous court documents. Then there were the accounts of him ordering hopia in a five-star restaurant and gobbling it up, crumbs and flakes falling all over the place, manners one would not expect in a five-star restaurant. (Okay, so he owns Century Park Sheraton, where the restaurant is.)

His family life invites the most curiosity. Why, for instance, doesn’t anybody from his family seem to stand out as his business protégé? After all, Lucio Tan is in his twilight years and his contemporaries, who have rags-to-riches stories like him, have clear-cut succession plans. A good number of them have even turned over the management of their business empire to the next generation, and are now enjoying being grandfathers or engaging in philanthropic works.

Tan, however, remains on top of his business empire, while his children keep a low profile, with some of them engaging in enterprises that don’t seem to complement their dad’s businesses. Well, it seems that the reason is that he just has too many prospective protégés to choose from, so he’d rather not bother anymore. His family includes four wives (some say five), four mistresses (some say more), and their sons and daughters, plus a battery of siblings and extended relatives.

Having a very large family is reportedly also the reason that billionaire Tan still doesn’t have a last will and testament. Sources say that the taipan seems to believe that if he prepares one now, it will cause more squabbles among his “family” members. He would rather have them fight when he’s already six feet under.

What happens when that time comes boggles the mind. Imagine each wife, child, brother, and relative will be on his or her own. There just might not be enough good lawyers in the country to handle the inheritance cases.

(The count on his “wives” is short. It is 13. The last is the Mongolian youngling he bought for $200,000 who just gave him a child two years back. And this does not yet count the under-aged girls he choppers-off to her scattered love-nests as side dishes. The government should have an incorruptible leader to collect and punish this sexual pervert Yellow Economic Lucifer while still alive. His tax cheated wealth will not go back to government coffers but divided by his countless children and bastards through figths!)