Samuel Uy effect? Duterte lavishes praise on Lucio Tan’s b-day: May you live a thousand more years!
A little over a year after publicly threatening to make Lucio Tan pay for P30 billion in back taxes.
President Rodrigo Duterte has nothing but kind words for the fourth richest Filipino.
Duterte was all smiles when he personally graced the birthday of Tan just nine months after the President gave the bilyonaryo 10 days to cough out P6 billion to pay Philippine Airlines’s unpaid airport fees or he would shut down the airline.
“Sir, may God grant you a thousand years more of your life. Happy birthday, Mr. Tan. You are 83 years old and still a success story on all fronts,” said Duterte said in a speech at the roll out of Airbus A350 and A311 at Villamor Airbase in Pasay City.
“This milestone would not have been possible without the decisive leadership of Dr. Lucio Tan, who is celebrating his 83rd birthday today. Dr. Tan, I wish you a happy birthday and may you continue to be endowed with good health, countless blessings and greater success in all endeavors,” Duterte said.
Duterte added that he was pleased to witness the unveiling of PAL’s new aircraft, describing it as a “momentous achievement not only for PAL, but for the entire country as well.”
“I commend the airline for its efforts to deliver quality flight experience to all its passengers by modernizing its fleet, expanding its reach and providing wholehearted care that is distinctively Filipino,” he added.
Duterte revealed he has been a PAL customer since his college days.
“Ah, sir, it might just be noteworthy to say this that I have been your customer since college days. And that would be about more than 50 years ago,” Duterte told Tan.
Duterte’s 180-degree change in attitude over Tan coincided with the appointment of the president’s Davao teenage buddy and campaign financier, businessman Samuel Uy, as board director of PAL in March 2017 and Tan’s Macroasia Corp, in April 2018.
Duterte kicked of his tirade against Tan in a speech in Qatar in April 2017.
“Iyang si Lucio Tan, halos to the last day ng kampanya habol ng habol sa akin ‘yan kasi gustong magbigay ng pera …Lucio Tan has almost billion, 30 billion. He has to pay. He has to pay. Lahat, they have to pay.” (With a report from PNA)
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