Ateneo-MVP conflict: Jesuit priest resigns as independent director of PLDT




08:51 PM September 25th, 2012

By: Paolo G. Montecillo, September 25th, 2012 08:51 PM

MANILA, Philippines—The severing of ties between the Manuel V. Pangilinan group and his alma mater Ateneo de Manila University continues, following a very public falling-out due to “irreconcilable differences” on key issues such as mining.

The latest development in the ongoing saga is the resignation of Rev. Fr. Bienvenido F. Nebres, SJ, as an independent director for Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT), which Pangilinan chairs.

Nebres was, until last Tuesday, also chairman of the company’s audit committee and a member of the telco’s executive compensation, governance, and nominations committees.

Nebres has been part of the PLDT board since 1998.

According to the PLDT’s 2011 Annual Report, Nebres was elected as independent director of PLDT subsidiary Digital Telecommunications Philippines, or Digitel.

He is the chairman of the board of trustees of the Center for Leadership and Change and a member of the board of trustees of Sacred Heart School–Jesuit Cebu City, Loyola School of Theology, and United Board for Christian Higher Education in Asia.

Nebres was conferred the rank and title of the Order of National Scientist by President Aquino on Oct. 25, 2011, and awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of San Francisco in the United States, and Liverpool Hope University in the United Kingdom, in May and July 2011, respectively. Nebres received his PhD in mathematics from Stanford University.

“The board expressed their sincerest gratitude to Fr. Nebres for his long and invaluable service to the board, its committees and the company,” a PLDT disclosure on Tuesday read.

Pangilian cited irreconcilable differences on the issues of mining and the pending reproductive health bill as his reasons for severing ties with the school completely.  Pangilinan said the “major concerns” cited in his letter to Ateneo president Jett Villarin, SJ, were “by all means not complete or exhaustive.”

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