Short-lived wealth
() - September 14, 2010 - 12:00am

The Madrigal family belongs to the truly few so-called landed gentry and perhaps one of the wealthiest in the country, whose fabulous fortune is perhaps on the same level as the Ayalas. When Doña Consuelo “Chito” Madrigal Collantes – one of the wealthiest women in the Philippines –died two years ago, the bulk of her fortune went to her adopted son Vicente Gustav Warns. Gustav is one of the children of Vicente “Bu” Madrigal Warns who is the son of Doña Chito’s sister, former Senator Pacita Madrigal-Gonzalez, by her first husband Herman Warns, an executive of the Manila Gas Corporation.

Bu and his wife Marian (maiden name Paris) were made administrators of Gustav’s inheritance until he reached the age of 35. When the reclusive Doña Pacita died two years ago (several months after the demise of Doña Chito), Bu Warns inherited his mother’s fortune said to be more than $100 million. Unfortunately, it was a short-lived wealthy life. Bu died a few months ago leaving the bulk of his wealth to his children with Gustav ending up with a double inheritance. With so much wealth to fight about, there is reportedly a brewing controversy. Some family members have allegedly hired the services of a topnotch law firm ready to file a case against the estate of the short-lived wealthy life of the late “Don” Bu Warns.

Wireless in Fuego

Something seems to be brewing at the Punta Fuego Village in Nasugbu, Batangas, but it’s definitely not the barako coffee variety which the province is well known for. Apparently, the exclusive resort village is turning wireless - but not the WiFi kind unfortunately – because 11 kilometers of electrical copper wires worth millions of pesos needed for electricity have reportedly been stolen. However, there are persistent reports that the contractor employed by the developer, Landco Pacific Corp., never really installed the electrical copper wires. The newly elected Punta Fuego Homeowners’ Board is reportedly looking into the matter to determine if the wires have indeed been stolen or if they were ever installed at all in the first place.

Injury to insult

For a while, PNoy was reportedly contemplating the thought of going to China for his first “major major” trip. But after the hostage crisis, the president supposedly changed his mind most especially after receiving the now infamous “insult” letter from the head of Hong Kong. Aside

from his trip to New York and San Francisco starting September 20th, PNoy will be going on a state visit to Washington, DC next year. The White House is preparing a grand welcome for the 50-year-old President sometime in April next year which is the best time to be in Washington, DC with the cherry blossoms and all. President Obama was the first head of state to congratulate PNoy with a phone call when the latter won the elections, where Obama immediately invited him to the White House for a visit.

Justice delayed, justices denied

A retired RTC judge called up Spy Bits to let us know just how deplorable the condition of the physical appearance alone of the courts are. Most of the courts do not even have air-conditioning and are still using dilapidated and ancient computers or worse, the old Olivetti typewriter. According to the judge, the allocation for the Judiciary - supposed to be a co-equal branch of government - cannot exactly be described as substantial, but in fact downright “criminal” (pardon the pun) since it stands at less than one percent of the national budget. The judge dares any member of Congress to hold their sessions in these courts and see if they can last even an hour. With such a measly budget, how can we expect our judges and magistrates to perform their duties with speed and efficiency? Do we wonder then why justice is delayed? The answer is simple - the justices have been denied their rightful share of the budget.

New MOPC board member

Isagani Yambot, publisher of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, was unanimously voted in as the new member of the Board of Governors of the Manila Overseas Press Club, the oldest press club in the Philippines. Gani replaces board member Dong Puno who is temporarily on a one-year sabbatical leave. With Isagani Yambot’s election, all the major newspapers and the major networks are now completely represented in the MOPC board. The “biased” Tony Lopez, Biznews Asia publisher, continues as chairman of the MOPC board of governors with this columnist as president.

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