BIZ BUZZ: Beware of Chinese (Mainland) Gifts

With the election fast approaching, the rumor mill is in virtual overdrive. Biz Buzz has learned that advisers at a presidential bet carefully picked the straight line of donors, politely turning down those with shady backgrounds.

The character checks began when the owners of a giant Chinese gaming company became a top donor to the presidential race, offering not just cash but even unlimited use of its jet fleet.

The Chinese gaming giant, which is said to be partnering with a local gaming company, has thrown so much money into the political circle that some of the president’s advisers are beginning to worry about where the funds are coming from.

There are fears that the overly generous offer may come from illegal sources which could prove inconvenient. As such, the candidate’s close advisers tell their principal to maintain a comfortable distance from the gambling operator lest they end up being “burnt” either by potential laundered funds or the fruits of other harmful activities.

And there is cause for concern. China’s crackdown on illegal gambling and money laundering makes the Philippines a safe haven for those who get around the law.

A number of Chinese gambling tycoons have already made the Philippines their new playground. Some are even toying with the idea of ​​acquiring Philippine citizenship. And why not? Besides the country’s desire to host new casinos and all sorts of games like e-sabong, Chinese gambling lords probably think having a Filipino passport could protect them from lawsuits.

Biz Buzz has heard that a Chinese game company has even acquired a large stake in a company listed on the Philippine Stock Exchange. The company, however, is currently embroiled in a legal battle over a soured casino-hotel partnership.

If the listed company loses the lawsuit, its new Chinese owners would also be exposed to billions of pesos in civil liability for allegedly breached contracts and unpaid debts incurred by the company’s original owners.

But Biz Buzz sources say the Chinese group’s priority is to curry favor with the country’s next set of leaders in hopes of getting preferential treatment if they bet on the right horse.

So reminding them to “beware of Chinese who carry gifts” is probably the best advice for the country’s aspiring leaders.

—Daxim L. Lucas

DivinaLaw wants to diversify… into F&B

Nilo Divina celebrated the 16th birthday of his baby, DivinaLaw, with a lavish banquet at Shangri-La du Fort, enjoyed by founders, senior partners, associates as well as clients, colleagues and friends who appreciated the opportunity to meet again. person after years of quarantine.

And as DivinaLaw guests savored their calorie-filled desserts, Divina announced that the multi-award winning law firm, also considered one of the most dynamic in the country, will face the future “with a strong sense of optimism and exuberant”.

Divina said the company will continue to diversify aggressively, not only by strengthening operations and expanding the market reach of its financial advisory firm (Strategic Horizon Consultancy Corp.) and its affiliated collection agency (Good Forth Collection), but also by expanding into the food and drink industry.

“By the third quarter of the year, we will have two restaurants, a gourmet bistro for customers and friends and another serving comfort food, with an affordable menu and take-out,” he said. .

Divina added that executive chef Nico Santos promised the as-yet-unnamed fine-dining restaurant “will be the first Michelin-starred restaurant in the country.”

He’s the first to admit that this, and the law firm’s other plans, are downright “ambitious”, “grand”, and “bordering on hallucination”. But he remains convinced that all of this will eventually come to fruition because DivinaLaw, after all, also started “as a mere ambition of a mind-blowing lawyer” 16 years ago.

—Tina Arceo-Dumlão

This Viral BPI Tweet

Companies tend to avoid talking about politics as a proven means of self-preservation. But the Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) social media team couldn’t resist the chance to take their cybersecurity campaign viral using indirect political overtones.

“If you really need to retire, do it yourself. Wag ipagawa in the other. (Don’t let others do it),” BPI said in its viral #BPIcybersecuriTips Twitter and Facebook post posted hours after the high-profile Easter Sunday press conference.

During the briefing, presidential hopefuls Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, Senator Panfilo Lacson and former national security adviser Norberto Gonzales indicated they would not step down from the derby.

Domagoso said it was Vice President Leni Robredo who should drop out of the race, which backfired as it was seen by many as a misogynistic attack on the lone presidential candidate.

While BPI’s message has reached a wider audience in this era when cybersecurity is just a big concern as a policy, the author of the tweet deserves a big round of applause.

And to those who might deem this satirical tweet inappropriate, BPI can always invoke “deconstruction” – a way of analyzing literature that assumes the text cannot have a fixed meaning; that the reader has the right to interpret the words regardless of the meaning intended by the author. In this case, the pun is (probably) intended.

—Doris Dumlao-Abadilla INQ

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