in Me, Myself, and I

COMING SOON: New Duterte biography to be released

Writer, researcher, and freelance journalist Earl Parreño has finished writing a biography of President Rodrigo Duterte. (Bernard Testa)

A new biography of Philippine President Rodrigo R. Duterte will soon be released, its author Earl Parreño said.

The biography “will not demonize him but at the same time, it won’t pass him off as a saint because he’s not,” Mr. Parreño said during an interview.

Details regarding the launch of the book as well as its final title will soon be announced, he added.

Photos and video by Bernard Testa.

Several chapters of the book will have titles similar to the works of German philosopher Friedrich Nietzche because “the President is Nietzchean,” he said in an interview in Mandaluyong City.

In 2003, Mr. Parreño released Boss Danding, a biography of Marcos crony Eduardo “Danding” M. Cojuangco Jr., which, Mr. Parreño has said on several occasions, requires updating.

Mr. Cojuangco, who turns 83 in June, still manages to catch UAAP basketball games, a source familiar with the matter said. Whenever he drives around, Mr. Cojuangco is accompanied by his driver and his nurse, the source added.

Mr. Cojuangco is behind the coconut levy scam, a complex and elaborate scheme involving interlocking directorates of 14 companies that used the levy to acquire a majority stake in San Miguel Corp.

In 1983, Cojuangco used the levy to buy a 51 percent stake in San Miguel Corp. — 31 percent representing the so-called CIIF (Coconut Industry Investment Fund) block (which is owned by 14 holding companies) and 20 percent for himself, paid for through a loan granted by the United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB), a bank that he was chairman of at the time.*

That 31 percent stake has been whittled down to 27 percent (and later, 24 percent) and has already been converted to cash that is now held by the government for the coconut farmers. A proposed law creating a trust fund for coconut farmers as bankrolled by the levy remains pending.

*This information was taken from the Long and Tortuous Road to Coconut Levy Recovery by Romeo C. Royandoyan and Boss Danding by Earl Parreño.

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