Lucio tan jr
Tycoon Lucio Tan’s son and namesake, Lucio “Bong” Tan Jr.
The STAR/KJ Rosales

Newly appointed PAL Holdings exec Lucio 'Bong' Tan Jr. passes away

Ian Nicolas Cigaral ( - November 11, 2019 - 11:06am

MANILA, Philippines (2nd update, 11:55 p.m.) — Lucio “Bong” Tan Jr., the newly-appointed president of PAL Holdings Inc., passed away Monday. He was 53.

The son and namesake of tycoon Lucio Tan died due to brain herniation, according to reports from News5. He collapsed during a basketball game in Mandaluyong City on Saturday and was rushed to a nearby hospital, but was later declared in stable condition.

"His untimely passing leaves a big void in our hearts and our Group's management team which would be very hard to fill," Tan's sister, Vivienne, said in a statement sent to reporters.

“Bong was a son, husband, father, friend and, most importantly, our elder brother whom we all relied on for advice, counsel and leadership,” she added.

The Board of PAL Holdings Inc., the publicly-listed parent of flag carrier Philippine Airlines, last month gave the younger Tan a more powerful role in the company and appointed him as president, replacing Gilbert Sta. Maria.

Tan Jr. also served as vice chairman of PAL. Known as a basketball aficionado, he was the head coach of the University of the East basketball team.

Asia’s oldest airline has undergone a major leadership revamp after Sta. Maria’s predecessor, Jaime Bautista, retired last July “to spend more time with his family.”

The airline reported a total comprehensive loss of P3.01 billion in the first semester, a 355% jump from last year’s loss of P661.56 million.

Tan Jr. earlier said the airline would return to profitability next year instead of this year.

“Our sincerest thanks to all who offered prayers and shred word of comfort during this hour of grief,” Vivienne said.

“Our family continues to request everyone to respect our wish for privacy as we go through this very difficult time,” she added.

Last year, London-based Skytrax certified PAL as a four-star carrier, making it the only four-star airline in the country.

PAL aims to be a certified five-star carrier by 2020. — with a report from The STAR/Iris Gonzales

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