The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of San Miguel Corporation Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco Jr died on Tuesday at the age of 85.
According to DZRH News, the business tycoon and owner of the Philippines’ largest food-and-drink company died of cancer.
The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), in a tweet, paid tribute to Cojuangco. He owns three teams in the PBA, which are San Miguel Beermen, Barangay Ginebra San Miguel, and Magnolia Hotshots.
“Chairman and CEO of San Miguel Corp., politician, diplomat, businessman, team owner, sports patron… Thank you for your countless contribution to the PBA and sports!” the association tweeted.
“Our prayers and condolences to his family and loved ones. Requiescat in pace!” the PBA added.
Cojuangco also served as the Chief Executive Officer of Ginebra San Miguel and Chairman of the Board of Petron Corporation.
According to Forbes, he also owns “private cement-manufacturing business and invested in orchards, stud farms, and wineries in Australia.” Forbes named Cojuangco as the 16th richest man in the country in 2019.
San Miguel chairman Danding Cojuangco dies at 85
Apart from business, Cojuangco also entered Philippine politics. He founded the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) in 1992. He also ran for the presidency against Fidel Ramos in the same year.
Before taking his bid for the presidency, he was Governor of Tarlac City from 1967 – 1969 and became Tarlac’s 1st District Representative from 1969 to 1972.
Cojuangco was a close adviser and personal friend to former Philippine president Ferdinand E. Marcos, which led his estrangement from his cousin, Corazon Aquino, who, after Marcos’ ouster, succeeded him as president.
“I will never deny that I was close to Marcos,” Cojuangco told reporters in 1998. “It is the connotation that a crony is a crook that hurts.”
As of 2018, he was living with his partner, 1996 Binibining Pilipinas Universe winner Aileen “Leng” Damiles. They have two daughters.
San Miguel Corporation played a significant part during the COVID-19 pandemic. Aside from financial aid, the company also donated free alcohol, medical supplies, and testing booths.