These adjectives separately, and collectively, describe Eduardo ‘Danding’ Cojuangco, the former ambassador, failed presidential candidate, and 'Boss' of the nation’s biggest business conglomerate.
Danding is also chairman emeritus of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, opposition party-cum-bedfellow of the ruling modern-day Kilusang Bagong Lipunan, the Lakas-Kampi-CMD combine.
Mr. Cojuangco’s business acumen and generosity towards his employees is legend. And so are his potent political dominance instincts.
So while he failed in his own bid in 1992 for the land’s highest office, Mr. Cojuangco is acknowledged still as king maker.
It also is true that critics consider him the brains behind the continued failure of Filipino coconut farmers to gain their fair share of proceeds from the Marcos era coconut levy funds.
Most recently Mr. Cojuangco’s name surfaced anew when the Supreme Court, in lightning fashion, gave its judicial imprimatur to the Presidential Commission on Good Government's approval of the conversion of coco levy San Miguel Corporation common shares (which have voting rights) into preferred shares, premised on the fact that such action would funnel some 57-B in earning from the conversion.
The action covered 753,848,312 Class “A” and “B” common shares of SMC registered in the name of the Coconut Industry Investment Fund (CIIF) Holding Companies representing around 24% of the total SMC voting shares.
The subject block of shares is sufficient to elect four of the 15 members of the SMC Board of Directors.
Sources inside the PCGG told this writer the path for the deal to be smoothed out was done in confidential meetings held in Davao by to lieutenant of Mr. Cojuangco between September 2, the day the PCGG Resolution was approved, and September 17, the day the high court okayed the action whose legality was questioned by citizens led by former Senate President Jovito Salonga.
The wheels of justice do move expeditiously.
The political point is how the reticent Mr. Cojuangco finally did speak up over the weekend about the ongoing shuffling of political cards ahead of the elections now just 6 months away.
Why did he issue the denial?
Well that’s because the latest political trial balloon had thee Little President, Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita saying the administration combine is angling to get NPC’s beauteous vice presidential standard bearer to pair up with Defense Secretary Gilbert Gibo Teodoro.
Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, interim president of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD:
You can see [Defense Secretary Gilbert] Teodoro and the party leadership might just succeed in enticing or talking successfully with the NPC to join up with the majority party.
200 leaders of Tarlac took their oath [of membership to Lakas-Kampi-CMD]. Most of the people are from the NPC ranks in Tarlac.
The “exodus” of political leaders joining the Lakas-Kampi-CMD happened after Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero resigned from NPC and failed its members’ expectations of running as their president in 2010.
The party is wooing Sen. Loren Legarda, NPC’s vice-presidential candidate, to run in tandem with Teodoro for the 2010 elections.
I believe Legarda might also be contemplating on accepting the offer of running as Teodoro’s partner as she maybe fully aware of the talks happening between the two parties. It is in the consciousness or Sen. Loren Legarda that those talks are going on. She will be properly guided.
Business tycoon and NPC chairman emeritus Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco Jr. :
Hindi ko alam (talks with other political parties for the 2010 national elections). Sila na ang bahala. Hindi na ako nakikialam (I don’t know anything about that. It’s up to the party leaders).
Cojuangco said he has also stopped meddling into the NPC's selection process for candidates. He declined to reveal the reason behind Sen. Chiz Escudero's recent surprise resignation from his party.
So you’d have Mr. Cojuangco finally surfacing to support his nephew who ‘bolted’ the NPC just before thwarting Bayani Fernando’s bid to get his party’s nod as standard bearer
It all becomes clear now.
The result: the planned November 19 declaration of a Nacionalista Party tactical marriage with with the NPC feature a Manny Villar-Loren Legarda ticket suddenly goes kaput.
So is the popular Sen. Loren going to the highest political bidder?
I've been a journalist all my life and am so passionately in love with the Philippines, warts and all. Our country will really prosper only if we stand up to be counted and not leave it to self-serving politicians and the corrupt to sell out the Philippines. Andres Bonifacio, Jose Rizal, and Ninoy Aquino did their bit. So should we.
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