How the aristocratic thieves from Taft looted PWU’s coffers dry

Are the Benitezes the real esteemed family that they claim themselves to be? Are they really the protectors of the revered legacy of Philippine Women’s University?

Documents leaked to us tell of a different story. The documents, which purportedly form part of an audit into the transactions of the school’s management over the last decade, details how former PWU Presidents and siblings Amelou Benitez Reyes and Jolly Benitez got involved in dubious activities and transactions that were paid for using funds of the PWU – worth more than P200 million.

What was glaring in the audit findings is this:

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The first item, referred to as “Advances to officers & Employees – ABR,” are in fact the total amount of money released to finance the “special projects” of ABR or, as you probably would have guessed, President Amelou Benitez Reyes. Auditors question why so much amount was disbursed to Ms. Benitez-Reyes in a span of less than three years and these advances had nothing to do with the core services of the school. No one from PWU can provide a straightforward answer.

But everyone who belonged in the PWU community may have an idea where the P99.6 million went – gold digging. Literally. As you know, Ms. Amelou Benitez Reyes does not hide her so-called claim to fame that she was the lover of the late dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos. She also would always tell people that she has personal knowledge where Marcos hid the fabled Yamashita Gold in different parts of the Philippines, including Intramuros.

When Amelou Benitez Reyes assumed the presidency of PWU, she wasn’t really concerned about helping the school. What she was interested in was to use the school’s money to finance her treasure hunting activities. Apparently, if she indeed was Marcos’ lover, the late strongman did not love her that much because nothing came out of the digging projects she initiated. What was left was the P100 million missing in PWU’s coffers.

Her brother, Jolly Benitez, a known Marcos crony and former deputy prime minister of Imelda Marcos in the Ministry of Human Settlements, also engaged in highly irregular transactions, not in gold, but in his field of corruption expertise – real estate.

During his stint as PWU president, Jolly Benitez—who is the father of current PWU President Francisco Benitez—immediately activated his two real estate development companies: Mordev Inc. and GAIA Land.

He wasted no time. Jolly Benitez used his company Mordev (Mango Orchard Resource Development Inc.) to broker an agreement with Sta. Lucia Realty, which obliged PWU to pay P20 million to Sta. Lucia as part of the JV.

Worse, Jolly Benitez also used another of his company, GAIA Land, to have PWU purchase a 250-hectare property in Caliraya, Laguna. For this, PWU advanced P88.8 million. Problem was, the purchase did not materialize as the said property was declared forest land and is therefore deemed inalienable. The advance payment was never returned to PWU.

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The P207 million dubious transactions were reportedly the main reasons why the Benitezes applied for a P223 million loan from BDO. That is probably the reason why no improvements in PWU resulted from this loan; it was really meant to cover the mess the siblings Amelou and Jolly got themselves into.

Luckily for the Benitezes, they were able to hide all these when they managed to get the STI group to buy the BDO loan from them. Not only that, they also got about P300 million more from STI for school renovations and upgrades.

Perhaps, the outspoken media bureau head of PWU Lyca Benitez Brown should stop claiming that the Benitezes are the victims in the ongoing issue with STI. What she should be asking her cousins is “where did all that money go?”

Gold diggers or thieves? You be the judge.

Here’s the complete annex of Ms. Amelou’s disbursements being questioned.

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50 Comments

  1. It’s so sad to read apologists for the PWU Management and their argumentum et absurdum. How could you defend people like that? Benitezes=PhD and Tanco=Business? Apples and oranges. What kind of enterprise is a school like PWU? Borrow millions in the name of PWU and just give it all away to charity? Schools, like any enterprise run on profits. If not profits, on donations. I don’t think so, more like milking cow. Doesn’t take a PhD to know where the millions went. Oh, I agree that PWU Management did not just wake up one day and decide to stop their ‘partnership’ with STI. CORRECT! Seems it was a premeditated, calculated, planned, conscious decision on their part, since they had not turned a profit on the poor school they may have bled dry and have no plan of paying up. Tanco and STI in it for business? So what? STI bought the loan of PWU, lock, stock and barrel. For all intents and purposes, STI now owns PWU. And that lawyer fellow who replied: why would you bring the race card, as in Chinese? I am not Chinese but you should just keep your prejudice to yourself. It shows ignorance, abugado ka pa naman. What does Tanco’s ethnicity have to do with anything? Oh, and the reactors who asked where is the evidence? Tanco owning the PWU debt and PWU’s and JASM’s sorry states tell the story. Everything else is up to the courts (and maybe government regulators, if they should be so inclined to investigate the powers that be at PWU and what they did to the money they borrowed). Akala ba nila ay isusurrender lamang nila ang PWU ay ok na? Kailangan pa nilang panagutan yung milyones na kinuha (inutang) nila. If you just come down to the heart of the matter, it’s this: Tanco, nagpautang; Benitezes, nangutang. PWU nakasanla. Benitez ayaw magbayad. Tanco: remata ang PWU. Plus, whatever legacy or goodwill the Benitezes had invested in PWU after this present dispensation went the way of the armpit hair of that cute chinita model wearing a sleeveless blouse, showing her kili-kili, who used that deodorant in the commercial: GONE! So why not start anew with new management?

