Dutertes mix up data on 23 business interests



MANILA, Philippines – By the disclosures in their asset records, President Rodrigo Duterte, Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte, and former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte have interests and engagements in a total of at least 23 corporate entities.

A majority of these are involved in the food and catering business, a few in freight and trucking services, and others in education, medical service, and foundation work.

Apart from scores of business partners — some of whose names appear repeatedly across the boards of several companies — the Dutertes also have at least 16 relatives by blood and affinity working in appointive positions, mostly at Davao City Hall, and also in executive and judiciary posts.

But the token disclosure and inconsistencies that define their real and personal assets, as well as liabilities, also plague their declarations regarding the businesses they own or co-own, and their relatives by blood and affinity who are in public positions.

The inconsistencies include declaring different positions for one relative in the same SALN (Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth) year, or even missing out a high-profile relative, and a possible deliberate non-mention of a relative in the list.

PCIJ has reviewed a total of 22 SALNs that Duterte had filed since 1998; eight filed by Sara since 2007; and 11 filed by Paolo also since 2007. It is conceivable that, in specific cases, the Dutertes may have just been less than attentive to filling out the seemingly unimportant list of “Relatives in Government” that forms part of the SALN form, or the section regarding their business interests. 

In two sets of letter requests for comment sent in October 2018 and in February 2019, PCIJ had thus explicitly asked the Dutertes: “Do you, then and now, personally take part in preparing your SALNs and are fully aware of all the data and information that are declared in these documents? Or do your personal accountants or lawyers assist you in doing your SALNs for you?”

But up until this writing, the President, Mayor Sara, and Paolo, had yet to respond to these and other questions sent to them by PCIJ.

Delisted but still linked

Sara Duterte was vice mayor of Davao City from 2007 to 2010, and then its mayor from 2010 to 2013. She took a three-year break from public office before clinching another term as mayor in 2016. She is running again in the city’s mayoralty race this May.

Sara’s SALNs from 2007 to 2012 listed Davao Emerging Taipans Corporation and City Hall King Chow Foods Corporation among her business interests.  According to records of the Securities and Exchange Commission or SEC, Davao Emerging Taipans Corporation (Davao Emerging) registered with it on May 19, 2004 for the primary purpose of “establishing, operating, and maintaining restaurants, coffee shops, refreshment parlors, cocktail lounges, and food catering.” City Hall King Chow Foods Corporation (City Hall King Chow), which was registered with the SEC on May 9, 2007, has the same declared purpose. 

In 2016, after she returned to public office, Sara no longer included these two companies in her list of business interests. They were absent as well in her 2017 SALN.

Davao Emerging’s 2016 and 2017 General Information Sheets (GIS), however, reveal that Sara still sits on its Board of Directors, with 10-percent ownership. Similarly, the 2016 and 2017 GIS of City Hall King Chow have Sara as a board director with 20-percent ownership. These records have been authenticated by the SEC. 

Yet while she had delisted Davao Emerging and City Hall King Chow in her 2016 SALN, Sara listed two apparently new business interests: Davao New Royal Taipan Corp. (Davao New Royal) and Metro City Chow Foods Corp. (Metro City Chow).

But confusion arises still as to when exactly she got involved in these two ventures.

Sara’s 2016 SALN said that she had been connected to Davao New Royal since 2004, and to Metro City Chow since 2007. SEC records show, however, that both companies registered with the SEC only in 2016. 

The years she cited match those when Davao Emerging registered with the SEC (2004) and City Hall King Chow (2007). There are no indications, though, that Davao New Royal and Metro City Chow had taken over the operations of the two delisted businesses. According to the SEC database, all four companies still exist.

The case of Timesquare Bee Foods (Timesquare), meanwhile, is unique. Sara listed this company in her 2016 and 2017 SALNs and declared herself as an incorporator and stockholder. Company papers, however, say otherwise.

