(Repost of a Facebook note, August 29, 2010)
WITH FRIENDS LIKE JARIUS BONDOC, WHO NEEDS ENEMIES?
by Christine Cunanan
In today's Philippine Star, columnist Jarius Bondoc wrote a scathing column about my father, former SSS Chairman Thelmo Y. Cunanan based on the erroneous information reported recently at the Senate. Other columnists who feed mainly on scandal to get people to read their columns did the same. However, for me, Jarius Bondoc's column strikes a particularly bitter note. For years, he and my father dined at the same table at parties and my father treated him as a friend. This doesn't mean that my father should get favorable treatment from Bondoc or that Bondoc should tiptoe around any issue concerning my father. However, at the very least, I did expect that Bondoc would make even just one phone call or send one lousy text message, to try and get my father's side of the story, before he so publicly maligned my father's reputation in his column. He has my mother's and father's numbers on his mobile phone -- why, for god's sake, did he not even bother to call them for clarification?
As you all know, there are always two sides to a story -- and many politicians and journalists are only too eager to pounce on a link that may get them or their columns talked about. But you have also known my parents for years -- and I'm sure you know they are the last people in this intrigue-ridden world who should be called thieves. They've lived simply and they've almost always -- to the point of fault -- for others. They've worked hard all their lives and have never taken advantage of anyone for their own personal benefit.
This outrageous maligning of my father's reputation by supposed friends who should know better -- and who should at least get the other side of the story before printing such lies propagated by politicians who are simply looking for a headline issue to latch on to -- is particularly painful right now when my father is battling the late stages of cancer. My parents are heartbroken that their good reputation has been so unjustly torn to pieces by sensationalizing politicians and columnists.
THE TRUTH ABOUT THE PHILEX SHARESThe figures released by Sen. Frank Drilon during the Senate hearing last Tuesday were not accurate. Over the past three years, former SSS Chair Thelmo Cunanan availed of the stock option offered by Philex to the eleven members of its Board of Directors (of which he was one, representing SSS and duly elected by Philex's stockholders). He exercised his option to purchase over three years a total of 4.5 million shares, paying for them with his own funds, through a loan from HSBC, at market prices varying from P1.09 per stock up to P3.08 per stock. Out of these shares, he sold through his stockbroker 1.2 million shares in several transactions:
Shares sold in 2007365,000 shares
Shares sold in December 2009895,700 shares
The selling prices in 2007 varied from P8.3 to P10.75, and from P15.50 to P15.75 per share in 2009. Total value of these sale transactions was about P17.6M. If the cost of buying these said 1.2 M shares, which is about P2.3 million, is subtracted, we see that Cunanan ended up with P15.3M earnings, NOT P66.6M.
Payment by TYC for sold 1.2M shares via an HSBC loanPhP 2.3 million
Value of sale of 1.2M shares when soldPhP 17.6 million
PRE-TAX net value received by TYCPhP 15.3 million
The confusion of the Drilon committee arose from its erroneous assumption that Cunanan sold his 4.5 million shares and then turned around and immediately sold them at the prevailing market price of P19.50 per share then. This was not the case.
As shown above, he sold only 1.2 million shares and at much lower prices thah P19.50 per. He has kept the other 3.3 million shares to bequeath to his children, but as shares come and go, their prices fluctuate. This is a gamble all stockholders make. Today Philex price per share is only P9.20. There's also the issue of whether Cunanan should have offered the purchase of these shares of stock to the firm he represents, the SSS. But Art. 8 of the Philex Corp. Stock Option Plan states that these stock options are "non-transferrable" and "no rights may be transferrred, sold, exchanged, pledged, disposed of or otherwise hypothecated or encumbered by a Participant or any beneficiary thereof." If he did not avail of them, the SSS couldn't have availed of them either because of this non-transferrable provision.
Please help us spread the truth.
A graduate of Ateneo de Manila University, Christine Cunang is the publisher and editor-in-chief of travel and lifestyle publication, Travelife Magazine.
Reposts are licensed to the respective authors. Otherwise, posts by Jesusa Bernardo are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Philippines.