Tycoon and kingmaker Danding Cojuangco dies

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 17 2020 08:15 AM | Updated as of Jun 17 2020 05:33 PM

San Miguel Corp Chairman and CEO Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco speaks during the annual stockholders meeting in Manila on July 23, 2009. Nat Garcia, AFP/file

MANILA (UPDATE)-- Tycoon Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco, whose influence in business and politics spanned decades, has died. He was 85.

San Miguel Corp, where Cojuangco was chairman and CEO for 22 years, announced his passing in a disclosure to the stock exchange. Several sources confirmed his death to ABS-CBN News before the official statement.

"San Miguel Corp announces the passing of its Chairman and Chief Executive Office Mr. Eduardo M. Conjuanco, Jr on the evening of June 16, 2020," the company told the stock exchange.

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said he received word from businessman Ramon Ang that Cojuangco died of pneumonia and heart failure at the St. Luke's Medical Center.

Cojuangco helped build San Miguel into one of the Philippines' largest and most diversified conglomerates from its beer brewer roots. It has stakes in infrastructure, power and food.

He also chaired the National People's Coalition party, which consistently fields candidates in local and national races since its founding in the 1990s.

Cojuangco ran for president in 1992 but lost to Fidel Ramos. His running mate at that time, Joseph Estrada, became Ramos' vice president.

Government prosecutors have accused Cojuangco of illegally amassing his fortune during the Marcos years. He was never convicted nor sent to jail.

In 2018, Cojuangco's niece, television host Kris Aquino said she did not believe that her uncle had a hand in the 1983 assassination of her father, Sen. Beningo "Ninoy" Aquino Jr.

Cojuangco is a cousin of the martyred senator's wife, former President Corazon Aquino.