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Biz Buzz

/ 12:25 AM September 19, 2016

Family feud 


A real estate businessman who was recently hailed by an international publication for his work on philanthropy is embroiled in a legal dispute that puts into question whether he is deserving of such accolade. But not if you agree that charity begins at home, his critics say.


The businessman has reportedly filed cases disowning his only daughter, the same one for whom he had previously built a church in gratitude to the Virgin Mary for this offspring’s miraculous healing from an open-heart surgery when she was an infant (there was a big fuss about this donation years ago).


Mr. Philanthropist now seeks to take back all the things he had given her, including her name and home. He even wants to revoke the deed of donation covering photographs displayed in a museum that were earlier donated to the daughter.

“This young girl had experienced the horror of receiving subpoenas, going to court, extreme humiliation and sadness, the root cause of which is her mother’s position of contesting her father’s petition for nullity of marriage,” said a source close to the camp of the estranged daughter and wife.

We’re not sure if siding with the mother on this case of feuding parents is the key reason why the businessman seeks to disinherit the daughter. Maybe the businessman has his own reasons. Nonetheless, it doesn’t bode well to his reputation as a philanthropist if dirty linen is washed in public. Doris Dumlao-Abadilla 


New SSS chair 

THE APPOINTMENTS of the Duterte administration for some key government agencies and state-run firms are coming in slowly, but—make no mistake about it—they do come in surely.


Biz Buzz learned that another important appointment was made late last week involving one of the largest government financial institutions. We’re talking about none other than the Social Security System, which, although not a government-owned agency per se (it is owned by the members and pensioners from the private sector), is “government-administered” by law.

According to our sources, Malacañang has chosen constitutionalist and University of the East law dean Amado Valdez to be the new SSS chair.

Any doubts as to the importance of this appointment can be dispelled by taking one look at the financial reports of the pension fund. It manages close to P500 billion worth of investments and assets composed of monthly contributions from close to 34 million private sector workers. That’s a lot of money and a heavy responsibility.

And it’s a burden Valdez is prepared to bear given his extensive background in the legal profession, augmented by a master’s degree in business economics from the University of Asia and the Pacific. He is also part of the Divina Law office as an “of counsel”, meaning he works with the firm but is not a partner.

Previous to this appointment, Valdez hasn’t been known to be close to the Duterte camp, but he did file a petition in late 2015 to have then presidential candidate (and frontrunner) Grace Poe disqualified from the race, which was eventually thrown out by the Supreme Court. (Incidentally, Divina Law senior partner Estrella “Star” Elamparo also filed a separate disqualification case against Poe in 2015.)

In any case, Valdez will have his hands full at the SSS as the fund is once more under pressure from populist lawmakers to raise benefits to its members—something that must be balanced with fiscal prudence that is necessary to prolong the life of the pension fund’s financial assets. Daxim L. Lucas

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TAGS: Business, businessman, economy, News, philanthropy, Real Estate

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