Rumors are swirling at GMA Network Inc.’s headquarters in Quezon City that presumptive presidential candidate Mar Roxas is responsible for stopping San Miguel Corp. President Ramon S. Ang’s deal to buy 30 percent of the country’s number two media entity.
A Politiko source said pointed to Roxas as the one who convinced GMA CEO Felipe Gozon and the other majority owners to terminate at the last minute Ang’s planned buy-in into the network which has been in the works for the last 12 months.
The source said Roxas got plenty of help from his chief of staff, lawyer Blas James Viterbo, who is married to Gozon’sdaughter, Maritess Gozon.
Who is Viterbo? He worked as legal counsel of the Senate committee on trade and commerce during Roxas’ term from 2004 to 2010. When Aquino took over in 2010, he was rewarded with juicy posts – first as director of state-owned Development Bank of the Philippines and later as Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Gozon and his majority partners, Gilberto Duavit and Menardo Jimenez, announced 23 June 2015 that they have abandoned their deal with Ang who paid P1 billion earnest money a year ago. Gozon and his partners did not cite a reason for the termination.
The source said it was an open secret among GMA staffers that Gozon is a supporter of Roxas whose wife, news anchor Korina Sanchez, works at rival ABS-CBN.
The source said Roxas had reportedly convinced Gozon to terminate the deal and pursue the sale of a minority stake in the company till after the May 2016 elections.
Roxas is apparently against the entry of Ang in GMA especially with only a year before the 2016 elections which is expected to be one of the tightest presidential contests since 1992.
The source said the unfolding events at GMA were reminiscent of plots undertaken by the devious Frank Underwood (played by Kevin Spacey) in the political intrigue drama “House of Cards.”
Ang is identified with the Nationalist People’s Coalition whose chairman emeritus and founder is San Miguel chairman Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr.
NPC has not yet decided on who to support in 2016 but its members are reportedly torn between Vice President JejomarBinay and Senator Grace Poe. Roxas trails behind Binay and Poe in the surveys.
[bctt tweet=”Did Mar Roxas block Ramon Ang’s buy-in to GMA?”]