Lance Gokongwei won’t join Duterte admin but vows to help
Business magnate Lance Gokongwei isn’t joining the government anytime soon, possibly not ever, but he pledged something just as important to the incoming President Rodrigo Duterte: help to boost the country’s lethargic domestic manufacturing sector.
Gokongwei, president of conglomerate JG Summit Holdings and the successor of his father, tycoon John Gokongwei Jr., had been offered the post of finance secretary but declined, sources from the Duterte camp said.
In an interview after JG Summit’s stockholders meeting late Thursday, Gokongwei neither confirmed nor denied Duterte’s reported offer. But he said Carlos Dominquez was “an excellent choice” for the position.
As the captain of the Gokongwei conglomerate, the Wharton-educated Lance is not expected to leave—even just for six years—the crucial post his father groomed him to play since he was born. And especially not when the founder and patriarch, fondly called “Big John” who still sits as chair emeritus, has indicated a desire to fully retire when he reaches the ripe age of 90 this August.
The patriarch has transferred bulk of his shares to Lance and other children and recently liquidated some. Any required divestment as a consequence of joining public service could only complicate estate planning.
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