Monday, August 07, 2006

Ms. Emy Boncodin's Answer to Star Article

We are re-printing, with permission, Emy Boncodin's letter to Isaac Belmonte in regard to the Philippine Star article entitled "Hyatt 10 Member Gets Petron Seat". The Black & White Movement fully supports and respects Emy's decision on the said matter.

August 7, 2006

Mr. Isaac G. Belmonte
The Philippine Star

Dear Mr. Belmonte:

The article "Hyatt 10 Member Gets Petron Seat" in Philippine Star August 7 issue, elicited quite a number of questions from several quarters, my friends included. While I have retired from public life since I resigned from the Dept. of Budget and Management more than a year ago, the article compelled me to respond in the interest of clarity and fairness.

With your indulgence, may I therefore state the following:

1. I have accepted the membership in the Board of Directors of Petron
Corporation upon the invitation of the Chairman to serve as independent
Filipino Director and Chairperson of the Board Audit Committee.

2. The opportunity to serve in one of the leading corporations in the country is one that I welcome. I spent all my professional career in the government since graduation and I believe that joining a private corporation which has been named one of the "Best Governed Corporation" in the Philippines is a distinct honor and an exciting professional opportunity. As most of you know, however, I am presently a Professor of Public Administration of the University of the Philippines, a post that I resumed since my resignation from DBM.

3. Petron Corporation is a private corporation listed in the stock exchange. It is 40% owned by the Philippine National Oil Company, 40% by Aramco Oil Company of Saudi Arabia and 20% by the general public. I am one of about 200,000 small stockholders of Petron with 3,000 shares (including stock dividends) to my name currently valued at approximately PhP12,000.00. I bought the shares sometime in the 1990's after Petron was privatized.

4. As Independent Director and Chairperson of the Audit Committee, my duty is to serve in my professional capacity and not as a representative of any interested party, certainly not the National Government. I have understood this to be so and that is how I intend to perform my responsibility to the company.

5. On allegations that I am returning to the government fold and have abandoned my former colleagues in the cabinet who resigned last July, 2005, I say firmly that I have no intention of returning to any post in the bureaucracy, other that my present academic post in U.P. I am convinced that sharing my experience in public life to young minds and drawing some lessons from that experience is the best that I can do to serve my country.

6. As to my "Hyatt 10" colleagues, I take off my hat to them for their commitment, courage and patriotism. The desire to institute reforms in the bureaucracy will continue to burn in the hearts of all who have faithfully served the government. I wish that the voice of reform will be heard in its proper context and not be drowned in malice.

Finally, I would like to say that I still and will always consider my government
service a great honor.

Thank you for granting the space to clarify the issue.

Very truly yours,


"A nomad I will remain for life, in love with distant and uncharted places."
Isabelle Eberhardt (1877 - 1904) Russian-born traveler
The Passionate Nomad, 1988.


vic said...

I'm not sure who is better in doing a "spin" here, the palace or Ms. Boncodin? Not returning to the government bureaucracy, when in fact the organization she's working with is 40 % owned by the government and 40 % owned by foreign absentee and whose board, I believe would have been mostly handpicked by the government itself. And please don't resort to your true so-called "middle class" style of putting down who don't agree with your point of view as those whose Reading and English comprehension are lacking. Maybe so, but we are not'pretenders' and more, so we are not hypocrites.

cvj said...


In Canada, do you also equate participation in government-related activities with allegiance to the ruling administration? I cannot read Boncodin's mind but to consider employment in a corporation partly owned by the government as a form of tribal allegiance strikes me as backward thinking. Shouldn't we get away from the mindset of treating our Institutions as the private pond of the current office holders just like what is taken for granted in the mature democracies?

As to motivations, barring further revelations, i'll take Boncodin's explanation at face value as the Admin nowadays is not exactly a credible source. Anyway Helga is there to vouch for her.

Helga said...

You're right, cvj, we do tend to equate a ruling administration to government per se, and that's the way GMA, Mike Defensor and others want us to think.

As to Emy's heart, she mulled over this for quite some time, and we all know she is more than qualified to fill the post. We were together at a recent Hyatt 10 gathering, and I was glad to see her in good health, raring to work again.

vic said...

My allegiance is to my country, not to any administration or to my government. In fact I am a member of the party who is in the minority government right now, the Conservative Party of Canada, but that has nothing to do with my point here. Nobody is blaming Ms. Boncodin for taking the job, but whatever her motives and intentions may only be known to her and some of her closet friends and confidants, so others can comment and speculate otherwise. As much as I don't like the arrogance of the President and the people around her, we can not always assume that they monopolize the "spins" and propaganda, all a one-sided affair. A lot of vested interests have a stake at this game. Just who are the people behind General Lim? And now Lt. San Juan is singing a different tune, when only a while ago, he was hailed a hero for standing up against all odds. Now who do you believe?

When there was fire in the house, Ten of them abandoned the occupants, hoping that the fire will consume the house along with some dirty laundry some may have left over. They under-estimated the sneaky, "cheating, lying, and more names" can do more than put out the fire and I believe and I hope I'll prove myself wrong, that some of them will come back to retrieve those dirty laundry left behind.

cvj said...

Vic, in the absence of further actions that would indicate otherwise, i will continue to assume that Boncodin's allegiance is to the country (just like in your case.)