I had a long talk with President Digong on Monday in Malacañang.
Our conversation drifted toward his dipping popularity in the surveys because of his unorthodox method in fighting drugs and crime.
The President cited a passage in the autobiography by the late Singapore President Lee Kuan Yew, “From Third World to First, The Story of Singapore 1965-2000”:
“I have never been overconcerned or obsessed with opinion polls or popularity polls. I think a leader who is, is a weak leader. If you are concerned with whether your rating will go up or down, then you are not a leader. You are just catching the wind…you will go where the wind is blowing. And that’s not what I am in this for.”
Tycoon Ramon S. Ang is very accommodating, self-effacing and respectful. The last trait is especially discernible when he addresses strangers he meets for the first time as “sir” or “ma’am.”
But there’s a side to RSA—as he’s called by his subordinates at San Miguel Corp.—that many don’t know about: This Chinese mestizo is no pushover.
RSA is filing a complaint against Reuben Lista, president of the state-owned Philippine National Oil Co. (PNOC), in the Office of the Ombudsman for being arrogant toward him and his officials at Petron Corp.
According to Ang, Petron, the No. 1 oil company which he owns, is trying to renegotiate a lease agreement with PNOC over pieces of land owned by the government.
Lista, however, wants the existing lease contract revoked for reasons only he knows, according to RSA.
Worse, the PNOC president allegedly cussed him and Petron officials who talked with him, Ang said.
Ben, I think you need to apologize to RSA.
Don’t look now, but controversial businessman Kim Wong is helping Marawi City refugees on his own.
Wong is building 500 houses near the devastated city for some refugees.
He is not trumpeting his noble deed; I got it from him over dinner-cum-drinking session when both of us were inebriated.
He’s going to kill me when he reads this, but I didn’t want to pass up the opportunity of being the first to let the public know.
The 52-year-old casino junket operator said he would have this columnist cut the ribbon when the P200-million project is finished in December, but that I should keep it secret until then.
Wong has been my friend since he was a 17-year-old busboy in a Malate club in 1982; friends sometimes break promises made to each other.
“You know, Mon, this is my way of giving back since I owe this country so much,” said the Hong Kong-born Wong.
Wong was the junket operator who returned $15 million out of the $81 million stolen by hackers from Bangladesh’s foreign reserves between March and May 2016.
It was the biggest cyberheist in history.
The money that Wong returned was paid to him by his junket customers from mainland China. Until now, the Bangladesh government has yet to thank him for his honesty.
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