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Filipino business mogul, family patriarch, and philanthropist John Gokongwei has passed away on November 9, Saturday night.

Founder of JG Summit Holdings, one of the most diversified business conglomerates in the country and South East Asia which spans many industries including banking, real estate, air transportation, hotels, telecommunications, and many others, his death was reported this morning by Esquire Philippines. Citing a text from his son Lance Gokongwei which read, “Our beloved husband, father and grandfather John Gokongwei, Jr. passed away peacefully 11:41 pm, November 9th, at the Manila Doctor’s Hospital surrounded by his loved ones. Please pray for the repose of his soul. Details of his wake to follow. Rest In Peace, Mr. John.”

The billionaire was ranked 3rd on Forbes’ list of richest people in the Philippines, with an estimated net worth of $5.8 billion. Aside from JG Summit Holdings, he also founded the Universal Robina Corporation (URC) which started as a cornstarch and sugar plant back in 1954 that has since become one the largest food and beverage companies in South East Asia with production sites in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, as well as the Philippines.

In 2017, he was awarded Management Man of The Year by the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP), citing his massive contributions to job creation, income generation, and national development through his many companies. But aside from his many achievements in business, he was also a man of charity and cared to the growth of the country. In 2006, on his 80th birthday, he donated half of his personal holdings to the Gokongwei Brother Foundation (GBF), a scholarship institution focused on aiding the underprivileged in STEM education.

John Gokongwei Jr. has contributed greatly to the development of the Philippines and believed in the greatness of the nation’s potential. In a speech he gave at the 20th Ad Congress back in 2007, he expressed his optimism on Filipino products rising on the world stage, he shares, “To be a truly great nation, we must also excel as entrepreneurs before the world. We must create Filipino brands for the global marketplace.”

Photo from JG Summit Holdings.

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