Antonio Cojuangco

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Antonio O. Cojuangco Jr. (born 1951, age 60) popularly known as Tony Boy is a Filipino business tycoon and a prominent figure in the Philippine media and communication. He is the former Chairman of The Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), the largest telecommunications provider of the Philippines. He is the 5th generation of the Cojuangco clan, a distinguished political family in the Philippines. Antonio is the second cousin of President Benigno Aquino III, and nephew to late-former President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino.

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Family Genealogy

The first generation of the Cojuangco clan migrated from Hong Chian town in Tongan province, China. Antonio’s great-great grandfather, Co Yu Hwan, migrated to the Philippines in 1861 where he converted to Catholicism and was baptized as Jose Cojuangco. He married Antera Estrella, a Filipina and settled in Malolos. They had two girls and one boy; Isila born in 1867, Melecio born in 1871 and Chanita born in 1876. In 1896, the whole family transferred to Tarlac after Melecio Cojuangco married a Chinese mestiza, Tiakla Chico, in 1894. Their five children include Jose Cojuangco Jr., the father of the former president of the Philippines, Corazon Aquino; Antonio Cojuangco Sr. who was the father of Ramon Cojuangco, the former chairman of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company and Eduardo Cojuangco Sr. the father of Danding Cojuangco who is one of the closest friends of the late-former President Ferdinand Marcos.

Antonio is son of Ramon Cojuangco, late businessman and chairman of PLDT, and his second wife Imelda Ongsiako Cojuangco, a philanthropist and patroness of the arts. He has two brothers, Ramon Cojuangco Jr. and Miguel Cojuangco, a telecommunications executive, and two sisters, one of whom is Mavie Cojuangco Yulo, a media mogul. Both sisters were married to the twosons of former Philippine presidential aspirant, Jose Yulo. Antonio’s grandfather, Antonio Cojuangco Sr. was a doctor in pre-war Manila who was massacred along with his family and Anotonio’s father’s first wife at De La Salle University by the Japanese in the final days of World War II.

Education and business interests

Antonio graduated Summa Cum Laude in business and economics from Ateneo De Manila University, and holds a degree from Stanford University, Cal Alumni 1975.

He was the Chairman of the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT) for over 12 years until November 1998, when he assumed Chairmanship of the Board from November 24, 1998 to February 19, 2004. He also served as Director of PLDT from April 21, 1982 to January 7, 2007. He is the Chairman of The Landmark Corporation, the Bank of Commerce, FCB Manila, CAP Life Insurance Corporation and the National Museum. He has been an Independent Director at Shang Properties, Inc. since August 14, 2007 and sits on the boards of C and O Investment Realty Corporation, and Philippine Telecommunications Investment Corporation, also having served as an Independent Director of Kuok Philippine Properties Inc.

Antonio is the incumbent President and Chief Executive Officer of the Asian Institute for Distance Education, a private non-sectarian distance learning college accredited by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

In 2003, Antonio and his group of businessmen acquired the Associated Broadcasting Company (now known asTV5). Under his management, the television network introduced a stronger news and public affairs division, modernized its broadcast equipment and one time attained broadcast rights of the Philippine Basketball Association games. Antonio also owns the Dream Broadcasting System, a direct-to-home television service via satellite feed run by the Philippine Multi-Media System Inc.

Presidential Campaign

In a statement of election and contribution expenditures that the then president-elect and current president ‘Noynoy’ Aquino submitted to the Commission of Elections, Antonio was shown to have contributed P100 million, out of the total P440 million donations for the presidential campaign of his second cousin.

Personal life

Antonio is legally married to Denise Yabut Cojuangco, a Filipino equestrienne who represented the country in show jumping in the 1992 and 1996 Summer Olympics. They were married in a civil service officiated by Denise’s father, the late-former mayor of Makati, Nemesio Yabut. Although they have been separated for more than fifteen years now, Antonio still has not filed for annulment of the marriage.

Antonio continues to live with his long-time partner, actress Gretchen Barretto. He began dating her when she was 23 years old, and he was 42. Although their relationship has lasted for the past eighteen years, Barretto has been rumored to have had affairs with Dody Puno, the Executive Director of the Department of Public Works and Highways, and actor [[John Estrada]. She and Antonio have a 12 year old daughter, Dominique Cojuangco.


References

Citation

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