Friday, August 12, 2005

Phil Star Publisher Max Soliven urges Anvil members to Keep Faith, Invest & Ignore Phil Politics

Due to the request of our special guest Philippine Star Publisher and columnist Max Soliven, Anvil Business Club (ABC) last August 5, 2005 held its first ever "Anvil Exchange Forum" at a luncheon instead of dinner this year. It was held at the Tower Club, Paseo de Roxas, Makati City, with members as well as present and past officers in attendance, and Chinese cuisines were served during this frank, enlightening and animated exchane of ideas and informations. In his eloquent extemporaneous speech, Soliven gave a refreshing overview of Philippine politics and economics now, and he challenged the young Filipino-Chinese entrepreneurs to continue hard work, investing and not to depend on government.
Anvil Business Club presented Soliven with a "Plaque of Excellence" as tribute to him "in recognition of his lifelong public service with consistent excellence, dedication, eloquence, passion, and leadership in the media and the national community."
As dynamic entrepreneurs and professionals, the members of Anvil Business Club have to keep abreast of the real dynamics and trends in national/international politics and economics, so we occasionally mix our speakers with some analysts and commentators like the multi-awarded and veteran journalist Max Soliven.
ABC Past Chairman Michael "Mike" Tan pointed out that Soliven was our first Anvil speaker 14 years ago at the Century Park Hotel, and he remembered. In the same way Mike Tan last July 5 in Malacañang reminded President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo that she was still a Senator when she spoke to Anvil at Rembrandt Hotel in Quezon City. Anvil has been wanting to invite Soliven again for the past 5 years, and it was President Wilson Lee Flores who personally invited him again to speak his year. He impressed the gathering with his wit, humor, his amazing inside stories on the real score and rationales behind our bewildering Philippine political events of the past 20 years. Chairman George Siy asked a lot of political and economic questions to start the ball rolling throughout the fascinating luncheon forum.
Soliven said that in the evening at 8:00 PM that day August 5, he will bring various young military officers---possible military coup plotters---to confer with President Gloria M. Arroyo outside Malacañang Palace to discuss crucial issues and matters to ensure no more military mutinies. He assured Anvil members that Preside not GMA "cannot be forced to resign", because she wouldn't want to suffer the fate of her predecessor ex-President Estrada whom she herself had humiliated before world media with fingerprinting, mug shots and imprisonment. Soliven said only a military coup or assasination can force GMA out of power, and he predicted that the dynamics which created Edsa 1 and Edsa 2 were no longer the same and not present today.
Max Soliven reminded Anvil members that Edsa 1 and Edsa 2 only succeeded because the military shifted its support for the rebels, and Edsa 3 failed because the military didn't budge. Soliven said only the military can topple President GMA from power, and he expects the impeachment process not to take her out, because you need two-thirds of the Senate vote to convict a President.
He revealed that at Edsa 1, Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile holed up at Camp Aguinaldo for fear of being arrested by President Marcos after a failed coup by RAM in the palace and after the arrest of the bodyguards of then Trade Minister Roberto Ongpin by General Fabian Ver's people. He revealed that he called up Betty Go Belmonte, Chairman of Philippine Star and co-founder of Inquirer, to tell her to tell General Fidel Ramos "he may be arrested". Belmonte called up his wife Ming Ramos and said she had news that FVR "will be arrested", prompting the nervous General Ramos to immediately rush to Camp Aguinaldo to join the "rebels" in hiding. Soliven revealed that when he, Butz Aquino and other activists were in Edsa and the military forces were approaching, they had wanted to run away already, but the stubborn Catholic nuns in front of them just wouldn't budge, they had their eyes shut mumbling prayers, so Butz told Soliven it would be embarassing for guys like them to scram.
Anvil members found the luncheon "Anvil Exchange Forum" with Max Soliven as truly educational, interesting and unforgettable. Thanks to all members and officers for attending this historic event!

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