Timesquare registered with the SEC on June 24, 2013. Its 2016 GIS names the following as board members and stockholders: Ang Hai Peng (Chairman); Roxanne T. Ang (CFO or Corporate Finance Officer); Gerlie S. Dela Cruz (COS or Corporate Secretary); and Board members Bolly G. Gimenes and Gordon T. Gimenes. All 5 are also its only incorporators, according to the firm’s documents. 

Too long to dissolve

In 2017, meanwhile, Sara dropped from her SALN an entity called 3Kids Trucking Services, Inc. (3Kids), even as the 2017 GIS of 3Kids would reveal her as a board director, with 16.64-percent ownership of the company.

Sara had listed 3Kids as “Not Existing” in her 2012 SALN, and “For Dissolution” in her 2016 SALN. 

3Kids registered with the SEC on Jan. 24, 2012 and said that its primary purpose was “to engage in the transportation business for the carriage of general cargoes, merchandise, and freight auto truck services.”

As of October 2018, 3Kids was listed as “suspended” in the SEC database and later listed as “dissolved” before the year ended.

Since 2012, Sara has also been listing at least two other business entities as being headed “for dissolution.”  

One of these companies, SGT Fortune Horse Corp. (SGT), registered with the SEC on March 29, 2010 to engage in the transportation business for the carriage of general cargoes, merchandise, and freight auto truck services. Sara said that she was one of the firm’s incorporators.

In 2012, she declared SGT as “for dissolution.” But 3 years after, SGT would still be reflected in Sara’s 2016 SALN, and still with a “for dissolution” note. 

In her 2017 SALN, Sara delisted SGT from her business interests. Yet while SGT’s 2013 and 2017 GIS no longer included her as a board member, dissolution has yet to come for this company. As of Feb. 4, 2019, the company is still listed as “registered” in the SEC database.

CYK&T Davao Corporation (CYK&T) also appeared to have met the same fate. CYK&T is a joint business undertaking of Sara and husband Manases "Mans" R. Carpio, together with 3 other Filipinos and two Korean nationals. 

It registered in the SEC on March 1, 2010, and was established to “provide technical, vocational, education, and training, and to provide effective language courses both in oral written communication to local and foreign students.” It was listed in Mayor Sara’s 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2016 SALNs as CYKT, Inc.

Like SGT Fortune Horse, CYK&T was listed by Sara in her 2012 and 2016 SALNs as “for dissolution.” 

Years after, the company would still be filing its GIS, with that in  2018 saying that it is 40 percent owned by its Korean partners and 60 percent owned by Filipinos. Of the 60-percent Filipino ownership, 24 percent belongs to Sara and 10 percent to husband Manases Carpio.

Finally, however, as of Feb. 4, 2019, the SEC database would show CYK&T as having a “revoked” status.

Sole business interest

CYK&T also appears to be the only business interest of Manases Carpio that has records at the SEC.  

A second entity, ZeltaMatiem Salon, was declared by Sara in 2011 as a “sole proprietorship” business interest of Manases Carpio. But she would declare the salon to be “for retirement” in her 2012 SALN, and “closed” in her 2016 SALN. 

CYK&T would appear to be the only source of Manases Carpio’s increase in real and other personal properties as identified in the SALNs of Sara. 

While in the process of dissolving his sole business interest, Manases Carpio had also reportedly acquired the following assets, according to Sara’s SALNs:

Sara indicated in her 2008 to 2010 SALNs that Manases Carpio has been a lawyer at Carpio-Duterte Law Office and at Carpio Duterte Lawyers in 2011, 2012, 2016, and 2017.  But she did not list the law firm as among her husband’s business interests. 

The law office has online presence, a head office in Davao City, and a recently opened branch office in Mandaue City, Cebu. But the SEC has no records at all of its registration as a partnership or corporation, as of March 2019.

Paolo & Baste

Sara, however, is not alone in her seeming confusion over which board of which business entity she has a seat in, or which company is still in operation and which has closed, and when. 

Her brother Paolo, for one, had listed Grand King Foods Corp (Grand King) as one of his business interests in his 2007 to 2012 SALNs. It registered with the SEC on Oct. 2, 2007, with its primary purpose being “to establish, operate and maintain restaurants, coffee shops, refreshment parlors, cocktail lounges and cater foods.”

