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Bacolod City, Philippines Saturday, November 23, 2019
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Lo matriarch denied entry,
urging 3 sons to reconcile
BY CARLA P. GOMEZ

 

The co-founder of Negros Grace Pharmacy called on her three sons to agree to a family reconciliation before she dies at a press conference in Bacolod City yesterday.

Corazon Lo, 80, said she went to the NGP warehouse located at the Circumferential Road in Barangay Mandalagan, Bacolod City, yesterday morning but was denied entry by the security guards on instructions of her son Ian Lo.

Mrs. Lo said she has repeatedly been denied entry into her office at the warehouse and the NGP branches by her son, despite the fact that she and her late husband, Dr. Manuel Lo, co-founded the firm and built it into what it is today.

The NGP, which is the biggest pharmacy chain in Western Visayas, is said to have more than 70 branches.

In February Mrs. Lo filed a case before the Bacolod Regional Trial Court against her two sons and daughters-in-law, Ian Manuel, Ma. Paz, Theodore Manuel and Sheila Lo, to halt the sale of NGP and its subsidiaries to Ayala Healthcare Holdings Inc.and for the return of the ownership of the firm to her, which is pending before Judge Eduardo Sayson.

The sale of NGP shares to Ayala Healthcare did not push through, which was a mutual decision of both parties, Ian Lo said.

Mrs. Lo said she wanted to go to her office at the NGP warehouse yesterday, but although she told the guard that she is the owner of the firm, he denied her entry because he was under orders from “Sir Ian” and if he did not comply he would lose his job.

“I am the owner, why will they not let me in?” she asked.

She said it was the fourth time she was denied entry to her office since July.

“It’s so sad…I am feeling very down,”she said.

Mrs. Lo also claimed that she has very little savings left and has been unable to go to Singapore for a follow-up check up for her breast cancer.

She said she will not have enough money if she becomes bedridden in her old age. Her late husband had told her she did not have to save a lot since NGP is hers anyway, Mrs. Lo said.

Mrs. Lo said she is thankful to her son, Jonathan, for helping her with her financial needs to enable her to buy her medicines.

She denied claims that her son Jonathan is behind her filing a case against her other sons and for press statements she has issued.

“I have a mind of my own,” she said, stressing that all of her actions were based on her own decisions.

Jonathan, who was at the press conference, said he was just there to support his mother, if she wants a reconciliation, so be it, and if she wants to pursue her case he is okay with that, too.

“I am fighting for my right as a mother and as the co-founder of the business,” Mrs. Lo said.

She said she loves all her three children, and if her two sons come to see her and say sorry, and give her a hug, it could be the start of a reconciliation.

Mrs. Lo said she is already 80 and does not have long to live on this earth anymore, and would like to see her three sons reconciled before she dies.

She reminded her sons of Exodus 20:12 that states “honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you”.

Mrs. Lo said she continues to pray that God will help her family solve their problem.

“I am just human, it is beyond my strength. I am hoping for a reconciliation of all my children before I pass away,” she said.

Ian Lo, when asked for his comment on his mother’s statements, said his lawyer Asia Canieso, would issue a statement in his behalf.

Canieso said Mrs. Lo, through her lawyer Melanie Zosa, was informed in June that she is no longer allowed entry into the NGP office and warehouse, as well as all other branches of the pharmacy, in view of the court case she filed againstthe company and her two sons.

In the same email, Mrs. Lo was prohibited from eliciting any information from any personnel, officers or managers of NGP or its subsidiaries, she said.

Mrs. Lo is no longer a stockholder or director of NGP and has therefore ceased to have any rights in the corporation. Since June 2019, this has been the status quo between the parties, Canieso added.

“Her attempt today to force entry into the NGP warehouse accompanied by several persons or media personnel who took videos of her attempt is a publicity stunt, consistent with all her media releases the last few weeks,” the lawyer said.

“NGP reiterates its stand that since Mrs. Lo filed a court case against the company and against her two sons, it would be imprudent to allow her free access to sensitive information inside NGP offices and warehouse," she added.

“There have been several attempts by Ian Lo to talk to his mother, even before she filed this case. However, all his attempts were rebuffed,” Canieso added.*

 

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