Palace mourns death of tycoon, kingmaker Danding Cojuangco
Malacañang extended on Wednesday its condolences to the family of business tycoon and political kingpin Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco Jr.
"We are deeply saddened by the passing of Mr. Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco, Jr., at the age of 85," Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in a statement.
He cited Cojuangco's "immense contribution to the socioeconomic development of the Philippines" through San Miguel Corporation where he served as its Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
SMC is engaged in food, beverages, energy, power, oil refining, and infrastructure.
"SMC has provided livelihood opportunities to tens of thousands of our countrymen as direct workforce, and creation of additional jobs as suppliers, distributors, retailers, and the like," Roque said.
He also cited SMC's support to the government amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"In these trying times, Mr. Cojuangco’s SMC has been a reliable partner of the government in mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 by providing support and assistance to frontliners and vulnerable sectors," the spokesman said.
"The Palace offers its fervent prayers for the eternal repose of the soul of Mr. Cojuangco as we convey our heartfelt condolences to his family, colleagues, friends, and loved ones," he added.
Cojuangco is a known crony of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.
When Marcos was ousted through a bloodless People Power revolution in 1986, Cojuangco left the country and went on exile in Australia. His alliance with the Marcoses strained his relationship with his cousin, late President Corazon Aquino, who succeeded Marcos in the presidency.
Cojuangco was allegedly behind the assassination of Aquino's husband, late Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., a Marcos critic, in 1983. But in 2018, Kris Aquino, youngest daughter of Corazon and Benigno, denied that her uncle was behind the murder of her father.
When Cojuangco returned to the country, he ran for president in 1992 under his formed Nationalist People's Coalition. But he lost to Fidel Ramos. Celerina Monte/DMS