When the pie isn’t properly sliced

By: Alex P. Vidal

“Everybody is identical in their secret unspoken belief that way deep down they are different from everyone else.” – David Foster Wallace

IN other mega corporate ventures in the country managed by one clan that involves a public interest, we seldom heard–or none, at all–of an intra-family feud that threatens to paralyze the company’s operations like what is happening in the Vallacar Transit, Inc. in the transportation sector.

Several years back, Iloilo City’s Florete brothers also went tongs and hammer in their legal squabble over some issues with their properties, which also nearly threatened to break-up the family.

Like in the case of the Yansons, the public was startled that members of a prominent business clan that owns one of the biggest radio networks in the country were at loggerheads and in the newspaper headlines for several months.

If the Yansons have Roy and Leo Rey, the Floretes had Marcelino and Rogelio.

The feud between the Florete siblings, however, was not as tension-filled as compared to the tumult that erupted in the Yanson family, where several employees and security personnel in the Ceres terminals had been disarmed and frightened during the territorial tug-of-war.




When serious internal insurrections explode within the family-run corporation, it means only one thing: everybody isn’t happy, or the pie wasn’t properly sliced.

In all these wranglings and hullabaloos, however, it’s always the court that has the final say, no matter how one party will attempt to resort to any extra-judicial alternative, or show of force and intimidation.

Meanwhile, despite managing the Panay Electric Company (PECO) in Iloilo City for nearly a century, the Cacho family never quarreled in public; all their corporate issues are tackled privately and peacefully.

Unlike the Yansons in the Vallacar Transit, Inc., the Cachos never washed PECO’s dirty linens in public.

If the Cashos were in the news, it’s because they worked side-by-side against the ranting and agitations of the consumers who went ballistic against the “astronomical” charges in their monthly bills.




Also, we never heard the Lopezes tearing each other apart over corporate issues while managing the Meralco and ABS-CBN, among other family-owned public utilities.

What we heard and learned in the news was the smooth transition of management of their major prime properties from one family patriarch to another.

Ditto with the Gatchalians of the Cebu Pacific, the Sys of the Prime Holdings (that operates SM City), the Ayalas of the Ayala Center, the Gokongweis of the Robinsons and Universal Robina Corporation, among other big families engaged in mega businesses.

Bad management normally causes most of the organizational problems. Over and over, according to Lighthouse, it’s their actions (or inaction) of managers that combine to be the hidden, root cause of these major, valid concerns.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)