Oligarchs, landlords coddled and thriving under Duterte — farmers

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP) today said there is no truth to President Rodrigo Duterte’s latest blabbering that he managed to dismantle oligarchs without declaring Martial Law.

In an unannounced visit to military troops in Jolo, Sulu, Duterte said: “without declaring martial law, sinira ko ‘yung mga tao na humahawak sa ekonomiya at umiipit at hindi nagbabayad. They take advantage sa kanilang political power (Without declaring martial law, I destroyed the people holding the economy, crushing, and not paying (taxes). They take advantage of their political power).”

“This is just Duterte’s grand delusion. He did not dismantle the power of oligarchs. Oligarchs and rich families are still very much in power and in control of the social wealth, the national economy, and remain decisive in government policies. In fact, Duterte coddles and protects oligarchs as he benefits from their patronage,” says KMP Chairperson Danilo Ramos, who also noted that the President is creating his own breed of cronies such as business magnate Dennis Uy.

Known Filipino tycoons and politicians in the 2020 Forbes List of Billionaires in the Philippines include Manny Villar Jr. of Villar Group of Companies, Enrique Razon Jr., International Container Port Terminal Services Inc and Bloomberry Resort Corp., Sy siblings Hans, Herbert and Henry Sy Jr. of SM Prime Holdings and SM Investments Corporation, Andrew Tan of Alliance Global Group, Teresita Sy-Coson, BDO Unibank & SM Investments Corp., Roberto Ongpin of Alphaland, Lucio Tan Sr. of LT Group, Tony Tan Caktiong & Family of Jollibee Foods Corp., Elizabeth Sy, SM Hotels and Conventions Corp., Ramon Ang, San Miguel Corp., Robert Coyiuto Jr., and Coyiuto Group of Companies.

“These families and conglomerates are the country’s 1%. The Lopezes, Pangilinans, and even the Ayalas are also among the oligarchs. While the 99% of the population reel from the staggering socio-economic effects of the pandemic, these 1% have their wealth intact, and barely scathed as they continue to rake in profits. Even big landlords and land grabbers thrive under Duterte. The Villars’ expanding real estate conglomerate as they occupy key positions in government and the legislative, is one proof,” the KMP leader added.

The KMP leader further noted that Duterte ally and businessman Dennis Uy is among the 50th richest Filipinos with a net worth of $660-million.

Uy is swiftly amassing wealth and assets under the Duterte administration.

His properties now include businesses in energy, water utility, telecoms, retail, restaurant, digital, and many other companies.

Uy’s Udenna Corp. already bought 45-percent stake of international petroleum giant Chevron in the Malampaya gas field in waters off Palawan.

Talk is ripe that Uy is also eyeing the ABS-CBN franchise.

“Kabaligtaran pa ang nangyari, lalo lang pinalakas ni Duterte ang kontrol ng oligarkiya sa yaman ng bansa,” the KMP leader said.