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Philippine Daily Inquirer

The Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) is among the most-read broadsheets in the Philippines.

It was founded by journalists Eugenia Apostol, Betty Go-Belmonte, Max Soliven, Luis Beltran, and Arturo Borjal in December 1985, a month after ailing strongman Ferdinand E. Marcos, under pressure from the United States, called for a snap presidential election. Beltran served as editor-in-chief.

For running reports critical of Marcos, PDI was among the few publications referred to as “alternative media,” that played a major role in the ouster of Marcos through the February 1986 People Power Revolution.

Belmonte, who was Inquirer’s co-chairman and treasurer, resigned from her post in May 1986. Her son Miguel Belmonte, now Philippine Star president and chief executive officer, said this was after then president Corazon Aquino named his father GSIS president. Belmonte was concerned this might affect the paper’s credibility.

Borjal, Soliven, and Beltran later broke away from Apostol and founded the Philippine Star with Belmonte. Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc, who was editing the Sunday Inquirer Magazine, took over as editor-in-chief and held that position until her death on December 24, 2015.

In 1989 Nora Bitong, formerly the president and chief executive officer of Jaka Investments Corporation of Sen. Juan Ponce-Enrile, filed a suit before the Securities and Exchange Commission claiming that the money invested by Jaka in Mr. & Ms was used for PDI and was mismanaged by Apostol. SEC dismissed the suit saying Bitong was not a party of interest.

In September 1987, two veteran newspaper managers from another broadsheet, Manila Bulletin, joined Inquirer: Mariano B. Quimson Jr. as president and Ben M. Pangilinan as vice president for marketing. It was also at that time the Inquirer received an urgently needed capital infusion from Quimson's group.

Apostol lost the chairmanship of PDI after her rivals within the newspaper, led by Quimson, found out that she did not own a single PDI "qualifying share" in her name as mandated by the Corporation Code. She was ousted as chair in a board meeting on April 30, 1990. Other Inquirer board members replaced her with Bienvenido Pangilinan, one of the paper’s directors.

Apostol's ouster came shortly after she filed a suit before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Quimson's group. Apostol found out that Quimson gained a 58 percent upper hand in the Inquirer board when it decided to invalidate some shares belonging to Apostol's group. Prior to the invalidation of the disputed shares, both Apostol and Quimson's groups held identical and pre-agreed 46.6 percent holdings.

Meanwhile, a group headed by Marixi Rufino Prieto had bought into the PDI. The Rufino-Prieto family-owned Bataan 2020, formerly known as Bataan Pulp and Paper Mills Inc. (BPPMI), supplier of paper to all newspapers including PDI.

On January 26, 1994, Apostol retired and Marixi Prieto took over as PDI chair. A group led by Eduardo Espiritu, former PNB president, bought Apostol's shares in the company.

On April 29, 1998, Ben Pangilinan retired as PDI president and was succeeded by Marixi’s daughter, Alexandra, popularly known as Sandy.

In a published article, Sandy said she joined PDI in 1995 when her brother, Louie, who was originally the one groomed to head the newspaper, died in a motorcycle crash.

Sandy started as executive assistant to the President, and later became the president and chief executive officer herself. She held the position for 25 years before stepping down to focus on her role as CEO of Inquirer Group of Companies.

Sandy is married to mining executive Benjamin Philip G. Romualdez, brother of House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez. The Romualdezes are also media owners. Philip chairs the newspaper, Manila Standard. Martin, meanwhile, has his own media empire, the Philippine Collective Media Corporation (PCMC), operating radio stations in Eastern Visayas, and Prime Media Holdings, Inc., which entered into a joint venture with ABS-CBN Corporation to operate and manage DWPM Radyo 630.

Philip and Martin are cousins of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.

PDI is part of the Inquirer Group, which also publishes the tabloids Bandera and Inquirer Libre. It has an online platform, inquirer.net.

