Danding Cojuangco passes away at 85

TYCOON and Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) founder Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr. has passed away at 85.

His demise was confirmed in a disclosure Wednesday, June 17, 2020, by food and beverage giant San Miguel Corporation, which he led as chairman and chief executive officer.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Palace was saddened by his passing.

“Mr. Cojuangco, through his San Miguel Corporation (SMC), where he served as its Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), had immense contribution to the socioeconomic development of the Philippines through the company’s operations in food, beverages, energy, power, oil refining, and infrastructure,” Roque said in a statement.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III, a member of the NPC, said the passing of Cojuangco “leaves a big hole in our hearts”.

“He lived an extraordinary life, a successful man who wore many hats as he made waves in the business sector and splashes in public service. The vast ocean of entrepreneurship and political leadership will never drift as suavely and smoothly without his engaging presence,” Sotto said in his statement.

Senator Grace Poe, who first ran under the NPC banner, said Cojuangco always looked for ways to empower communities.

“He opened up opportunities for pervasive success as he believed deeply in the capabilities of Filipinos,” she said in a separate statement.

Cojuangco had been chairman of the board and CEO of San Miguel since July 7, 1998. He was also the chairman of the executive committee of the company.

Other positions he held in other companies were: chairman and CEO of Ginebra San Miguel Inc.; and chairman of San Miguel Food and Beverage, Inc. Petron Corporation, ECJ & Sons Agricultural Enterprises, Inc., Eduardo Cojuangco, Jr. Foundation, Inc., San Miguel Northern Cement, Inc., and Northern Cement Corporation,

He was a director of Caiñaman Farms, Inc.

A longtime basketball patron, Cojuangco also left an undelible imprint in Philippine sports, starting with his presiding over a national team composed of the best amateur players that ganed a lot of success in the 1980s.

With Cojuangco bankrolling and the late Ron Jacobs calling the shots for the team, the Philippines first won the Asian Youth Championship in 1982. And then, carrying the banner of Northern Consolidated, the Philippine team dominated the Asian Interclub Championship in Malaysia in 1984 and also won a Jones Cup title, a PBA crown and a gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games in 1985.

However, that team’s moment of glory came in the Asian Championship which it also won.

Cojuangco’s track record of success carried over to the PBA and the UAAP as well.

As the big boss of the San Miguel Corp., the teams under his watch enjoyed tremendous success in the PBA, which included a grand slam by San Miguel in 1989. As chief backer of the De La Salle University’s basketball team, the Green Archers also won titles in 2013 and 2017.

Cojuangco also served as ambassador as well as governor of Tarlac.

He ran for president under the NPC banner in the 1992 elections, the first presidential election under the multiparty system, and lost to then Defense Secretary Fidel V. Ramos who was anointed by the late President Corazon C. Aquino. / MVI, JNP / SunStar Philippines