Eduardo “Danding” Murphy Cojuangco Jr was born on June 10, 1935. He was a Filipino businessman and politician. Cojuangco’s close relationship with Philippine President Ferdinand E. Marcos earned him a reputation as the late dictator’s most powerful “cronies.” He was President and CEO of San Miguel Corporation, the largest food and beverage corporation in the Philippines and Southeast Asia. He served as Philippine ambassador and governor of Tarlac. In 2016, his personal wealth was estimated at $ 1.1 billion. His business empire was estimated at one point to account for 25% of the Philippines’ gross national product. As of July 2017, his personal wealth was estimated at $ 1.16 billion. He was called “one of the main businessmen in the country”.
He was 85 years old.
Early life and education
Eduardo Cojuangco Jr. was born on June 10, 1935, the first-born son of Eduardo C. Cojuangco Sr. and Josephine B. Murphy. He studied at both Lafayette College in Pennsylvania and De La Salle University.
Career and activities
Role during martial law
Cojuangco was the only civilian among the “Rolex 12”, a group of 12 men who planned and enforced the imposition of the 1972 Martial Law . He became an honorary member of the PMA Class 1951. [appointment required] Cojuangco was accused of being the mastermind behind the murder of Benigno Aquino Jr. by one of the military convicted in the Aquino-Galman murder case, although Aquino’s daughter Kris has stated that whoever she believes killed her father, she “could categorically say no. Dando Cojuangco.
Coco Levy Fund controversy
Cojuangco was involved in the Coco Levy Fund controversy, a decades-long dispute over funds acquired by the Philippine government when the Marcos government imposed a tax on copra sold by coconut producers in the Philippines from 1973 to 1982. The stated intention of the plan, spearheaded by Cojuangco, was to develop the Philippine coconut industry. But the amount, consolidated with the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB), was alleged to have been channeled to the private financial interests of the Marcos family and their close associates. The government alleged that Cojuangco had used the funds from the coconut proceeds to gain control of a 72.2% interest in United Coconut Planters Bank in 1975 and a total share of approximately 47% of San Miguel Corporation in 1983, in two blocks of approximately 20% and 27%, respectively. Coconut funds were also used to acquire six oil mills. In 1975, the coconut lien funds were used by the government to acquire a 72.2% stake in United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB, then still known as First United Bank). In 1983, Cojuangco acquired a 20% stake in Corporation San Miguel, which the Presidential Commission on Good Governance later said it did using windfall profits from the coconut fund and United Coconut Planters Bank. Another 27% was placed under the name of Coconut Industry Investment Fund Oil Mills Group (CIIF), financed through the Coconut Collection. In 1986, all these assets were seized by the Presidential Commission on Good Governance after the Marcos Administration was expelled .. In April 2011, the Philippine Supreme Court stated that Cojuangco owned the 20% shares in SMC (reduced to approximately 17% by then due to the expansion of SMC since 1983) that it had purchased through the loan of UCPB.
In September 2012, the Supreme Court affirmed that the block of 27% of the shares of San Miguel Corporation under the name of CIIF, reduced to 24% due to the expansion of SMC since 1983, were owned by the government. The court also ruled that the funds from these actions could only be used by the government for the benefit of coconut growers. Later that year, the San Miguel Corporation bought back the government stake for P57.6 billion, ending a 26-year period in which the Philippine government was a major voting bloc in the corporation. In November of the same year, the court ruled that a 72.2% stake in UCPB was state property, because they were purchased using coconut proceeds. This included a 7.22% interest registered in Cojuangco, which according to him had been his compensation for the intermediation of the purchase of the bank in 1975, and the sale of the remaining 64.98% interest in UCPB to the Philippine Coco Authority (PCA)
Political roles after 1986
When Ferdinand Marcos was overthrown by the Popular Power revolution in February 1986, Cojuangco was expelled from the country and exiled along with the Marcos family and Fabian Ver, leaving at dawn on February 25, 1986. Cojuangco was He allowed to return in 1989, after having spent most of his exile raising and competing with horses in Australia. In 1992, Cojuangco founded the Nationalist People’s Coalition to serve as a vehicle to further his aspirations in the 1992 presidential election. He ran for the Philippine presidency in 1992, and ultimately lost in a tight election to Fidel V. Ramos. Ramos received 23.6% of the votes. Miriam Defensor Santiago was second with 19.7% and Cojuangco was third with 18.2%. He further tested political waters in 2003, intending to run for office in the 2004 presidential election, but he soon withdrew. Eventually he became APN president emeritus, exerting an influence that earned him the reputation of “kingmaker” in Philippine politics.