Marilex Realty Development Corporation, a real estate company owned by the Prietos holds 46% of ownership of PDI. Sandy owns 7.13%, while Excel Pacific Holding Corporation, a company wholly-owned by the Prietos and affiliated with Manny Pangilinan's MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., owns 6.36%.

Key facts

Audience Share

3.36%

Ownership Type

Private

Geographic Coverage

National

Content Type

Paid Content

Data Publicly Available

ownership data is easily available from other sources, e. g. public registries etc.

2 ♥

Media Companies / Groups

Inquirer Holdings, Inc.

Hastings Holdings, Inc.

MediaQuest Holdings, Inc.

Ownership

Ownership Structure

The Philippine Daily Inquirer is a newspaper owned by the Inquirer Group of the Rufino-Prieto family. It is operated by its namesake Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inc. (PDI, Inc.).

Its majority owner is Marilex Realty Development Corporation, a real estate company owned by the Rufino-Prietos, with a 46.18% stake in PDI, Inc.

The second biggest stockholder of PDI, Inc. with 7.13% shares, is its former president and chief executive officer, Ma. Alexandra “Sandy” Prieto-Romualdez, who now serves as CEO of the Inquirer Group of Companies. Her relatives also own minority shares such as Maria Asuncion Laurel Uichico (1.69%), Ma. Isabel Laurel Barandiaran (0.54%), Luis Carlos Rufino Laurel (0.51%), Maria Paz Laurel Imperial (0.51%), and Ma. Socorro Carmen Carpo (0.43%).

Meanwhile, Excel Pacific Holding Corporation, an investment company wholly owned by the Rufino-Prietos, is the third biggest stockholder of PDI, Inc. with a 6.36% stake.

Excel Pacific appears to be connected with MediaQuest Holdings, Inc. led by businessman Manuel “Manny” V. Pangilinan. Treasurekeeper Holdings, Inc., the immediate parent company and 100% owner of Excel Pacific, is listed among the “subsidiary/affiliate” of Hastings Holdings, Inc., which is wholly owned by MediaQuest.

Treasurekeeper, chaired by the Rufino-Prieto family’s matriarch Marixi, is ultimately owned by her children Paolo, Sandy and Ma. Theresa “Tessa” P. Valdes through another investment company called Matrix Resources Portfolio Holdings, Inc.

Inquirer Holdings, another company chaired by Marixi, is the fifth biggest shareholder of PDI, Inc. with a 4.99% stake. It is followed by the family’s Mediacom Equities, Inc. with 4.8%

Other entities that hold the remaining 26.05% shares in PDI, Inc. are Richway Enterprises, Inc. (5.19%), Coventry Corporation (4.37%), 19-20 Investment Co., Inc. (3.37%), Ionian Realty and Development Corp. (3.33%), PAMM, Inc. (2.29%), Carella Management, Inc. (2.08%), Carpita Realty Corporation (1.57%), Camarillo Properties, Inc. (1.31%), Corinthian Commercial Corp. (1.32%) and Mercedes Holdings Corporation (1.22%).

Their ultimate ownership could not be verified, but some of these companies often reappear under other companies owned by or affiliated with the Rufino-Prieto family

Marixi has been serving as treasurer of Corinthian Commercial Corp. for 48 years.

Meanwhile, based on her 2016 certification as an independent director of MacroAsia Corporation, Marixi has been serving for over 42 years as a director and treasurer of Ionian Realty and Development Corp. The certification also stated that Marixi has served as the concurrent treasurer of Coventry Corporation for 31 years, PAMM, Inc. for 28 years, and Richway for 17 years.

Six company-shareholders in PDI, Inc. also own shares in Pinnacle Printers Corporation, where Marixi and her daughter sit as vice president and president, respectively. Pinnacle, which is co-founded and chaired by Marixi’s brother Macario S. Rufino in 1992, listed among its shareholders the Mercedes Holdings Corporation (1.20%), 19-20 Investment Co., Inc. (0.68%), ​​Carella Management, Inc. (0.68%), Carpita Realty Corporation (0.69%), Camarillo Properties, Inc. (0.63%), and the Corinthian Commercial Corp. (3.58%), which uses the business name “Sandys”.