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  2. Basta alam ko bayad lang sakin noong 2008-2009 nung nagturo ako dyan sa kolehiyo ay P150.00 lang per unit tapos nabuksan kotse nakaparada sa likod ng bldg.at worth P50k nawala sa gadgets at gamit ko! May elevator nga di naman gumagana naging cause ng atake de corazon ko sa pag-akyat sa 5th floor sa hagdan.

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  3. I am appalled at many of the comments, from supposedly educated people, or are they? Mali mali English. Tinagalog na lang sana. I reserve my comment on the issue until I know all the facts.
    Let the parties settle their differences among themselves quietly, away from the prying eyes of the public!

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  4. it is easier to listen to hearsays than analyzing what is happening…we are supposed to be detached witness to this unless we have something to do to give justice to those who were aggrieved…if we don’t know anything, keep our mouth shut…maybe pray for them to settle the dispute…and once and for all let the Divine work on them…money is the center of the PWU’S trouble …it happens anywhere…and it begins in the family….

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  5. Maybe their son, nephew, the good Congressman Albie Benitez of the 3rd district of Negeos Occidental, can bail PWU out. He is one rich Congressman!

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  6. well well well, it boils down who has the papers of the properties where all the buildings stood??? its the only bargaining chip that the benitez have, but then again knowing BDO ways of granting a loan, i am sure the benitez gave the land titles as collateral, take note that BDO supposedly foreclosed the said institution way back 2011, but the Tancos came in, i have the gut feeling the Tancos have it, so at the end of the day, its not about the educational institution worth saving? its the prime properties on Taft, and QC are worth fighting and valuable to all concerns…its purely business “money” .,..OK, people, if you have the millions then buy them OUT, if not, let the ball rolling, let bygones be bygones.

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  7. Lincoln once said: “You can fool some people all the time, and all the people for some time; but you cannot fool the people all the time.”
    So that’s it fellows. Nobody can hide anything. They will learn their lessons the hard way, much as we did. The lesson is:’THOU SHALT NOT STEAL.”

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  8. Another good example of the popular belief in family businesses that the 3rd GENERATION (Jolly and Amelou)!destroys what the 1st GENERATION (Conrado and Francisca) establishes, the 2nd GENERATION (Helena) grows .

    Let’s not condemn the ENTIRE CLAN as the older generations were honorable men and women.

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  9. This is my take,as long there is Philippines democracy or socialist or communist government there will be corruptions. And also who have had their pocket lined up they will be silence and say nothing.look here the Philippines was given Independence by the USA on July 4 1945. Instead they change the year,month,and date. The Spanish still control the Philippines and never left the country until the US invasion of Manila Bay.The politicians demand the US for independence 1945′ and we have pocket resistance from the Jap. Army.. Reparation money blow out like a bubbles. The US government concentrate of japan and left the Philippines as war torn country,because we crooks. I have enough of this shits because I do not go on forever writing.

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  10. Millions lost over this family’s greed. They probably spent all those money paying for a lavish lifestyle they couldn’t afford. STI has all rights to sue them. Heck, even students, faculties, parents, and alumni should join the lawsuit. Let’s see if the Benitezes could lie their way out of court.

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  11. I gotta hand it to the Benitezes, funneling money out of the university?That took a lot of cunning and guts (or kapal ng mukha). Sadly, the jig is up.

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  12. Sabi ng mga Benitez magbabayad daw sila. Meaning, may utang talaga sila. Pero bakit hindi nila mabayaran ang STI group? Saan napupunta yung mga tuition ng mge estudyante?

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    1. All schools, believe it or not, have a system of corruption inside their systems. The tutition fees that are paid by the students are not that large. I am not saying that the Benitezes are immaculate but tuition fees are used for the school’s upkeep as well.