Grand King would be dropped from Paolo’s business interests in the SALNs he filed from 2013 to 2017. But the company’s GIS filed during this period show Paolo as still part of its board of directors, with five-percent ownership. Younger brother Sebastian is also listed as among Grand King’s board directors.

Paolo was barangay captain of Catalunan Grande in Davao City from 2007 to 2013. He was elected the city’s vice mayor in 2013 but resigned in December 2017.

Still, except for the delisting of Grand King in his SALNs, Paolo, compared to his sister, appears to be relatively transparent in terms of data about his business holdings.

Paolo had listed at least 8 business interests in his 2017 SALN, with two of these — Grand MD Business Development Corp (Grand MD) and Chinese Gen Bee Foods Corp. (Chinese Gen) – having Sebastian (more popularly known as "Baste") as co-owner.

According to his 2017 SALN, Paolo’s business interests include:

When his SALN declaration and the corporate papers of his business interests are compared, however, some discrepancies emerge in terms of his role in some companies. 

For instance, in his SALNS from 2007 to 2017, Paolo did not declare that he is one of the incorporators of Server Cuisine. But the company’s Articles of Incorporation, signed on Nov. 17, 2006, show otherwise. 

As well, in his 2013 to 2017 SALNs, Paolo said only that he was one of Chinese Gen’s incorporators, even though the company’s 2016 GIS lists him still as a stockholder.

Gave kids permits

Interestingly, at least two of the companies declared by Paolo in his various SALNs at one time or another had also secured permits to operate from Davao City Hall between 2004 and 2011, while his father, and then his younger sister Sara, was mayor. So, too, had two companies that had Sara as board member and stockholder. Two other companies, this time connected primarily to Sebastian, also secured permits from Davao City Hall during the same period. 

According to a May 6, 2016 report of GMANews Online, these six companies were all engaged in the food business and had declared a common primary purpose in their Articles of Incorporation: “establish and maintain restaurants, coffee shops”, among others and to “make, cook, arrange, serve and cater food.” Among these were two that Sara would declare later in her SALNs: City Hall King Chow Foods Corp., which got its first permit in 2007, and Davao Emerging Taipans Corps, which received its permit in 2004. 

In City Hall King Chow Foods’s 2014 GIS, Sara is listed to own 20 percent of the firm with PhP250,000-worth of paid shares, according to records obtained by GMANews Online. Davao Emerging’s 2014 documents meanwhile had Sara as owning 10 percent of the company with 3,750 shares and amount paid at P375,000. Both companies also said that Sara was a member of their respective boards. 

There are also Grand M.D. and Grand King, declared by Paolo in his SALNs later and which also counted Sebastian as among their board members and shareholders. Both got their first permit to operate from Davao City Hall in 2011. 

GMANews Online reported that Grand M.D.’s company records in 2015 showed Paolo and Sebastian as owning five percent of the company each, with 125 shares worth PhP25,000 each. 

The brothers also owned five percent of Grand King Foods Corp., which would later go missing in Paolo’s SALNs. GMANews Online also reported that based on the company’s 2015 GIS, Paolo and Sebastian each had a total of PhP25,000 amount subscribed.

The last two companies had Sebastian listed as board member and stockholder: SPMC Chow Foods Corp., which got its first permit from Davao City Hall in 2011; and  Timesquare Chow Foods Corp, in 2013. 

GMANews Online, quoting the firms’ corporate records, said that Sebastian owned 15 percent of SPMC and 20 percent of Timesquare Chow, equivalent to PhP 37,500 in amount subscribed for each of the companies.

Sought for comment about his children’s businesses, Duterte told GMANews Online in 2016: “Ma’am, kailangan ang tao sa mundong ito mabuhay. Just because they are my children does not…Papaano ito? Kasi dahil anak ko sila hindi na sila mabuhay?  Eh kung ako magbibigay ng pera n’yan, kung ako magbibigay ng pera n’yan ang salary ko hindi tama. E ‘di ako magbibigay, ma-graft and corruption ako. They are of age, ‘yung isa mayor na, yung isa vice mayor and they have a family to support.

