By Kenneth Cardenas*
Fellow, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
AVLB Asia Pacific Conglomerate, Inc.
AVLB Asia Pacific is primarily engaged in coir, peat, and upholstery padding. As of end-2014, it had yet to operate commercially. Its registered address is JGD Plaza, at the corner of Lizada Street and Monteverde Avenue, Davao City. The same address is associated with LDM Summit Exporter, a licensed exporter for fibers other than abaca. Four of its five incorporators and present management are members of the De Mesa family; the fifth incorporator is a Chinese national by the name of Wu Zhong Qing.
Originally registered in July 1999 as Coastal Road Corporation. As of 2016, its major asset was a 100-percent stake in Cavitex Infrastructure Corp, which built and presently operates the Manila-Cavite Expressway. Its registered address is the 2nd floor of 151 Paseo de Roxas, a building where Global Ferronickel, Inc. also holds office. As per its latest General Information Sheet, Cavitex Holdings’ major stockholders are Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (72.08 percent) and Luis J. L. Virata (27.92 percent), who is also a major stockholder in Nickel Asia; three of its five directors are members of the Virata family. MPTC bought into Cavitex in 2012 through a PhP6.77 billion convertible note agreement. News reports at the time indicated that Cavitex Holdings intended to use these proceeds to participate in the Aquino administration’s public-private partnership (PPP) offerings. Its 2016 Annual Report, however, does not appear to list any new significant investments in this area. The same annual report states that Cavitex Holdings is “committed to sell its investment in CIC in its entirety.”
Cavitex Holdings reported a loss of PhP 71.5 million in 2015, and PhP 7.8 million in 2014.
See also Global Ferronickel, Inc.
Columbus Capitana, Inc.
Formerly BNP Paribas Investments Philippines. Manuel V. Pangilinan was one of the original incorporators in 1986. Its license as an investment house was renewed in 2010, and its name changed to Columbus Capitana in 2011. Presently, Columbus Capitana is 99.9 percent owned by FPSP Holdings, which in turn is 95 percent owned by Ambassador Francis C. Chua. Chua is the president of the Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce (FCCI), and is extensively linked through executive positions to Global Ferronickel, 2GO, Basic Energy, Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines, National Grid Corporation of the Philippines, Basic Biofuels, and Basic Geothermal. He is also one of the top 20 stockholders in San Miguel Corporation. Chua had previously served as a Special Envoy for Trade and Investments to the People’s Republic of China during the Arroyo administration.
Columbus Capitana reported no income for 2014 and 2013.
See also Global Ferronickel, Inc.
Registered with the SEC as Injap Land Corporation in December of 2009. Its registered address is 19th Floor, Tower One, Makati Stock Exchange Plaza, Ayala Avenue, which it shares with Hotel of Asia, Inc. and Injap Investments. As of the end of 2015, 37 percent of its shares were owned by Injap Investments, Inc., a holding company fully owned by members of the Sia Family of Mang Inasal fame. Another 37 percent is owned by Honeystar Holdings Corp., which is fully owned by Tony Tan Caktiong and his brothers. The Sia and Tan families each have three seats on DoubleDragon’s eight-person board of directors.
As of the end of 2015, DoubleDragon had five operational malls, and had secured 41 sites across the Philippines through direct acquisitions and joint ventures. It plans to develop 100 malls through to 2020. It reported PhP622.8 million in income in 2015, up from PhP560.8 million in 2014.
See also Expedition Construction Corp., Hotel of Asia, Inc.
Expedition Construction Corp.
Registered under the name Expedition Services Corp. in September 2000. It reports its address as the JYY Building, 213 Banawe Street, Quezon City. A Mr. Simon Paz owns 97.44 percent of its shares. Paz has discernible interests in the hotels and hospitality industry: through a firm named Oceanville, he is associated with the winning bid for the Army-Navy Club, along with Carlos Chan of Oishi, and Edgar Sia II, and in partnership with Jin Jiang Hotels. Through a firm named Staniel Development Corp., Paz also has a stake in Hotel of Asia, Inc., again with Chan and Sia (through Injap Investments) as co-incorporators.
Expedition had previously won bids for smaller lots put up for auction by the BCDA, and was a bidder for the Integrated Transport System Southwest Terminal Project.
See also DoubleDragon Properties, Hotel of Asia, Inc.
Global Ferronickel, Inc.
