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Monday, October 01, 2007

Razon's Hand in ZTE-NBN Deal

Why is Ricky Razon's name figuring again in the coffee shop talks? What has he got to do with the ZTE-NBN deal? Enrique "Ricky" Razon is every president's crony. He was part of the businessmen's group that formed Ramos' entourage during FVR's many state visits. He was also close to Erap. Now, like Chairman Benjie Abalos, he is FG's buddy and has been ordained Patron Saint of Golf by one who claims to be St. Therese of Avila's descendant. Well, the newly-launched P4.4M Razon Cup is currently the biggest purse in local golf. He is also widely known to have caused Neri's demotion. It was also Razon's jet that was supposed to have spirited Garci to Singapore then Brazil (where ICTSI runs one of the major ports) in 2005.

His company, ICTSI, has virtual monopoly over the country's major ports. ICTSI runs the MICT as it is open secret that he even runs the government's Port Authority. Aside from Asian Terminals, which runs the South Harbor, other smaller Razon firms control other port services, 7R is one of these. He supposedly got irked when Neri planned to open up the port to Regis Romero, another FVR crony, to compete with ICTSI in container and bulk cargo. Romero's Harbour Center runs minor arrastre in North Harbor, I would assume, behind Smokey Mountain where he made billions during Ramos' time. Neri admitted being threatened by Razon in a party in JDV's mom's house; Sen. Pimentel also attributed a text message to one of Neri's staff saying, "If your boss speaks, I will personally break all bones in his body." I thought Pimentel got it right with that line of questioning, but which he failed to pursue. (The first time Razon's name was mentioned in the ZTE-NBN hearings, it was from Joey De Venecia who said that when he unloaded his shares in Multimedia Telephony, Inc. Razon was part of the group that bought it, including the Soriano's Anscor, and Nono Ibazeta, among others.)

Razon would exhaust all means not to attend the Senate hearings, that explains why he joined FG in his "emergency vacation" in Europe. Indika Aboitiz was to follow the two. (Hey, Indika Aboitiz and Ricky Razon, together with Tom Alcantara formed the private group of the NorthRail Mafia, too!) Razon has bad blood between him and Sen. Dick Gordon over a failed port contract in Subic Freeport. He was making noise why Gordon's SBMA was favoring the other global competitor, Australia's Hutchinson Group who bidded the lowest charge per container that would have made Subic more attractive to many businesses in the Northern and Central part of Luzon which at the time were "captives" of Razon in the Port of Manila where his company charges (as Neri echoes many businessmen's complaints) one of the highest container handling fees in the world!

I remember vividly the verbal tussle that Gordon and Razon had in "Debate with Mare and Pare" where Gordon said the lower price of Hutchinson would make Subic competitive with POM leading to its getting much of the business out of Razon-controlled POM. Gordon also asked, "We haven't announced our decision publicly, and except for Malacañang, no one knows. How did you know about our decision? SIno nilalagyan mo sa Malacañang?" Hutchinson which cannot stand the political heat, later on bowed out of the deal and promised never to return to the Philippines.

Razon, indeed, rubs elbows with the powers-that-be, that-were, that-will-be. Last elections, he was financier of the Admin slate, ZTE was the quick fix. He can't wait for either Joey's proposal or even that from Arescom or even his co-owned Multimedia Telephony to get his cut. The bureaucratic process takes months. With ZTE being guaranteed the project with a loan agreement in the works, he can get in advance the commissions! That's why the contract was haphazardly signed, and despite the prohibition by the Election Code. With Neri standing in his way, and noisy Joey DV in Abalos', he needed the muscle only one man could have provided to ease both roadblocks. Razon and FG are temporarily out of the picture, for now.

That is why Abalos is taking all the heat.

29 Comments:

At 7:06 AM, October 02, 2007, Blogger AdB said...

Tongue,

It's known that the mafia controls port services - is Razon the equivalent of Mario Puzo's Godfather in Pinas?

Threatening to break every bone in the body of tidly lil Neri is very telling.

Hutchinson must have been threatened to with serious harm to withdraw, i.e., even of you win the contract at Subic, you will not be able to operate because I will make sure you don't operate... easy enough to burn cargoes on ports or to prevent stevedores working, heh!

The guy must be stopped!

Monopoly? Isn't there such a thing as anti-trust law in Pinas?

 
At 8:12 AM, October 02, 2007, Blogger Tongue's Wrath said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 8:19 AM, October 02, 2007, Blogger Tongue's Wrath said...

Adb,
Godfather? I think so. He's consistently "friendly" with whoever sits on the throne in Malacañang.

Fast catching up is Endika Aboitiz.

-Aboitiz' company has bought-out William Lines and Go Thong from mega venture WG&A,

-successfully "convinced" co-Cebuano Winston Garcia to transfer the whole GSIS account from Metrobank to his previously so-so bank,

-reportedly co-brokered Northrail with Razon, Tom Alcantara and JDV,

-is slipping quietly into mega-power projects in Mindanao,

-is pulling all strings to corner Ninoy Aquino Airport after government appears to be deliberately losing the arbitration case in Washimgton, DC to give way for another overpriced settlement with Frapport AG (guess who gets the kickback from the overprice?),

-and many, many, many more big-ticket deals.

