Ambassador Eduardo Cojuangco yesterday denied rumors that the land deal between the Negros Occidental provincial government and AyalaLand Inc. did not push through because he intervened, due to business links with ShoeMart.
ALI recently withdrew its P6 billion development plan for the 7.7-hectare Capitol property in Bacolod City, citing the delay for about 14 months in the Commission on Audit review of its contract and a pending court case filed by SM Prime Holdings Inc. against provincial government officials for failing to grant it the land deal.
“Some people are saying the land deal did not go through because of me, what do I have to do with it?” Cojuangco asked.
Henry Sy is no longer a director of San Miguel Corp. while Iñigo Zobel of Ayala is the president of the domestic branch of Philippine Airlines, which SMC acquired, Cojuangco, who chairs SMC, said.
“I’m close to both families, why should I meddle in that?” he asked.
The Sys and Zobels don’t engage in politics, just business, he said.
Other rumors have also tagged a Negros politician as having intervened to cause the Capitol-ALI deal to fail.*CPG