Philippine beer tycoon allied with late dictator dies

Philippine beer tycoon allied with late dictator dies


MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Philippine tycoon Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr., a key ally of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos and a low-key businessman who led a food and beverage empire that produced San Miguel beer, has died. He was 85.

San Miguel Corp. said Cojuangco, who served as its chairman and chief executive officer for decades, died Tuesday night, without providing other details. Presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said Cojuangco died of pneumonia and heart failure in a hospital in Manila.

Cojuangco had a net worth of $1.1 billion, according to Forbes’ list of the world’s billionaires, with interests in cement-manufacturing, orchards, a stud farm and Australian wineries, aside from San Miguel. San Miguel, one of Southeast Asia’s largest conglomerates, with a workforce of more than 28,000 people, has ventured into fuel and oil, power and infrastructure.

Aside from business, Cojuangco delved into politics and sports, and owned three teams in the Philippine Basketball Association, Panelo said.

“His impact on many other areas of Philippine life — sports, philanthropy — add to his rich and enduring legacy,” San Miguel said in a statement.

But Cojuangco had also been mired in controversy.

He fled from the Philippines when Marcos was overthrown by an army-backed “people power” revolt in 1986. During his years in exile, he was known to have traveled to the United States and Australia, where he bred thoroughbred racehorses.

Cojuangco had been linked to the 1983 assassination of a key anti-Marcos politician, former Sen. Benigno Aquino Jr., but the allegation has never been proven and Aquino’s family later said he was not involved. The brazen killing of Aquino while in military custody at Manila's international airport sparked massive...

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