Common denominator? They all are close to public figure #1, they play golf and travel with him (even during "self-exile" trips), are HUGE election fund-raisers/donors, and are involved in many scandalous deals they weren't decent enough to hide well.

Yeah, monopoly. This self-proclaimed economist who calls herself "president" is about to backward-engineer every known Economic Principle we were taught in Eco 101: decentralization, privatization, free-market, anti-monopoly, the works!

Anti-trust in the Phils? You must be kidding.

Anti-Christ siguro pa

 
At 8:20 AM, October 02, 2007, Anonymous chi said...

I'm shocked! These criminals left nothing of my innocence!

I've never imagined the extent of wheelin n' dealin, influence and threats in the golf field and behind EK's door!

Kaya pala nilagnat sa takot si Neri!

 
At 8:26 AM, October 02, 2007, Blogger Tongue's Wrath said...

Chi,
Want to preserve your virginal innocence?

Be an American and stay there! Hehehe.

From the first day at the driving range we were taught that golf was a gentleman's game.

Look at all the crooks playing!

 
At 11:00 AM, October 02, 2007, Anonymous chi said...

Tongue,

I'm giving Pinas till 2010. If these criminals still rule the country, I might as well surrender my hopes for a better Pinas.

Btw, the Razons started stevedoring/cargo business in Pier (Intramuros), right?

 
At 4:43 PM, October 02, 2007, Blogger mschumey07 said...

Now for the $68 million question?

 
At 1:01 AM, October 03, 2007, Anonymous Chabeli said...

Great piece on Razon, Tongue. Isn't Bubuy Virata also part of the "Mafia" ?

**************

Chi,
From what I remember, the father of Ricky Razon started the stevedoring..or did they buy it from the Sorianos?

 
At 7:10 AM, October 03, 2007, Blogger Diego K. Guerrero said...

Why businessman Razon was not invited in the Senate ZTE scam hearing? According to Joey De Venecia, Razon is now most powerful businessman in the country.

Razon now most powerful businessman, says De Venecia son

 
At 7:45 AM, October 03, 2007, Blogger Tongue's Wrath said...

Chi,
I don't know. Wasn't even born yet then. I know Luzteveco and Baseco were there earlier than ICTSI but they may have had the same owners. As Chabeli said, the Sorianos were involved, too. I think Señors Rocha, Delgado were there, too, as were many other mestizo patriarchs whose clans still control many port businesses to this day.
*****
mschumey07,
I know you know the answer already, heheh.
*****
Chabeli,
I'm not sure about Buboy Virata, he's a sleek operator, quiet. Bumboy Araneta, FG's cousin who's milking yet another telecoms company, Philcomsat, maybe included. He was also reported to be in this Europe trip. We can't blame people if they think Araneta was in NBN, too.
*****
Manong Diego,
Thanks for the link. I share Joey's views on Razon. Many businessmen are up in arms gainst this monopolist, figuratively though. But I'm not gonna be surprised if one day, his body will be found inside one of those container vans.

 
At 9:28 AM, October 06, 2007, Anonymous Ginobu Tanoshi said...

Is Rick Razon the guy Senator Jamby Madrigal was referring to as the one who paid either Senate President Manny Villar and/or Blue Ribbon Chairman Alan Peter Cayetano to stop the ZTE hearings?

 
At 12:09 PM, October 06, 2007, Blogger Tongue's Wrath said...

ginobu,
Bullseye!

Welcome!

 
At 6:06 PM, October 12, 2007, Blogger Ellen said...

Tongue, re: "But I'm not gonna be surprised if one day, his body will be found inside one of those container vans."

I'm thinking of the Jimmy Hoffa
scenario.

 
At 4:22 PM, March 09, 2008, Blogger Jennifer said...

Hi Tongue,

Watch out for the bidding of Subic Port's NCT 2. SBITC (which is 83% owned by Razon) was already awarded NCT 1 last October.

Even without NCT 1 and 2 which has a combined capacity of 600,000 TEUs, he owns almost 60% of the entire foreign containerized cargo business (i haven't included Subic in this figure yet). Talk about monopoly.

Also, amidst all these talks about ZTE, Razon recently got his cargo handling rate increase of 12% (5% effective April and the other 7% in 2009). Talk about being malakas. tsk tsk...

 
At 7:07 AM, March 11, 2008, Blogger Tongue's Wrath said...

Jen,
I've been following ICTSI via their webpage and yes, I've got this news about NCT1 being awarded to Razon's SBITC. It won't be a surprise, it is expected in fact, that NCT2 is likewise in the bag.

He has even taken over one of China's busiest ports very recently. Which all the more bolsters the accusation that he was connected to the ZTE-NBN deal and all the other upcoming contracts with the Chinese after establishing strong contacts in both private and gov't sectors in Beijing.

My instincts tell me that the Smuggling Division of Greedy Group Plus Plus of FG, RR, EA, and TA will have a better conduit with Razon's new China terminal and the Subic ports which are far from Manila's scrutinous and vigilant opposition.

Thanks for the driveby!

 
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