Management Association of the Philippines president Francis Lim feared that the country’s richest Filipinos were at risk of being branded “oligarchs” like the Lopezes should they cross the administration and its allies.
A day before the House committee on legislative franchises rejected ABS-CBN’s franchise application, party-list Rep. Mike Defensor branded the Lopezes as oligarchs using their network’s influence allegedly to protect their business interests.
“I don’t know what they mean by oligarchy. The Philippine economy is composed of many businessmen. What message are they trying to say, ‘You guys be careful. Any day you will branded as oligarch, there goes your business,” said Lim in an interview with ANC just minutes after the House voting.
“Coming from the business sector, this sends a chilling effect because if things like these happen to an institution that has served the country for 50 years, it can happen to other business groups,” said Lim, a senior partner of ACCRALAW.