By Azer Parrocha
MANILA — Malacañang mourned the passing of PAL Holdings Inc. president Lucio “Bong” Tan Jr., describing him as a ‘humble person”.
Tan died on Monday morning, two days after he collapsed while playing in an inter-department basketball game. He was 53.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, in a statement on Monday, offered prayers and expressed sympathies to the Tan family, especially to his father and namesake, Lucio Tan, as well as his wife and children.
“As family, friends and colleagues pay tribute to the life of Mr. Bong Tan, we fervently ask the Almighty to grant him eternal repose and pray that perpetual light shine upon him as he rests in happiness and peace,” Panelo said.
Panelo said he personally knew the younger Tan, calling him “a humble person, with a serious mien but with a ready smile to whomsoever he met in social events and official functions”.
“Given his social stature, he never threw his weight around and always ready to lend his hand to anyone who approached him for assistance,” Panelo said.
“He was a good friend, a kind-hearted brother to his siblings, a loving and dutiful son to his parent, and an efficient and competent corporate man,” he added.
Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar, in a separate statement, remembered Tan for his “commitment towards furthering the sport of basketball in the Philippines”.
“Again, his untimely death is a loss not only to his loved ones but a loss to the sport of basketball and to the field of business, now less a very accomplished businessman with Tan’s passing,” Andanar said.
On Oct. 28, Tan was named as the president and chief operating officer (COO) of PAL Holdings, which owns Philippine Airlines.
Tan, a known basketball enthusiast, was named head coach of the family-owned University of the East team on September.
He was also a director of the family’s main holding company, the LT Group Inc., since 2003 and held key positions in many of its subsidiaries, which include Philippine National Bank, Tanduay Distillers Inc., Asia Brewery Inc., Fortune Tobacco Corp., and Eton Properties Philippines Inc.
Tan is survived by his wife Julie and sons Hun hun (Lucio Tan III) and Kyle Tan. (PNA)