MANILA, Philippines – Tycoon Lucio Tan on Thursday, October 19, denied ever supporting destabilization efforts against the government, two days after President Rodrigo Duterte insinuated he had been doing that against past administrations and dared the businessman to do the same now.
In a statement, Tan said his family and his group of companies remain supportive of the Duterte government, and insinuations he would try to undermine it were "false and without basis."
“I have not and will never support any attempt to undermine duly-constituted authority. That’s the plain and simple truth,” Tan said.
The businessman said he valued his family and businesses, and would not put them in trouble by trying to sabotage the government.
“I will not sacrifice everything I worked for, including my family’s honor, by supporting any attempt to undermine those in power,” he said.
At this age, he said, he would only want an "easier" life, he said. Tan is 83.
In April, the President mentioned Tan in a speech before overseas Filipino workers in Qatar, saying the businessman owed the government some P30 billion in taxes, and would have to pay up.
At the time, however, Bureau of Internal Revenue Commissioner Caesar Dulay told reporters he was not aware of any pending case against Tan.
In September, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) demanded that the Lucio Tan-led flag carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) settle with the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) unpaid navigational fees and other charges of P6.965 billion. Insiders say these date back to the time when PAL was a government corporation or GOCC.
The DOTr also said PAL owes the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) P322.1 million.