Cojuangco advocated sports in the country, especially basketball, which has supported him since the 1980s as the godfather of basketball with his consolidated team from the north. Through the San Miguel Corporation, he was able to own three teams in the Philippine Basketball Association: the flagship San Miguel Beermen, Barangay Geneva San Miguel, and Star Hotshots. He was also a key benefactor of the De La Salle Green Archers men’s basketball team.
Cojuangco was the eldest son of Eduardo C. Cojuangco Sr. and Josephine B. Murphy. Her mother, the daughter of an Irish-Canadian US Army volunteer who married a Filipino woman, was born and raised in Baguio. His father Eduardo Sr., son of Melecio Cojuangco, was of Chinese descent. Cojuangco was educated at College Lafayette. In addition to English and standard (Filipino) Tagalog (national and official languages), he also spoke Ilocano and Kapampangan, the native languages of the province of Tarlac. He was married to Soledad “Gretchen” Open-Cojuangco of Negros Occidental. They had four children: Margarita “Tina” Cojuangco Barrera, Luisa “Lisa” Cojuangco-Cruz, Carlos “Charlie” Cojuangco and Marcos “Mark” Cojuangco. As of 2018, he lived with his partner, the 1996 Binibining Pilipinas Universe winner, Aileen Damiles. They had two daughters.
Death & Cause
Tycoon and kingmaker Danding Cojuangco died On June 17, 2020. He died due to heart failure and pneumonia at the St. Luke’s Medical Center – Global City.
Tribute and condolences
The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) in a tweet, paid tribute to Cojuangco, who owns three teams in the league, namely: San Miguel Beermen, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, and Magnolia Hotshots. “Chairman and CEO of San Miguel Corp., politician, diplomat, businessman, team owner, sports patron… Thank you for your countless contribution to the PBA and sports!” the association tweeted.
“Our prayers and condolences to his family and loved ones. Requiescat in pace!” the PBA added.
Malacañang expressed sadness over the passing of Cojuangco and paid tribute to him for his “immense contribution” to the country’s job generation and socioeconomic development. “We are deeply saddened by the passing of Mr. Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr., at the age of 85,” presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.
“Mr. Cojuangco, through his San Miguel Corporation (SMC), where he served as its Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), had immense contribution to the socioeconomic development of the Philippines through the company’s operations in food, beverages, energy, power, oil refining, and infrastructure,” he said. He said San Miguel Corp. under the helm of Cojuangco has also provided livelihood opportunities to thousands of Filipinos. The company has also been a reliable partner of the government in mitigating the impact of the coronavirus pandemic through its support for frontliners and vulnerable sectors, according to Roque. “The Palace offers its fervent prayers for the eternal repose of the soul of Mr. Cojuangco as we convey our heartfelt condolences to his family, colleagues, friends, and loved ones,” he said.
NPC member in mourning
Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) senators and members mourned on Wednesday the passing of their patron. “I join the nation in mourning the passing of a titan in Philippine business and politics,” Senate President Vicente Sotto III said in a statement on Wednesday.
Eduardo “Danding” Murphy Cojuangco Jr. In 2016, his personal wealth was estimated at US$1.1 billion. It was estimated that, at one time, his business empire accounted for 25% of the gross national product of the Philippines. As of July 2017, his personal wealth was estimated at US$1.16 billion.