FORT DEL PILAR, Baguio City—Billionaire Enrique K. Razon Jr. on Saturday was adopted as an honorary alumnus of the Philippine Military Academy by the PMA Alumni Association Inc. for his philanthropic efforts.
Razon, chairman of the board of the International Container Terminal Services Inc. and Bloomberry Resorts Corp., operator of the Solaire Resort and Casino, spearheaded the donation of two new five-story cadet barracks (Enrile Hall and another one under construction) inside the PMA grounds here.
He likewise gave substantial aid to soldiers who fought in the siege of Marawi City last year, and the kin and wounded of the Mamasapano encounter that saw 44 elite policemen perish.
Razon was adopted into the PMA ‘Maringal’ Class of 1988 last year, while his adoption to the PMAAAI has been sponsored by the academy’s Classes of 1969, 1988, 1989 and 1990.
The PMAAAI is composed of more than 8,500 retired and active members of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, and the Philippine Coast Guard.
In a speech after accepting the adoption, Razon Jr. hoped there will be an end “to policies that has only became a vindictive exercise.”
“While the business community continues to contribute in nation-building in shaping the economy, much is still needed to be changed—especially with the way the country’s leaders through times have done its politics,” he said.
“I can only hope that at some point, our politics will also mature, and our laws apply to all and not just used against political opponents by one administration after another,” the country’s third richest man said during the PMAAAI annual alumni homecoming.
Razon said he wished for the country’s “civil institutions” to be more like the military establishment—which has been the “rudder” that steered the country moving forward, “albeit on very rough seas.”
“At times we lost our way, but all throughout, it was the AFP and the military institution that was the rudder that always helped right the ship and steer us forward albeit on very rough seas. I only wish I could say the same about some of our civilian institutions,” he said.
The country’s presidential elections, Razon noted, have become a “winner-takes-all” contest more than a democratic exercise.
“We experience our democracy one day every six years in what has seemingly become more and more a winner takes all contest,” he said, adding that the military establishment “remains a constant, providing comforting stability” amid the political noise around.
“We are still far from where we need to be, but I am confident that the growing strength and prestige of the AFP will guide us in what is hopefully a much straighter path ahead,” he added.
He also lauded both the AFP and the PNP for providing “stability and continuity to our democracy” and called for greater support to the AFP in its fight against terrorism.
“Over the decades, the AFP has matured into the backbone and foundation for which we are now able to develop and grow our economy and be more competitive in the global marketplace,” Razon said.
Razon, whose net worth is estimated at $4.3 billion according to Forbes, chairs the listed company ICTSI, which has a presence in 18 countries.
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