MVP: No to politics, yes to support for another school

By Nelson Beltran, The Philippine Star

Posted at Sep 22 2012 07:53 PM | Updated as of Sep 24 2012 11:01 PM

TOKYO – Businessman-sportsman Manny V. Pangilinan said he’s not inclined to run for public office, much more for the presidency in 2016, in reaction to clamor by those impressed by his stand in a latest rift with Ateneo de Manila University.

“I’m not built to be a politician,” said Pangilinan, now here in the Japanese capital cheering for Smart Gilas Pilipinas in the FIBA Asia Cup as president of the national cage federation.

“The moment ipakita mo mukha mo, babarilin ka na. Di naman ako si Jose Rizal,” added Pangilinan, in the news back home after withdrawing his support to his alma mater because of differences over mining and the Reproductive Health (RH) bill.

Pangilinan is the chairman of Philex Mining Corp. and the Philippine Long Distance Company (PLDT) Group, and also has controlling shares in Meralco, Maynilad, Makati Medical Center, Cardinal Santos Hospital and North Luzon Express (NLEX), among others.

In a letter addressed to Ateneo president Fr. Jett Villarin, Pangilinan said he decided to sever ties with the institution because the university’s position on mining runs contrary to the corporate position of Philex.

He also disagreed with the university’s stand on the Reproductive Health Bill now pending in Congress.

Is there anyway he’ll reconsider his stand? “Pagod na ako. Una yung plagiarism case, tapos the First Mining blow-up. Siguro tama na, strike three na tayo,” said Pangilinan, a major backer of the institution in various academic and sports programs.

He neither had plan of showing up even in the Ateneo games in the UAAP.

“I don’t think so. Tapos na,” said Pangilinan, the chief benefactor of the Ateneo Blue Eagles now in pursuit of a “Five-Peat.”

For his love of basketball, Pangilinan said he’s open to supporting another varsity team.

He didn’t indicate plan to relocate his businesses abroad as feared by some quarters with his name being dragged in the spat in the Senate.

“Actually, the corporate headquarters of First Pacific is in Hong Kong. I still maintain office there and a flat. In fact tomorrow, balik ako Hong Kong for meetings this week,” he said.

“I am there once a month and stay a few days, kasi syempre may ibang negosyo kami sa Hong Kong,” he added.

House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II has appealed to Pangilinan to stick it out in the country with the business mogul reportedly threatening to pull out his corporate operations and return to Hong Kong.

His businesses were earlier dragged into the quarrel between Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

“I am gravely concerned to hear of Mr. Pangilinan expressing his intention of reverting back his corporate operations to Hong Kong because of the recent spat in the Senate,” Gonzales has said.

In sports, Pangilinan, as SBP president, has declined offer to run under the ticket of re-electionist Jose “Peping” Cojuangco Jr. in the coming polls of the Philippine Olympic Committee.

“It’s a full-time job and I don’t have the time. I can help Philippine sport in a different capacity,” said Pangilinan

Asked whether he supports Cojuangco’s re-election bid, Pangilinan said: “We want to stay neutral.”