Mercury Drug founder Mariano Que dies

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 15 2017 11:02 AM

MANILA - Mariano Que, founder of Mercury Drug Corporation, has passed away at age 96.

A post in the company's Facebook page on Friday said instead of sending flowers to his bereaved, a donation to any charitable institution would be appreciated.

No other details about Que's death was made available.

Mercury Drug, one of the country's biggest drugstore chain, first opened in 1945 in Manila after the city was liberated from the Japanese occupation.

According to the Mercury Drug website, Mariano Que started his business by buying a bottle of sulfathiazole from a peddler for P100.

He then sold the sulfathiazole tablets by piece or “tingi-tingi” to make the medicine more affordable.

"With some profit, he was able to purchase other medicines and eventually a pushcart, which he loaded with his growing supply of pharmaceutical goods," it said.

The first Mercury Drug store opened on March 1, 1945 in Bambang Street. It now has over 1,000 branches nationwide.

Under Que, Mercury Drug also catered to the healthcare needs of Filipinos through several services programs under its foundation, including "Bantay Kalusugan," which provides free health profiling and screening for chronic non-communicable diseases and "Operation Bigay Lunas," which gives free medical services and medicines to undeserved communities around the country.

Que's daughter, Vivian Que Azcona, is now the president of the company.

Azcona landed 24th in Forbes Philippines' 50 Richest list.

In 2011, the family was embroiled in controversy over the ownership of the drugstore chain, with the elder Que locked in a legal battle with his eldest son Martiniano in connection with the disposition of the latter's shares in the business.