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Biz Buzz: Early Du30 believer.

Two main types of businessmen emerged as soon as it became clear that Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte would become the country's next president: those waiting to be convinced and those who believed in him all along.

Manuel Paolo Villar, Vista Land and Lifescapes Inc. president and son of former senator and presidential aspirant Manuel Villar Jr., appears to be the latter.

Apparently, the younger Villar is familiar with Duterte's decisive, oftentimes politically incorrect, style. His message: check Duterte's resume that is Davao and give him a chance.

He's fair and he makes decisions quickly, Villar said.

I would go by what he does rather than his words-which can be misinterpreted, he added, referring to a rhetoric-laden campaign that did not necessarily reflect the Mayor's track record.

Amid constant cussing, questionable foreign policy statements and a horrible rape joke, Villar said Duterte was a progressive thinker who may eventually surprise people.

The policies in Davao protect women, protect people with disabilities, protect the LGBT ( lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender), said Villar, noting that Vista Land has been doing business in Davao since 1995.

One thing businessmen can appreciate is Duterte's pro-business stance-if you don't break the law, that is.

Setting up a business in Davao, Villar says, is relatively easy, quick and corruption free.

A far cry from the other LGUs that businessmen have to deal with. Can such as system be replicated on a wider scale? That remains to be seen. Miguel R. Camus

Mr. Survivor

ONE member of the Aquino Cabinet doesn't have a lot of fans in the business community despite the fact that his portfolio is probably the most business- and economy-oriented in the entire government bureaucracy.

So more than a few businessmen heaved a sigh of relief when Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte won the presidential elections last Monday, knowing that there will soon be a changing of the guard among the country's economic managers, especially this particular Cabinet member.

But wait. Is he really leaving the halls of power after June 30, 2016?

Maybe not, his admirers and critics agree.

You see, this official is a grizzled veteran of close quarters infighting when he was still with the private sector. In fact, he emerged victorious after a long and acrimonious power in the company he worked for before he joined government.

He cultivated ties with Vice President Jejomar Binay at a time when the former Makati City mayor was a shoo-in for the presidency, and he also nurtured ties with Senator Grace Poe when her poll numbers were on the rise.

So his critics thought to themselves: But surely there was no way he could get close to the Duterte camp, right?

They could be in for a surprise. Word on the street is that Mr. Survivor-as we shall call him-has a direct line to the Duterte camp, thanks to a former colleague in the private sector (his ally during one particularly nasty intra-corporate dispute). It just happens that his staunch ally (a partner in a rapidly growing audit firm) is a Davaoeno who had helped the Duterte camp during his campaign.

So there. Word of this connection has left Mr. Survivor's critics somewhat crestfallen, we hear. Sorry guys. Try again in six years. Daxim L. Lucas

Top banker

BANK of the Philippine Islands' Cezar Bong Consing has bagged The Asian Banker's CEO Leadership Award for the Philippines for achievements in the period 2013 to 2015. This is deemed one of the most prestigious awards for individual achievement in the banking industry in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions-a citation given only once every three years to give time to the leadership of banks to demonstrate their ability to translate strategy into execution.

BPI-the oldest bank in Southeast Asia-was also named by The Asian Banker as the 2016 Best Managed Bank in the Philippines.

Businesses and their leaders are shaped by a long-term vision that is demonstrated not just by statements, but also through the long-term development of a strategic business plan that defines the business. We look at statements made by the leader and the execution that supports those statements, noted The Asian Banker.

The magazine also recognized the team of professional bankers who have supported the BPI chief in the management of the bank in the past three years. Sustainable businesses cannot only be built around individuals, but the strength of a team following a singular vision that can react to incidents as a single entity. We look at the people around the leader, their commitment levels and sense of ownership of the businesses and operations entrusted to them, The Asian Banker said.

In the past few years, BPI has refocused its organization along client-, product- and infrastructure-focused teams, and injected new talent and cross-posted even at senior levels. Doris Dumlao-Abadilla

Dirty money probe resumes

THOSE of you who are eager to hear about the latest developments in the $81-million money laundering controversy that rocked the Philippine financial system will have to wait one more week to get your fix.

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Wednesday announced that the next hearing would be held on Thursday, May 19, oddly at the Bayview Park Hotel in Manila instead of the Philippine Senate in Pasay City. People aren't quite sure of the reason for the change of venue, but it may have to do with the canvassing of votes for the recently concluded national elections which will be conducted by the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Or one could consider that the Bayview Park Hotel sits right across Roxas Boulevard from the US Embassy. Perhaps a surprise appearance by US officials probing the laundering scam?

In any case, the hearing will still be led by Senator TG Guingona alongside Senator Serge Osmena whose re-election bids don't look too promising at the moment (but it may be too early to tell, knock on wood).

Thankfully, Senator Ralph Recto's numbers look good in the latest unofficial and partial vote tally, so we can count on him to carry the probe forward and help uncover the truth knock on wood.
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:May 13, 2016
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