COLUMN-OPINION: Why fear MVP-Manuel V. Pangilinan? – By Ramon T. Tulfo

 

Businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan

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RAMON T. TULFO

IT was high time businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan, who wants to be called MVP (for “Most Valuable Player),” was put in his place.

President Digong did that for the second time when he threatened to shut down MVP’s PLDT Inc. for not expanding the telephone hotline to Malacañang for citizens’ complaints.

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Pangilinan immediately became obsequious to Mr. Duterte. He said that he would address the President’s complaint.

“I’m going to put more lines than the 20 mandated in the contract with the government and we will man it,” MVP said, probably wetting his pants.

The President had been complaining that the 8888 hotline to Malacañang could not accommodate numerous complaints by citizens of corruption by government officials and employees.

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The other time Digong put Pangilinan in his proper place was when the President told the businessman off for interfering in his governance.

If memory serves, Pangilinan had told Mr. Duterte to assert the country’s sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea.

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To which Digong shot back, “Just remember you are only a puppet of the foreign-based Salim group while I am the elected President of the Republic of the Philippines.”

After that, MVP has been following the President around in his state visits like a puppy. I saw him in China, Japan and Korea. It was MVP’s way of saying that Digong is the boss.

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MVP was feared by Presidents Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Benigno “Noynoy kuyakoy” Aquino 3rd because he’s supposedly a media titan.

Aside from PLDT, Pangilinan owns Metro Pacific Investments Corp., Philex Mining and Manila Electric Co. (Meralco).

Through Metro Pacific, he holds major stocks in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Mandaluyong, Cardinal Santos Hospital in San Juan, Makati Medical Center, Delgado Memorial Hospital in Quezon City, Davao Doctors’ Hospital, Riverside Medical Center in Bacolod City, and other hospitals.

Pangilinan has controlling stakes in Maynilad Water Services, North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), Manila-Cavite Expressway (Cavitex), and Light Rail Manila Corp.

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MVP, who loves to surround himself with hunks, owns TNT Ka Tropa, Meralco Volts and NLEX Road Warriors basketball teams.

But the most fearsome thing about Pangilinan — in the eyes of many politicians — is that he’s a big stockholder of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Philippine Star, Business World and TV-5.

It’s no wonder that those media outlets are his rah-rah entities; they always report about him in glowing terms.

Yes, Mr. Duterte is right: MVP is just a dummy of Anthoni Salim of Indonesia who owns the Salim Group of companies.

So, why fear MVP the Billionaire when he’s made in Indonesia?

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Ok, you have a complaint against an abusive government official or employee but can’t get through to the Malacañang 8888 hotline because it’s always busy.

Then call my hotline at “Isumbong Mo Kay Tulfo” 0998-792-6304, 0936-933-0811, and the landline (02)621-8618.

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Your call will be attended to immediately. You can also send an e-mail to my office through [email protected]

Better still, come to our office at On Target Media Concept and Public Service Office at Unit 2702, AIC Burgundy Empire Tower Bldg., ADB Ave., Ortigas Center, Pasig City.

I and my angels (all-female staff) — as in Charlie’s Angels — are at your service.

Listen to my program every morning from 9 to 10 a.m. at Radyo Pilipinas (738 kHz), Monday through Friday.

We’d like to consider ourselves as the citizenry’s ombudsman’s office, different from the Office of the Ombudsman, which is government.

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I hate to say this as this might be misconstrued as blowing my own horn, but my “Isumbong” is the original sumbungan ng bayan (citizens’ complaint and action center).

My “Isumbong” program started in 1991 at Radyo Veritas. It immediately caught fire because of its novelty. Other stations copied it.

I don’t want to mention the other programs that are copycats — they include my brothers’ programs now — but suffice it to say that I started citizens’ complaint and action centers manned by ordinary citizens and not by government people.

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A caveat: Please don’t come to me with your personal problems like having an unfaithful spouse, quarrel with your lover or your neighbors, unpaid debts, financial difficulties.

You deserve to have that problem because of your bad choices; you should solve the problem yourself and not pass it on to others.

But if you feel you were inapi or a victim of bullying by a policeman, traffic aide, a clerk in a government office that you transacted business with, an illegal recruiter and other scammers, then come to us.

We help without expecting anything in return. Our reward is good karma, which will come sooner than later.

Yes, I believe that whatever good you do for your fellow man comes back to you a hundredfold.

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Arnell Ignacio — comedian, actor, TV host — has resigned as deputy administrator of the Office of the Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), an agency that helps overseas workers in distress.

Ignacio was a tireless worker at OWWA. He was at the airport every day (or night) to fetch overseas domestic workers who were repatriated after being oppressed by their Arab employers.

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Arnell lent these unfortunate compatriots a shoulder to cry on.

But his position did not give him a paycheck to support a lifestyle long used to luxury.

One day he found that he could no longer afford to buy the expensive medicines for his sick father, he told me.

Arnell said he could still work for the Department of Labor and Employment as a consultant on a one-peso-a-year basis.

“I really love to serve our people, Kuya Mon, but there are so many irresistible job offers outside,” he said.

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