Global Ferronickel was originally incorporated as Southeast Asia Cement Holdings, Inc. in May 1994 by Benito R. Araneta. It had been mostly dormant until September 2014, when the IHoldings Group, a group of three stockholders owned by a Mr. Luis Yu, sold its 89.82-percent share in Southeast Asia Cement to a consortium of 13 shareholders for PhP 2.59 billion, based on its SEC Form 17-A. It acquired its new name at around the same time.
Global Ferronickel’s 2016 General Information Sheet (GIS) shows that about 72.26 percent the company is presently owned by these 13 shareholders. Nine of these shareholders, holding a combined 45.91 percent of Global Ferronickel’s shares, are holding companies that are majority-owned and chaired by a Mr. Joseph C. Sy (see table 3). The other four shareholders are Huatai Investment Holding Pty. Ltd. of Australia (16.74 percent); Mr. Seng Gay Chan, Singaporean (.04 percent); Mr. Dante R. Bravo, Filipino (.18 percent); and Mr. Wei Ting, a Chinese national (.56 percent), according to the company’s SEC Form 17-A. These 13 shareholders are also the main stockholders of Platinum Group Metals Corporation, one of the 21 firms that were ordered to shut down by Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Gina Lopez at the beginning of February.
Global Ferronickel’s registered address is the 7th floor of 151 Paseo de Roxas, a building where Cavitex Holdings, Inc. also has its registered address. Messrs. Sy and Bravo sit on its nine-person board of directors, along with Mr. Chua. Two Chinese nationals also sit on its board of directors: Gu Zhi Fang, who according to the company’s 2015 SEC 17-A papers is married to Mr. Sy, and Yuquiang Xie.
Global Ferronickel is presently the second-largest exporter of nickel ore in the country. As with the Philippine nickel ore industry as a whole, most of its customers are in China.
See also Cavitex Holdings, Columbus Capitana.
Greenergy Development Corp.
Greenergy was registered with the SEC in March 2011. Its registered address is in Xavier Estate, a residential subdivision in Upper Balulang, Cagayan de Oro.
Its current owners and management are all members of the Donggay family. Its president, Engineer Cerael Donggay, is a former vice president of the National Power Corporation (Napocor), and as of 2015 was the president of the Cagayan De Oro Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Greenergy reported small losses for 2013 and 2014, and more than PhP467 million in development costs for the Pulangi V project over the same two years.
Hotel of Asia, Inc.
Hotel of Asia, Inc. was registered with the SEC in June 2011. As of end-2015, it had two primary properties: Hotel 101 Manila, located in the Manila Bay reclamation area, and Jinjiang Inn Ortigas. Its major stockholders are Injap Investments, Inc. (39.97 percent), Staniel Realty and Development Corporation, (29.98 percent), and Chan C. Bros. Holdings, Inc. (29.97 percent), which are in turn owned by the Sia family, Simon Paz, and Carlos Chan, respectively. Its registered address is 19th Floor, Tower One, Makati Stock Exchange Plaza, Ayala Avenue, which it shares with DoubleDragon Properties and Injap Investments. It is presently co-chaired by Chan Kiong Ki See (a.k.a. Carlos Chan) of Oishi and Edgar J. Sia II, founder of Mang Inasal, both Filipino nationals.
Hotel of Asia reported PhP124.7 million in net income for 2015, up from PhP67.1 million in 2014.
See also DoubleDragon Properties, Expedition Construction Corp.
International Container Terminal Services, Inc.
ICTSI was registered with the SEC in December 1987, with a principal address at the Manila International Container Terminal. It operates ports in 20 countries. It remains tightly-controlled by its founder and majority shareholder, Enrique K. Razon Jr., who presently sits as its Chairman. Through Bloomberry Resorts Corp., Razon also has interests in the Philippines’ rapidly-growing casino industry, which is oriented primarily to the tourists from mainland China.
ICTSI reported US$68.9 million in net income for 2015, down from US$191.5 million in 2014.
Mannage Resources Trading Corp.
Mannage was registered with the SEC in February 2015, with a declared business as “buying/importing, selling/exporting, distributing, marketing at wholesale…all kinds of goods, mostly food delicacies, wares and merchandise,” according to its articles of incorporation. Its registered address is One Global Place, 5th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. The same address is registered as the addresses of Acelead Shipping, Dunfeng Shipping, Minecore Resources Philippines, Zambales Oyon Port Corporation, and Dunfeng International Philippines. Dunfeng Holdings and Dunfeng International are domestic subsidiaries of Hong Kong-based, British Virgin Islands-registered Dunfeng Holdings, Inc., which is one of China’s largest nickel-ore importers. All the Philippine-nationality firms appear to be engaged in various aspects of nickel-ore export, including shipping, warehousing, mine development, and port operations. Dunfeng is also planning a 300-megawatt coal-fired power plant at Masinloc, Zambales.
