Oligarchy in the Philippines

colossal-deceptionIn a new review at JCA, Frances Mae Ramos looks at Rigoberto D. Tiglao’s Colossal Deception: How Foreigners Control Our Telecoms Sector: A Case Study of Corruption, Cronyism and Regulatory Capture in the Philippines.

Ramos states that Colossal Deception is the culmination of Tiglao’s research, much of it in the pages of The Manila Times, condemning “the de facto handover of the economy, notably key sectors such as telecoms and utilities distribution, to foreign oligarchic control.”

His particular target is the telecoms sector and “Indonesian magnate Anthoni Salim (Liem Fung Seng in Chinese), son of infamous Suharto crony Soedeno Salim, also known as Liem Sioe Liong, as the Philippines’ most insidious oligarch.” He shows how Salim’s investments have made him a major oligarch in the Philippines, even if his name is not widely recognised.

Ramos concludes:

Colossal Deception is an enlightening book that challenges Filipinos’ illusion of control over their economy. It critiques the failure of regulatory mechanisms and local leadership to protect it against the practices of oligarchs. It is also a timely wake-up call on the country’s dependence on foreign capital in determining its path towards industrialisation.

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