Meanwhile, three company-shareholders of​​ PDI, Inc. — Richway Enterprises, Inc., Coventry Corporation and PAMM, Inc. — each own 6.40% shares in the Marilex Realty Development Corporation, which Marixi founded with her husband Alejandro Roces-Prieto in 1978.

It has also been observed in the general information sheet of PDI, Inc. as of May 18, 2023 that nine company-shareholders are all located in the same building: Molave Building on 2231 Chino Roces Avenue, Bangkal, Makati City. Inquirer Holdings, Marilex, Excel Pacific, Richway Enterprises, Mediacom Equities, Coventry Corporation, PAMM and Ionian are all located on the ground floor of Molave Building, while Corinthian Commercial, Corp is on the second floor.

The companies the Rufino-Prieto family own are also located in Molave Building: Pinnacle Printers is on the second floor, while Treasurekeeper Holdings and Matrix Resources are on the ground floor.

Meanwhile, the 19-20 Investment Co., Inc. and Mercedes Holdings Corporation indicated the same location for their address, which is room 201 Rufino Building on Ayala Avenue, Makati City.

Individual Owner

Group / Individual Owner

Richway Enterprises, Inc.

Although the owners of Richway Enterprises, Inc. could not be verified, available documents show that it has an affiliation with the Rufino-Prieto family through its matriarch Marixi.

Based on Marixi’s certification as an independent director of MacroAsia Corporation, she served for 17 years as treasurer of Richway Enterprises as of 2016.

Richway also owns 6.40% shares in the Marilex Realty Development Corporation, which Marixi founded with her husband Alejandro Roces-Prieto in 1978. Its address is also located on the ground floor of Molave Building on 2231 Chino Roces Avenue, Bangkal, Makati City.

5.2%
Media Companies / Groups
Facts

General Information

Founding Year

1985

Affiliated Interests Founder

Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc

served as editor-in-chief of the PDI from 1991 to 2015.

Affiliated Interests Ceo

Atty. Rudyard S. Arbolado

is President and CEO of the Philippine Daily Inquirer assuming the position in 2021. He was the Chief Operating Officer of PDI since 2018, and used to be the paper’s General Counsel. He replaced former PDI CEO and president Alexandria Prieto-Romualdez

Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief

Joseph Voltaire L. Contreras

is the Executive Editor of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

Affiliated Interests other important people

Raul J. Palabrica

is the Chairman of the Board and Corporate Secretary of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Contact

Manila Office:

1098 Chino Roces Avenue, Makati City

Telephone: 897-88-08

dropbox@inquirer.com.ph

www.inquirer.com.ph

Financial Information

Revenue (in Mill. $)

8,043,887.83 Mil US$ / 445,052,226 Mil PhP

Operating Profit (in Mill. $)

Missing Data

Advertising (in % of total funding)

6,574,732.40 US$ / 363,766,794 PhP

Market Share

Missing Data

Further Information

Meta Data

Audience share is based on Consumer & Media View survey for newspapers under Nielsen’s Philippine Media Landscape Report for Quarter 2 of 2023.

Currency conversion based on the PhP - US$ exchange rate for Nov. 2023: US$1=PhP55.3280. Meanwhile, the conversion rate for Nov. 25, 2022 is PhP56.7900 per US$1, while PhP54.5300 per US$1 for July 28, 2023.

Affiliation MediaQuest: Hastings disclosed in its general information sheet as of Nov. 25, 2022, that it owns stocks worth PhP300,096,584 (around US$5,284,320) in Treasurekeeper. However, the nature of the affiliation is not clearly communicated as Hastings does not appear among the shareholders of Treasurekeeper and its authorized capital stock is only PhP200,100,000 (around US$3,669,539) as of July 28, 2023.

Sources

Media Landscape Report for Quarter 2, 2023, available upon purchase from Nielsen Company (US), LLC

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