All these firms also share a number of incorporators, directors, and shareholders, most notably a Mr. Dean Christopher Lee and a Mr. Eric Co, both Filipino citizens, and a Chinese national named Huang Yi.
The papers of Dunfeng Shipping, which is the primary leaseholder to the offices in Taguig, lists the following sub-lessees as additional affiliates: ZHSEI, ZOPC, MMPI, CMPI, Starsland, Galaxy, Elitist, Rid Hauler, and Greentech.
Dunfeng International Philippines, Dunfeng Shipping, and Zambales Oyon all reported losses in their latest filings with the SEC.
Mega Harbour Port and Development, Inc., and R-II Builders, Inc.
Mega Harbour was registered with the SEC in August 2013, and lists the R-II Building on 136 Malakas Street, Quezon City, as its address. The same address is associated with R-II Builders, Inc., a firm associated with Reghis Romero II. Romero presently sits as the chairman of the board for R-II, and owns about 94 percent of its stock directly and through R-II Holdings, Inc. Media reports associate Romero with Mega Harbour, and describe him as its chairman, but this capacity is not indicated in its latest general information sheet; neither is he listed as a stockholder.
Mega Harbour reported a loss of PhP296,411 in 2015. R-II Builders, meanwhile, reported an income of PhP787.6 million in 2015, up from PhP647,687 in 2014.
MVP Global Infrastructure Ventures, Inc.
MVP Global was registered with the SEC on the 25th of January 2017, a little over three months after Duterte’s China trip. As it is a freshly-registered firm, it has yet to submit financial reports to the SEC. It lists the Bonifacio Technology Center building, on the corner of 31st Street and 2nd Avenue at Bonifacio Global City, as its address.
A story run by the Philippine Daily Inquirer in October 2016 reports its full name as “MVP Global Infrastructure Group Ltd.” The limited-partnership suffix is unusual for Philippine-nationality firms, which may indicate that a sister firm to MVP Global is registered in another country. The same news story reports that it is “composed of three entrepreneurs from Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines.”
A report run by ABS-CBN online in October 2016 quotes a Mr. Enrique Gonzalez as representing MVP Global. Gonzalez is associated with Intellectual Property Ventures Group, Corp. and IP E-Game Ventures, Inc., which are also headquartered at Bonifacio Technology Center.
North Negros Biopower
Registered with the SEC as Central Tarlac Biopower, Inc. in February 2006, and renamed September 2015. Its registered address is Emerald Arcade, F.C. Ledesma St., San Carlos City, Negros Occidental. The same address is associated with San Carlos Solar Energy. Three of its eight-member board of directors are members of the Zabaleta family, including its chairman emeritus, chairman, and treasurer.
Both North Negros Biopower and San Carlos Solar Energy are subsidiaries of Bronzeoak Philippines, Inc., which in turn have Zabaleta & Co., Inc. (85 percent) and Asia Pacific Energy Ventures Ltd. of Hong Kong (10 percent) as its major shareholders. Bronzeoak was incorporated in 2003 as a holding company for renewable energy ventures, with Zabaleta & Co., Inc. and a British national named Graham Stowell as its major subscribers. It owns several other renewable energy firms: San Carlos Clean Energy, Negros Island Solar Power, Monte Solar Energy, San Carlos North East Wind, Biomass Resources, San Carlos Biopower, NextGen Bioenergy, and South Negros Biopower.
North Negros reported losses of PhP87.2 million in 2015, and PhP1.2 million in 2014. Bronzeoak reported PhP136.3 million and PhP20.4 million in profits for 2015 and 2014, respectively, while Zabaleta & Co. reported PhP43.2 million and PhP1 million in profits for the same years.
One White Beach Land Development, Corp.
One White Beach was registered with the SEC in October 2003, and its papers describe its business as “resorts, hotel inns, all adjuncts, and accessories thereto.” Its registration papers report a Jose Ciceron Lorenzo A. Haresco and an Anna Margarita A. Haresco as its two primary stockholders. Jose is the son of Aklan representative Teodorico Haresco Jr., and ran in 2013 as the third nominee of Ang Kasangga Partylist.
According to a website for one of his companies, Teodorico Haresco Jr. had served (at least until 2006) as the director for Asia Pacific Business Development for Mabey & Johnson, a British firm that supplied the modular structures for these bridges. A 2008 PCIJ series on ODA also quoted an investigative report by the Guardian on Mabey & Johnson as saying, “Analysis of the company’s accounts shows that the dramatic leap in fortunes has come largely from its Philippine contracts, worth £429 million and all funded by UK-backed loans.”