(Ma’am, people in this world need to live. Just because they are my children does not…How should it be? Just because they are my children they have no right to make a living? If I have to give them money, if I will be the one giving money, my salary would not be enough. I won’t give, I may end up committing graft and corruption. They are of age, one is already mayor, the other vice mayor and they have a family to support).”

Divested, years later

For sure, even the President had thought it necessary to invest in businesses while he was in public office. His 1998 to 2017 SALNs revealed these business connections:

His June 2016 SALN – his first as President — still indicated his connection to Honda Cars Gen. Santos, Inc. and Poeng Yue Foundation, Inc. By his December SALN, however, the President had divested himself of his long-time businesses.

Based on his SALNs through the years, though, it would seem that Duterte — much like his children Sara and Paolo — had jumbled memories of his involvement in companies. For example:  he started reporting a connection with Honda Cars Gen. Santos, Inc. only in 2000, even though the company’s official papers listed him as an incorporator from the time it registered with the SEC on Oct. 11, 1996. Its GIS from 1997 to 1999 also consistently named Duterte as an incorporator with 2,625 shares or three percent of the firm’s 87,500 total shares. 

But Duterte’s SALNs filed during these years were silent about his involvement with the firm. Still, his SALNs from 2000 to 2017 indicated that his connection with Honda Cars started way back in 1997.


Missed out law firm

There is at least one more firm, however, that Duterte has neglected to declare in his SALN as among his business interests. 

It is unfortunate that the SEC no longer provides for a reverse-search facility, which previously allowed research on companies via links to a person or persons. Today only company names can be searched from the database.

Yet, a quick search of “Duterte” in the Commission’s database revealed one Fabiosa Duterte Cimasranca (sic) Carcedo Law Firm (FDCCO Law) Co. registered in the SEC on February 6, 2003.

Its Articles of Partnership, which is the firm’s only available document in the SEC database, listed its partners as Ricardo B. Fabiosa, Rodrigo R. Duterte, Filemon S. Cimafranca Jr., and Oscar A. Carcedo. (The partnership papers show the firm’s name as Fabiosa Duterte Cimafranca Carcedo Law Firm or FDC CO. LAW)  

Firm partner Duterte, unlike the others, did not put his Tax Identification Number in the document. It indicated, though, that the Rodrigo Duterte in the document was born on March 28, 1945 and resided in Central Park Subdivision, Bangkal Davao City. In his 1998 to 2000 SALNs, then Davao City Mayor and now Philippine President Duterte explicitly indicated that he resides in Taal St. Davao Central Park, Bangkal, Davao City. The President’s birthday is March 28, 1945.

The firm has never appeared in any and all of Duterte’s SALNs from 2003 to 2017. Its status in the SEC database remains as “registered” as of Feb. 4, 2019.  

Frequent partners

Excluding their names, Duterte, Sara, and Paolo count about 140 business associates as incorporators and board members in the 23 companies they have owned or co-own to this day. These names appear in respective Articles of Incorporation (AI) and General Information Sheets (GIS) that the companies have filed with the SEC through the years.

At least 17 names stand out, however, for being repeat co-shareholders and co-incorporators of the Dutertes in two to 9 companies. They include:

Gerlie S. Dela Cruz 

Jaime T. Cruz 

Ricci Evette L. Cruz 

Dolly Grace G. Yuste 

Felisa T. Tan 

Kimberly Justine Y. Cruz 

Ma. Luz J. Manlapas

Jeanette Y. Ngo

Celerino P. Eralino 

Samuel C. Uy 

Susan H. Cua 

Vilma Uy Ang 

Ang Hai Peng 

Neil A. Gellegani

Sharon Carla A. Gellegani 

Ma. Guadalupe R. Magallanes 

Randy F. Magallanes 

(To be continued) – with infographics by Vino Lucero, R-Jay Sale, and Arnel Rival, PCIJ, April 2019