Malacañang, business community mourn death of Washington Sycip

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 08 2017 04:56 PM | Updated as of Oct 08 2017 10:04 PM

MANILA - (UPDATED) Malacañang and members of the Philippine business community expressed sadness on Sunday over the death of Filipino tycoon and philanthropist Washington SyCip, founder of SGV & Co. and the Asian Institute of Management (AIM).

Malacañang offered its condolences to the family and friends of the late businessman, calling SyCip a "respected voice in corporate governance and staunch believer in Filipino talent." 

"He gave us all a sense of what Filipinos could be," the Office of the Presidential Spokesperson said in a statement. 

Philippine Airlines also said it mourns the loss of Sycip, who was a member of its board.

"Mr. SyCip was a leader, advisor and guiding force behind many other Filipino businesses and philanthropic organizations, and an advocate for poverty alleviation, public education and economic freedom," PAL said in a statement issued Sunday.

The airline described him as a "mentor who not only inspired businessmen to strive for the highest measure of excellence and integrity, but also inspired businessmen in serving the Filipino public."

An official of the SM Group of companies also expressed grief over the death of SyCip.

"With sadness, we regret to inform that Mr. Washington SyCip passed away last night on his way to New York. He has been a highly valued adviser to the Board of Directors of BDO Unibank," said Teresita Sy-Coson, vice chair of SM Investments Corporation. 

"We will always remember him for his guidance over the years," she added. 

In a statement, AIM also expressed grief over the passing of its founding chairman and chairman emeritus.

"His passing is a great loss to the institution and the country’s business community, but his legacy will live on in the AIM alumni who strive to be ethical and responsible business leaders, and live up to Mr. SyCip’s call to lead, inspire and transform," the statement said.

Edgar O. Chua, chairman of the Makati Business Club also paid his respects to SyCip.

"Mr. SyCip helped build SGV, one of the country's most important businesses and helped found AIM, its premier business school. He advised captains of industry, Philippine presidents and many others who benefitted from his wisdom. Makati Business Club and many of its memebrs benefitted greatly from his generosity," he said in a statement.

SyCip remained active in the business community despite his age, as a member of the board of directors of some of the country's largest firms. 

He died on October 7 while on a flight from Vancouver to Manila, according to SGV. Aside from his business ventures, he also devoted time to his chosen advocacy of enabling poor Filipinos' access to education.