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  13. Love live PWU!

    That will happen if Benitezes will pay their debts.
    So sad for this school. It has a rich history, and also rich administrators who think of themselves only.

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  14. I’m a lawyer and I think that the court is the proper venue for this issue. We can resolve this by presenting legal documents stating their agreements, contracts, etc. With this, we can conclude who’s telling the truth and the other way around. Oh Jolly, I hope you can still be jolly after this issue.

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  15. You know what? Legal actions are the only thing that can settle this fight. Both have their own claims that they are the ones who are honestly speaking. In court, words are not enough. What matter are evidences like documents, agreements, among others. Please enlighten us on this issue Tanco, and especially the Benitezes who need to answer the documents presented above.

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  16. I’ve read in today’s column in a major news daily that the Benitezes are going to pay the STI group through their combined inheritance they will get. I hope this is true. If it is just a sketch, STI group should do necessary legal actions against this rude family.

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  17. ang galing galing kumuha ng pera… wla nmn nagawang mabuti para sa unibersidad. hinayaan lng nila mabulok at masira ng tluyan…itigil na ang drama mga benitez… ilabas nyo ang pera!!

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  18. I guess corruption runs in the family. I feel bad for those in PWU, especially for students and their parents who believe that education is their only shot at a better life. So much for quality education #tanginathis

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  19. If there are evidence like these, why not settle this whole issue in court. That way, PWU and STI can throw their arguments against each other, without jeopardizing the welfare of students. This whole drama is affecting students and faculty. Hindi lahat kayang mangutang at magpautang ng milyones, some of us need to study and work hard to EARN money. Time to put a stop to this nonsense.

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  20. This article is good because it has figures to support the story. I’m a true blooded Philwomenian and I feel sorry for my beloved alma mater. The Benitezes that our campus thinks during our time as ‘holy’ is only a front for their own sake. The Benitezes need to answer this issue! Why this happened?! Where did the tuition fees go? Obviously, in your own pockets! I’ve been fooled that the Benitezes are ‘sacred’ who think for the students. But it’s definitely not! :(((((((((((((((((((((((((((

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  21. Kaya pala Sinabi ng University President Dr. Kiko Benitez they are united or the family are united except for former president na anak ni madam Amelou Benitez at yung kapatid ni Dr. Kiko na congressman at business man sila pa nag kukumbinsi na Ibigay na sa tanco eh mag kakasosyo pala sila sa negosyo! At ang masama pa ang PEra na ginagamit nila ay galing sa ninakaw nila sa kaban ng PWU! Kawasaki naman Si madam Helena Benitez at Ibang family members na may magandang layunin! Say no to tanco and few family memvmbers of Benitez

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  22. So? Kasalanan ng iilang member ng family kasalanan na ng lahat? So I think this is conspiracy between tanco group and those few members of the clan ng Benitez na mukhang PEra! Ngayon ang nag Si suffer yung matanda at yung mga members na may magandang layunin! Kawawa naman! I am say no to tanco and few members of Benitez who made this conspiracy

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  23. Thank you for exposing the truth about the Benitez clan. I also have personal knowledge that today, after greedy members of the family have cleaned PWU coffers clean, they are now targeting the money of the good Senator Helena Benitez. Somebody should really investigate these people.

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    1. Grabe naman pala sila. Tama gutfeel ko nung naka-meeting ko si jaliboy isang taon na. Di na kami binalikan sa usapan. Pati anak nyang naka-chopper di rin rumisponde. Naipit tuloy yung isang kasamahan namin sa prinsipal. Un-professional. Nature will do its work.

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  24. Dear alumni of PWU, St Theresa, Assumption, St Paul Maryknoll . Please do not give to the donation being solicited by the Benitezes under theexcuse that they need it to save PWU. The Benitezes will simply pocket your donation. Let us SAVE PWU from the Benitezes.

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  25. The Benitezes has thrown in the towel when they gave their irrevocable letters of resignation to BDO 5 years ago just to be able to get a loan. They were going around town begging for some stupid guy to bail them out. Tanco was stupid to help them. Tanco must find comfort that he was not the only victim of theBenitezes.

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  26. They behave like Aristocrates but in reality they are a bunch of thieves. They even steal from the trust funds of the scholars and retirement funds of their employees!

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  27. All the JASAM alumni know that the 250,000,000 pesos given by Jardine Land was pocketed by Jolly Benitez. That is why they lost the JASAM property to Jardine.

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