SENATORS mourned the passing of industrialist John Gokongwei Jr.
Gokongwei, founder and chairman emeritus of JG Summit Holdings, Inc., died on Saturday night at the age of 93.
“RIP John Gokongwei, a man who always tried to provide value to Philippine consumers,” Senator Sonny Angara said in his post on Twitter.
Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, who, as a former lieutenant colonel in the Philippine Constabulary-Metrocom at the time Gokongwei’s daughter Robina was kidnapped, remembered the industrialist’s gesture to his team.
“In 1981, I instructed him not to sound intimidated while negotiating for Robina’s ransom snapped at her kidnappers, ‘P10M? Do you know how long it’ll take me to count that much money? You can have my daughter!’ I said, not too bold either Mr. John. Rest In Peace, John Gokongwei Jr.,” Lacson said on Twitter.
“We rescued Robina just before the ransom payment, so no ransom was paid. Afterwards, John offered P400K as reward money which I politely declined. He officially donated 10 mobile cars to the PC Metrocom instead thru then Chief PC Fidel V. Ramos,” he added.
Senator Ralph Recto, meanwhile, described Gokongwei as a national flag carrier who planted Filipino greatness in other lands and in the minds of his people that yes, a poor promdi like him can.
“We can tally the jobs his business created, the taxes paid, and the earnings it generated, but the inspiration he gave our young was the most important bottomline that was hard to quantify,” Recto said.
“He now joins the stars he followed in sailing the wooden boat of his youth, guiding brave Filipinos who follow his example that for success to be achieved, one must leave the sight of shore,” he added.
Recto also said that “Gokongwei pushed the envelope and challenged convention in everything he did because this summa cum laude of the university of hard knocks believed that excellence can only be achieved by human talent pushed to the limit.
“The result is that for those who patronize his brands, there is satisfaction to be enjoyed, and in each, a great story to be learned,” Recto further said.
“Everything about Mr. John was big—vision, dreams, kindness—yet he never tired of punching above his weight, and the obstacles he toppled paved the way for others. For leaving the world better than you found it, daghang salamat, Mr. John,” he added.