MANILA, Philippines – Rappler talks to Antonio Tiu, the businessman caught in the crossfire between Vice President Jejomar Binay and the Senate of the Philippines.
It all started when Binay faced corruption allegations on a reported overpriced Makati building, prompting the Senate to probe into the Vice President’s properties. During one of the Senate hearings, former Binay ally and ex-Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado revealed that Binay owned a vast tract of land in Rosario, Batangas, with a development inspired by the British Kew Gardens.
The development – also known as SunChamp Real Estate and Development Corporation – is under Tiu’s name. Critics say Tiu is a mere dummy in Binay’s place, but the businessman denies it, saying he bought it through legal means. He says he only met Binay 3 times, and that his daughter Abby is a mere professional acquaintance.
Having come from a middle class family, Tiu had no inheritance to speak of. Now 38, Tiu owns several businesses, mostly in the agricultural sector. He says his immense wealth is built by hard work, integrity, and a bit of luck.
Is Antonio Tiu an entrepreneur with a sharp business acumen, or a prized dummy of one of the most powerful men in Philippine government? Watch his interview on Rappler. – Rappler.com