Mabey & Johnson had since been embroiled in improprieties elsewhere, and was convicted by a British court in 2009 for bribing politicians in several countries. Teodorico Haresco Jr., meanwhile, was the subject as well of an Aquino-era investigation by the Department of Justice into faked special allotment release orders (SAROs). In 2014, the National Bureau of Investigation recommended that charges be filed against him and four other people.
According to his website, Haresco, through Winace Holdings, Inc., is also associated with Boracay I-Land Group, Inc., Chaikofi, Inc., Eco-Coral & Technostrat Corp., Winace Land Development Co., and Winsource Solutions, Inc.
In 2013, the last year for which an annual report is available for the company, One Whitebeach reported a mere PhP1.3 million in assets and PhP19,640 in losses.
Philippine State Group of Companies
The name “Philippine State” does not exist on the SEC’s i-Report database. Searches for derivative names and alternative spellings did not return any entries of interest. Upon PCIJ’s request, the SEC issued on February 8, 2017 a “certification of non-registration of company” for the name “Philippine State Group of Companies”.
Servequest is primarily engaged in real-estate development, and does not appear to have a track record in renewable energy. Its registered address is 186 Elizalde corner Rafael Corpuz Streets, BF Homes, Paranaque, which it shares with Krismar Realty. Its majority stockholder and president is a Roberto A. Alvarez, Jr. With members of the Chiong and Yang families, Mr. Alvarez is also a director and shareholder of Philippine GP Technology, Inc.
Servequest reported PhP292,123 in net income for 2015, and PhP554,247 for 2014.
See also Trademaster Resources Corp.
SL Agritech Group
SL Agritech was registered with the SEC in August 2000. Its registered address is 2302 Pasong Tamo Extension, Makati, which it shares with Sterling Paper Products. Its incorporators and major stockholders are members of the Lim family, namely Henry Lim Bon Liong (40 percent), Joseph Lim Bon Huan (36.5 percent), and Gerry Lim Bon Hiong (16 percent). Five of its eight-person board of directors are members of the Lim family, including Henry as the president and CEO, and Gerry Lim Bon Hiong as the EVP and CFO.
SL Agritech reported PhP254.4 million in net income for 2015, up from PhP200.1 million in 2014.
Trademaster Resources Corp.
Trademaster Resources was registered with the SEC in October 1998. Its stated primary business activity is “distribution of electronic appliances,” and does not appear to have a track record in renewable energy. Its registered address is the Impex Compound, Zapote Road, Las Piñas, which it shares with a company named Philippine GP Technology, Inc., which also trades under the name Green Power Inc. Trademaster’s incorporators and major stockholders are members of the Chiong and Yang families, who are Filipino and Chinese citizens, respectively. Its management is also drawn from the two families. These two families, along with Roberto A. Alvarez of Servequest, Inc., are also directors and major shareholders of Philippine GP Technology, both through Trademaster Resources (45 percent) and through direct shareholdings.
Trademaster reported PhP11.8 million in income for 2015, down from PhP17.6 million in 2014.
See also Servequest, Inc.
Zonar Systems and Zonarconstruct
Zonarsystems Solutions, Inc. was registered with the SEC in November 2016. In its registration papers, it reported its primary business activity as “construction and management of projects and activities related to infrastructure.” Its registered address is a unit at the Ritz Towers, a luxury residential condominium along Ayala Avenue. A Mr. Antonio L. Montorio owns 96.8 percent of its shares.
Mr. Montorio appears on Malacañang memoranda orders no. 90 and 116, series of 2000, which both deal with the Estrada-era iteration of the President’s Bridge Program. These memoranda specify his roles as member of the special inspectorate team of the program’s oversight committee, and as the plans/communications officer of its technical working group secretariat. Rep. Haresco of One Whitebeach is also named on MO 116 as a member of the technical working group.
The name “Zonarconstruct” does not exist on either the SEC’s i-Report database, or in the DTI’s registry of business names. Upon PCIJ’s request, the SEC issued on February 8, 2017 a “certification of non-registration of company” for the name “Zonar Construct”.
See also One White Beach Land Development Corp.
* Kenneth Cardenas is a PhD candidate in Geography at York University in Toronto, Canada, and co-convenor of the Alitaptap Collective. To write this piece, he used corporate filings with the SEC’s online database as a starting point, and then cross-referenced names and addresses against news stories, Google maps, and publicly-available corporate profiles, as well as had addition research support from PCIJ.