Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy doesn’t like being called a crony of President Rodrigo Duterte similar to the relatives and associates of the dictator Ferdinand Marcos who seized control of major industries during Martial Law.
Uy, who is a major campaign financier of Duterte and whose fortune exploded multi-fold in six years under Duterte, has filed a cyberlibel case against ABS-CBN for publishing the Ombudsman complaint filed by Loida Nicolas (widow of TLC Beatrice founder and CEO Reginald Lewis), Balgamel Domingo and Rodel Rodis against the Duterte crony’s takeover of the Malampaya project from Shell and Chevron.
In ABS-CBN’s article, Rodis, a dual citizen lawyer was quoted as saying: “This is the most incredible crony agreement in the entire history… not just in the history of the Philippines. Why is the Philippine government allowing this theft of our resources, theft of our future take place?”
In his cyberlibel suit for which he is seeking P200 million damages, Uy said: “Respondents’ accusation that I am a ‘crony’ is intended to conjure up the specter of Martial Law cronyism, with all the negative feelings and sentiments they awaken in every Filipino who remembers. At a minimum, the accusation creates the impression that I am raiding the public treasury.”
“Respondents’ accusation makes it appear that I have successfully manipulated the international and local banking industry because I am a ‘crony.’, and that I have engaged in unsound and unethical financial practices,” he added.
Uy claimed that he borrowed from foreign and local banks to buy out the combined 90 percent stakes of Shell and Chevron in Malampaya.
“The loans are fully-secured with sufficient properties. They will not impact the government or the Filipino people in the general; only my and Udenna’s properties are at a risk in case of default,” said Uy.
“I suffered damages to my reputation to the public and my good standing in the business community here and abroad, which I built through many years of effort and expense. It will take years for me to recover from that reputational damage,” Uy claimed