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,
EMILIA T. BONCODIN (Sgd.)
"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.