Lucio C. Tan, Sr. (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Chén Yǒngzāi; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tân Éng-chai; born July 17, 1934) is a Chinese Filipino billionaire businessman and educator with interests in banking, airline, liquor, tobacco, real estate industries, and education. In 2013, Forbes magazine listed him as the second richest billionaire from the Philippines with a net worth of $7.5 billion.[5]

Lucio C. Tan, Sr.
Lucio Tan - 2018 (cropped).jpg
Tan in 2018
Born (1934-07-17) July 17, 1934 (age 85)
Alma materChiang Kai Shek College
Far Eastern University
Known forChairman and CEO of Philippine Airlines[2]
Chairman of The Board (LT Group, Inc.)[3]
Net worth$3.1 billion (December 2019)[4]

Early lifeEdit

Tan was born in Amoy (now Xiamen), Fujian, China. His parents moved to the Cebu in the Philippines when he was a child. He was said to have gone to school on barefoot and first worked as a stevedore who tied cargo with ropes made from abaca[6] He earned a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from the Far Eastern University in Manila.[7] Forbes states that while in college, Tan "worked as a janitor at a tobacco factory"[8] where he "mopped floors to pay for school."[9]

Business interestsEdit


In 1997, Forbes, in an article entitled "A report card on Asia", complained about the "considerable corruption still prevalent" in the Philippines, bolstering that claim by citing how Tan "single-handedly held up a tax reform intended to remove special privileges for local tobacco and beer producers."[11]

In 1998, Forbes reported that Tan was spending his free time "[j]ousting with the government over charges of tax evasion" and with Philippine Airlines "shareholders who tried to block his bid for the airline."[12]

According to the January–March 1999 edition of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Solita Monsod, an economics professor at the University of the Philippines and former Economic Planning Secretary, was quoted as saying that "Lucio Tan is a role model for the worst kind of conduct as far as our national objectives are concerned. He signals that you can evade taxes and get away with it, pay the courts and get the judges to decide in your favour, get good lawyers and delay your cases. The messages that are given by the kind of treatment that he gets from the Government are the antithesis of what we need for sustainable development: an even playing field and Government intervention of the right kind." [3][citation needed]

The Presidential Commission on Good Government ("PCGG") originally filed a case against Tan in July 1987, and has since amended it twice, the last time being on 5 September 1991. According to the PCGG, the state is entitled to PHP 50 billion in damages and PHP 1 billion in legal expenses.[4][citation needed] In addition, the state was seeking to recover 60% of Tan's holdings in companies that Tan held in trust for the former president Marcos – such as Fortune Tobacco, Asia Brewery, Allied Banking Corp., Foremost Farms, Himmel Industries, Grandspan Development Corp., Silangan Holdings, Dominium Realty and Construction Corp., and Shareholdings Inc. – as the PCGG alleges that they were illegally acquired by Marcos using government funds.[13]

After filing the case in July 1987, the PCGG seized control of Tan’s companies, continuing to do so until 2006 when the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan nullified the writs of sequestration on Allied Banking Corp., Fortune Tobacco, Foremost Farms and Shareholdings Inc. The court ruled the writs had no basis as there was no prima facie proof that any of Tan’s assets were obtained illegally.

The PCGG soon afterwards filed a petition to the Supreme Court. On December 7, 2007, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the anti-graft court. The Supreme Court found no proof that Tan, his family, or his various businesses took undue advantage of their relationship with former President Marcos. Finding no factual basis for the sequestration of the stocks, the Supreme Court denied the PCGG’s petition, according to a court statement.[14]

In an April 29, 2009 letter filed at the anti-graft court, the PCGG announced that it is "resting its case" and terminating its presentation of evidence in the PHP 51 billion lawsuit. This, the report said, came as a surprise as government lawyers had earlier insisted in court that they still have several key witnesses, including former First Lady Imelda Marcos.[15]


  1. ^ "Lucio Tan Success Story". Millionaire Acts (Join my journey to financial freedom). Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  2. ^ "Company Info, (PAL Holdings Inc.)". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  3. ^ "Board of Directors". LT Group, Inc. webpage. Retrieved 14 June 2018.
  4. ^ "Lucio Tan". Forbes. Retrieved 24 May 2019.
  5. ^ "The Philippine's 50 Richest: Lucio Tan & Family". July 2013. Retrieved 2014-03-30.
  6. ^ Retrieved 13 November 2019. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. ^ "Lucio Tan (Philippines); Cigarettes, Beer And Airline Tycoon". Internet Wayback Machine. Archived from the original on July 1, 2008. Retrieved 30 March 2014. External link in |website= (help)CS1 maint: unfit url (link)
  8. ^ "ASIA: 50 Asian billionaires on the list, up from 44 last year; Lucio Tan". LLC. 5 July 1999. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  9. ^ "The Philippines' 50 Richest: #2 - Lucio Tan & Family". LLC. July 2013. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  10. ^ Dumlao, Doris C. "Lucio Tan consolidates control of Victorias". Retrieved 6 September 2018.
  11. ^ "A report card on Asia". Forbes magazine. LLC. 1997-02-24. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  12. ^ Bruce, Katherine; Karmali, Naazneen; Mao, Philippe; Miyazawa, Kazumi; Shook, Carrie; Weinberg, Neil (1998-07-06). "ASIA; Lucio Tan". LLC. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
  13. ^ "Graft court admits evidence vs Tan in ill-gotten wealth case | Economy | GMA News Online". 2010-08-23. Retrieved 2013-10-12.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-04-01. Retrieved 2011-01-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "PCGG to end presentation of evidence in Lucio Tan case". ABS-CBN News. 1991-09-05. Retrieved 2013-10-12.