Yuchengco confirms being forced to sell PLDT stake

Posted at 09/15/09 10:14 AM

MANILA - Tycoon Alfonso Yuchengco on Tuesday confirmed that he was forced to sell his stake in a company that had shares in Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) after receiving threats allegedly from then president Joseph Estrada.

In a statement, Yuchengco confirmed Sen. Panfilo Lacson's statements that he was pressured to sign conveyance of his shares in Philippine Telecommunications Investment Corporation (PTIC) to Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC).

"I confirm the statements made by Senator Panfilo Lacson in his privilege speech relating to my 7.75% PTIC holdings, equivalent to 2,017,650 PLDT common shares. These shares were taken from me in 1998 through  sheer intimidation and serious threat to my businesses, myself and my family," he said in a statement.

Lacson on Monday said Estrada forced Yuchengco to sell his stake in PTIC to MPIC. He said Estrada used the Philippine National Police to harass Yuchengco's son, Tito, "with threat of arrest on some trumped-up drug charges, to force his father, Mr Yuchengco, to sell."

He said the harassment of the younger Yuchengco came in the form of “deliberate and obvious physical surveillance.”

Lacson, who is widely supported by the Chinese community in the Philippines for his previous anti-kidnapping stance, said that he learned that the Yuchengco family, also of Chinese descent, has harbored deep anger towards him for a long time.

He said this anger has roots in the 1998 PLDT deal.

(Read Lacson: Yuchengco 'harassed' to sell PLDT stake to First Pacific. The story gives a background on the sale of Yuchengco's stake in PTIC and PLDT, the reply of counsel of MPIC's chair Manuel Pangilinan and President Estrada, and why politics in the 1998 PLDT deal is old news.)