Lawyer Felipe Gozon might be the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of broadcast giant GMA Network, but as far as The Standard columnist Jojo Robles is concerned, he’s no different from a scam artist.
This is because Gozon has declined to return the P1 billion downpayment paid by San Miguel Corporation (SMC) top boss Ramon Ang when negotiations for the latter’s purchase of 34 percent of the network’s shares fell through.
While Gozon has defended his refusal to return Ang’s money as a consequence of the business tycoon’s “violation of his obligation to negotiate in good faith, to execute and conclude the transaction documents, and close the transaction” for the sale of shares, Robles believes his action just tarnished GMA’s reputation.
“When the president of a company like San Miguel, the biggest diversified conglomerate in the country, sues the head of another large company like GMA 7 for syndicated estafa, you have to wonder if there is not actually cause for investors and future partners and buyers to worry. The charge, after all, is almost exclusively reserved for financial securities scam artists like the shadowy people who sell imaginary gold bars or those who offer fantastic – and equally imaginary – profits in ‘multi-level marketing’ schemes,” the columnist said.
It doesn’t help Gozon’s cause that the Duavit and Jimenez families, who also control major shares in the network, are in favor of returning the money to Ang since the sale didn’t push through.
Even if the GMA Chairman’s stance has now softened and he’s now in favor of an out-of-court settlement with Ang, Robles sees his earlier refusal to return the P1-billion downpayment and intent to sue as acts which can only be done by someone who wants to swindle another person of his money.
“In fact, the only difference between the scams pulled by nickel-and-dime swindlers and those perpetrated by huge, more outwardly reputable, responsible and established businessmen is the humongous amounts of money involved,” he said.