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BIZ BUZZ: Hospital arrest, the sequel

/ 04:01 AM October 27, 2021

No sooner did we publish Mrs. Hospital Detainee’s troubles on Monday when fresh details were shared with Biz Buzz about the controversy, including insights from her husband’s friends explaining how things have come to a pretty pass.

But before we delve into that, the hyperactive group chats of the well-heeled were brought to a shocked standstill earlier this week. This happened as the wealthy ladies of Makati were talking about the situation and pushing forward their noble and well-intentioned advocacy to free their friend from this certain upscale hospital in Pasig City.

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As it turned out, they were talking about the salacious (and quite frankly, disturbing) details of the issue in the group chat, not realizing that the daughter of Mrs. Hospital Detainee was part of that same group. (They even had a hashtag to help the advocacy gain traction on social media.)

To the shocked surprise of everyone in the group chat, Mrs. Hospital Detainee’s also husband suddenly replied in the group, resulting in what must have been a few seconds of awkward stunned silence. Whoopsie.

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In any case, the side of the husband and the children are telling friends that the efforts of Mrs. Hospital Detainee’s friends are not helping and are actually aggravating the matter, to the point of also hurting the innocent children.

(Indeed, what surprised many was the fact that the habeas corpus petition that the mother and sister of Mrs. Hospital Detainee filed named two of the children as respondents, along with the dad.)

The family’s friends have also reached out to Biz Buzz to explain the situation, basically saying that—without us sharing all the sordid details here—that both sides had their … how do we put it nicely … “shortcomings.”

So the question that both camps are now grappling with is: Does all this merit Mrs. Hospital Detainee being held in solitary confinement in a medical facility these past few months? These are tough questions that the Pasig Regional Trial Court will have to answer when they decide on the habeas corpus petition. Until then, let’s hope that everyone’s rights are protected.

—Daxim L. Lucas

Magic 9

Nine Philippine banks—all hardened by the ongoing pandemic as well as previous crises—made it to the “500 Strongest Banks in Asia-Pacific” 2021 listing of Singapore-based banking publication The Asian Banker.

The highest ranked local bank this year was Ty family-led Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co., which is still relishing its recent recognition as the “Best Domestic Bank in the Philippines” at the Asiamoney Best Bank Awards 2021.

Most of the local banks on this list improved their ranking compared to last year, a period when large loan loss provisioning—in turn demanded by the challenging economic conditions—gnawed on profitability.

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This year, Metrobank climbed to 57th spot from 184th last year.

“We are particularly proud of this recognition, as the assessment covered not only the quality of our balance sheet and our competitive profile but perhaps more importantly, we were recognized for our commitment of keeping our customers and our people in good hands,” said Fabian Dee, president of Metrobank.

Sy family-led China Bank took great pride as the second highest ranked local bank at 81st place, surging from last year’s 323rd ranking.

“China Bank’s performance not only shows our resilience, but also our improving financial strength. We are leveraging our resources and digital capabilities to help our customers weather the impact of the global pandemic and to support economic recovery,” said Patrick Cheng, chief finance officer of China Bank.

BDO Unibank ranked 127th this year, improving from 134th last year. It got the third highest ranking among local peers, followed by Bank of the Philippine Islands at 139th place, up from 205th last year.

Security Bank (152nd), Union Bank (222nd), East West Bank (298th), Rizal Commercial Bank (372nd) and Philippine National Bank (413rd) completed the roster of local banks that made it to the list. Except for PNB, all of these banks improved their ranking from last year.

The Asian Banker has been publishing the “Strongest Banks” list annually based on balance sheet strength since 2007. The publication uses a detailed and transparent scorecard to evaluate the ranking. The scorecard covers six areas of balance sheet financial performance: the ability to scale, balance sheet growth, risk profile, profitability, asset quality and liquidity.

The purpose of the ranking is to assist counter-party banks and corporations in taking a view of the quality of the institutions under its coverage, for credit, transactional and trade purposes. The ranking gives a bird’s eye view of the institutions’ balance growth and profitability against the vagaries of economic conditions.

The countries covered in the Asia-Pacific ranking include Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

—Doris Dumlao-Abadilla INQ

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