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Biz Buzz: A shocker for Malacañang

/ 12:00 AM May 04, 2016

The result of the mock election held by the Philippine Stocks Exchange (PSE) during its annual golf tournament last Saturday at Tagaytay Midlands should come as a big shocker to Malacañang and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas. Or maybe not.

The results revealed that the who’s who of the Philippine business sector are apparently voting for presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte. So apart from having the support of the masses, he also has the support of many of the country’s captains of industry.

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In the same way that Duterte consistently topped surveys of the Social Weather Station (SWS) and Pulse Asia, the Davao City mayor was chosen as president by 49 voters-participants in the mock election that followed the PSE golf tournament.

Duterte was followed by Roxas with 38, Sen. Grace Poe with 21, Vice President Jejomar Binay with seven and Sen. Miriam Santiago getting two votes. Twelve were undecided.

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The results of the PSE mock poll could indicate where the business votes are going (in favor of Duterte, the numbers show for now), despite the issues raised against him.

Why the support for Duterte? It would seem that his three- to six-month timetable for wiping out criminality in the country appeals strongly to crime-weary businessmen.

Incidentally, a recent mock poll conducted in no less than the Department of Finance—the bastion of the fiscal policies of “Daang Matuwid”—yielded even more surprising numbers.

Conducted before the allegations of undeclared bank deposits were leveled against him, Duterte garnered a stunning 88 votes among the employees of the DOF who are in charge of keeping the country’s finances in order. And you wouldn’t believe who came in second either: none other than Vice President Binay who got 58 votes. Coming in at third was Roxas with 54, while Poe had 43 and Santiago, 33. Twenty-six were undecided.

For the vice presidency, it was practically a statistical tie among the statistics-loving employees of DOF, with Leni Robredo getting 109 votes to Sen. Bongbong Marcos’ 106 votes. Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano slightly edged out Sen. Chiz Escudero, 26 to 23 votes.

The results, unexpected as they were, led several longtime DOF officials’ jaws to drop. Is this a precursor to the entire Philippines’ collective jaw dropping next Monday? Abangan!  Daxim L. Lucas

Rivalry for law talent, too

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LIKE we at Biz Buzz said before, the rivalry between the high-flying lawyers of what was once called “The Firm” (that is, the former Villaraza, Cruz, Marcelo & Angangco, a.k.a. “CVC Law”) is as strong as ever.

As the firm has now split into two separate groups (Villaraza & Angangco retaining the monicker of “The Firm,” while the other side is the Cruz Marcelo Tenefrancia law office or CMT), they have been aggressively building up their respective arsenal of young and smart lawyers.

After Tuesday’s announcement of the results of the 2015 bar exams, Biz Buzz made inquiries with both groups as to how their new hires fared. Needless to say, both law firms had a 100-percent passing rate for all their new employees, which is, in itself, an impressive feat.

But our friends in V&A proudly proclaimed that one of their new lawyers was now a certified topnotcher, having ranked number five in the Top 10 with a mark of 86.7 percent. She was Canadian-Filipina Mandy Therese Anderson, who graduated from the Ateneo Law School.

Ah but the lawyers at CMT Law were prepared for this round of their regular one-upmanship game. They proudly announced that one of their new hires gained no less than the top—the absolute top—slot in the bar exams. Coming in at No. 1 was UP Law School’s Rachel Angeli Miranda with a grade of 87.4 percent, an associate at CMT.

Miranda, Biz Buzz learned, was an Inquirer scholar, a cum laude graduate of journalism in UP and won the Vicente Mendoza Prize for Best Paper in Review of Supreme Court Decisions (UP Law) and Best Thesis (undergraduate). She was also a member of the champion team for the 8th Monroe Price Media Law Moot Court Competition. Impressive credentials.

Who knows? Maybe these new lawyers from both firms (who are literally neighbors in Bonifacio Global City) can reconcile the way their elders could not? OK, maybe not.  Daxim L. Lucas

Comelec sigh of relief

WITH barely five days to go before the 2016 national elections, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) heaved a sigh of relief Tuesday after a Manila court reportedly junked last ditch efforts by a disqualified bidder to stop the poll body and its courier service provider from proceeding with the delivery of ballots and other election paraphernalia.

Millions of voters in northern and central Luzon, including the Cordilleras, could have been disenfranchised on election day had the court granted a temporary restraining order requested by Airfreight 2100 Inc., a company formerly controlled by Customs Commissioner Alberto Lina.

In a petition, disqualified bidder Airfreight 2100 sought to stop Comelec and the winning joint venture of 2GO Express Inc. and 2GO Logistics from enforcing a P429-million delivery contract covering Regions 1, 2 and 3 and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).

Fortunately for the close to 6  million affected voters in northern and central Luzon, the judge reportedly threw out Airfreight 2100’s TRO plea for lack of merit. With only days to go before the May 9 national polls, Comelec and its courier service provider are still in a mad rush to complete deliveries of official ballots, non-accountable forms and ballot boxes. They expect to finish deliveries down to the municipal level in the next couple of days.

As of press time, Comelec data indicated that there were still 163,000 ballots for delivery in CAR; 96,000 in Region 2 and 5.5 million in Region 3. If 2GO Express and 2GO Logistics were barred by a TRO, Comelec insiders are looking at the worse-case scenarios of possible delay of the elections in affected areas depending on how long the TRO lasts or no elections in localities that do not have complete election equipment and ballots.

Thus, Comelec insiders said the timely dismissal of the TRO petition averted a potential ’revolution’ by millions of voters whose votes could swing the presidential election for or against particular candidates.  Daxim L. Lucas

E-mail us at [email protected] Get business alerts and a preview of Biz Buzz the evening before it comes out. Text ON INQ BUSINESS to 4467 (P2.50/alert).

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TAGS: Business, economy, Malacañang, News, Philippine Stocks Exchange, PSE, Rodrigo Duterte
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