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Now we know: It only takes a few thousand members from a sect perceived as politically influential for this government to go all soft and accommodating, even thanking the Iglesia ni Cristo for finally ending its takeover of that Edsa People Power stretch. Now we know: You non-INC protesting groups will not be given the same preferential treatment. Instead of appeals, the police will come at you with their truncheons and water cannons and will call you rabble-rousers.

Meantime, it’s us dolts who had to suffer the consequences of that protest that started last Friday—payday Friday—the time when most people planned to dine out, perhaps watch a movie because it was going to be a long weekend. Instead, President Aquino’s bosses found themselves stranded—the northbound because no buses could pass through the Ortigas-Edsa intersection, and the southbound because they found themselves stalled in traffic. Those with cars found themselves racking their brains for alternate routes (C5 was also gridlocked, and everyone seems to have taken the backstreets of Mandaluyong as well) and ended up wasting hours and several liters of gasoline before they got home. The next day was not any better because any plans of shopping had to be shelved; scheduled meetings and photo shoots in areas contiguous to or anywhere near the “protest” as held had to be rescheduled or canceled because people did not want to brave it through Edsa and be in the midst of that throng.

A paper (not this one) is holding an informal poll on who was the biggest loser in the INC gambit: The religious sect because it angered the rest of Metro Manila residents; the BS Aquino government because it pussyfooted; politicians who were perceived as INC coddlers judging from their statements; or Metro Manila residents who found their weekend ruined because of the hassle? We’d say the biggest losers were the shopping malls and business establishments who lost a big chunk of their Friday payday and weekend sales.

Big names in Forbes Global CEO conference in Manila

Some of the biggest names in business have confirmed participation as speakers in the annual Forbes Global CEO Conference slated this October 12-14. It will be the first time for the annual conference to be held in Manila—a major event since it gathers some 400 of the world’s most successful tycoons, entrepreneurs, multinational CEOs, emerging company CEOs, financiers and thought leaders to discuss and debate key issues of global concern.

Under the theme of “Toward a Winning Vision,” the conference will focus on visionary leadership—or how companies can best conceive and articulate a winning vision to drive their businesses forward, one that is based on their core values and purpose. Some 43 speakers from all over the world will share insights on topics that include the world economy, investment strategies, energy, technology and innovation, emerging markets, leadership, succession and philanthropy.

Speakers include Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief, Forbes Media LLC; Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima; SM Investments Corp. vice chairman and BDO Unibank chairman Teresita Sy Coson; Liang Xinjun of Fosun International; Michael Hintze, chief executive of CQS; Mario Moretti Polegato, GEOX Group; Enrique Razon Jr. of International Container Terminal Services Inc.; Linfox founder Lindsay Fox; Zhang Ya-Qin, of Baidu; San Miguel president and chief operating officer Ramon Ang; Dr. Tahir of the Mayapada Group; Vincent Tan, founder of the Berjaya group; former Senator Manny Villar who’s concentrating on business as Vista Land chairman; Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala; and many others.

“We are delighted to bring the Forbes Global CEO Conference to the Philippines for the first time and pleased to be convening a powerful group of speakers at this year’s conference. As one of Asia’s fastest growing economies, the Philippines is a fitting location for global business leaders to share insights and explore business opportunities,” remarked William Adamopoulos, CEO/Asia of Forbes Media.

This year’s Forbes Global CEO Conference is co-hosted by SM Investments Corp./BDO Unibank Inc., ICTSI and San Miguel. Corporate sponsors include Berjaya Corp., Vista Land, Biomax Technologies, FICOFI and Weber Shandwick Worldwide. For more information, visit www.forbesglobalceoconference.com.


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