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FROM how it looks, a crony by the name of Dennis Uy will play a crucial role as he takes control over the Philippine power industry with his Udenna Corporation taking 90 percent control over the Malampaya natural gas project off Palawan.

Dennis Uy, who claims to be a Filipino, somehow found a way to corner 90 percent of the controlling stake of a natural gas project which produces electricity for a significant fraction of the country, which makes me want to believe that cronyism has been resurrected.

Well, the truth is that the deal is a foregone conclusion and that there’s not much we can do about it. It just pains me to think that the Duterte administration condones such act, which may be one giant step towards monopoly.

For one, I have strong doubts that Dennis Uy is a Filipino and assuming that he’s not, the Philippine Constitution does not allow foreigners to lord over the utility services.

It is also notable to look into the transactions entered into by Dennis Uy since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed power in 2016.

Many were made to believe that he’s a very rich man.  Maybe he is, considering that he donated a significant amount of money to boost Duterte’s campaign back in 2016.

But as soon as Duterte took his oath as the most powerful man in the country, Dennis Uy somehow found a way to “collect” by way of questionable loans he made to the tune of P16 billion, but not without using government guarantee as his “collateral.”

What is government guarantee anyway? A government guarantee is not just a document. It gives a lending institution like banks an assurance of payment in the event the entity which applied for a loan defaults on payment. On layman’s terms – we, the taxpayers, will be paying Dennis Uy’s debt.

Records obtained from sources showed that as of September 2019, Dennis Uy the crony has accumulated loans amounting to P16 billion from the Development Bank of the Philippines, BDO Unibank, Amalgamated Investment Bancorporation, Visayan Surety and Insurance Corp., Philippine National Bank and Beijing-based Bank of China as a result of his “buying spree.”

Among those bought by Uy’s Udenna Corp. for the past three years include:

·         90-percent stake of Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell at the Malampaya gas field in Palawan

·         Franchise of the international service food chain Wendy’s

·         Conti’s Restaurant

·         Philippine franchise of Family Mart

·         Dito Telecommunity

·         Uy’s Motorstrada Inc which is now the exclusive general distributor of Ferrari Sports Car’s parts and accessories in the Philippines.

·         SuperCat Fast Ferry Corp., the subsidiary of 2GO where he is Chairman of the Board

·         BGC-based Enderun Colleges.

Well, with these giant businesses, Dennis Uy sure looks very rich, or so I thought.

These businesses are mostly bankrolled using borrowed funds with the Filipino taxpayers paying for it the moment he vanishes in thin air – just like what the cronies under the Marcos regime did.

Interestingly, Dennis Uy, a long-time friend of the Dutertes, is believed to be among those who have been pushing hard for the presidential bid of President Rodrigo Duterte’s daughter Sara.

Obviously, one of the compelling reasons behind his earnest desire to see Sara Duterte in Malacañang is for him to be able to secure more loans via government guarantee – or perhaps a total control of the Philippine power industry and later, telecommunications.

If that happens, Filipinos will be at his mercy.

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