SM needs a heart

This can yet be the best Christmas story.

SM patriarch Henry Sy, the richest man in the country with a net worth of $20.3 billion can revise the narrative of his life – born to a poor family in Xiamen, in the Fujian province of China, he and his family came to the Philippines in search of a better life. From a small shoe store in Quiapo, Manila in the 1950s, his business grew into a multi-billion empire. He king of shopping banks, into banking, and real estate. His SM Investments, earned $6.7 billion in revenue in 2016, according to Forbes Magazine.

On his 93rd birthday on Dec. 25, he can do something that humankind will remember him for- visit former employee Paul Matthew Tanglao, 21, ask for his forgiveness for putting him into a miserable situation, rehire him or help him become financially stable.

Billionaire Henry Sy, Sr

Also, have all employees of SM, especially the supervisor of Save More Sta. Ana, undergo a training on kindness and humanness.

He will be remembered, not just for his immense wealth but for his awesome heart.

That will also save his business empire’s social arm, “SM Cares”, from being rendered hypocritical and irrelevant.
Last Dec. 10, Tanglao said he went to work at in Save More Santa Ana, Manila with only P10 in his pocket. He probably didn’t have breakfast.

He said he felt the hunger pangs at 4 p.m. At 5:45 p.m., he could no longer ignore it. He went to the supermarket warehouse and took a can of corned beef. He was caught by the guard who reported him to the supervisor.

He was brought to the nearest police station and was charged with qualified theft.

We imagine the supervisor was more concerned of scoring points to the SM management and didn’t bother to feed the hungry employee.

In the Inquirer report, Tanglao was quoted saying, “I felt like I’ve been shamed and embarrassed before the world. I’m not saying what I did was right. I know it’s wrong. All I’m saying is I was just really hungry [that day] and I didn’t have money.”

He stayed there for a week until his mother was able to come up with P2,000 bail.

Tanglao’s case touched the heart of many except SM. Caloocan Bishop Pablo Virgilio David, the vice president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, appealed for Tanglao’s release.

Save More Sta Ana opened in Nov 2011 with then Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim cutting the ribbon. Photo from SM Investments website.

In a Facebook post, David said, “Already one week in jail for stealing a can of corned beef worth P31.50. It was 5:45 p.m.; he hadn’t had lunch and he was hungry. Please, for heaven’s sake, let’s get this man out of jail!” David said adding that he was willing to pay for Tanglao’s bail.

Journalist Carlos Conde also wrote in FB: “The punishment should be proportional to the crime. How is a week in a godawful jail proportional to the crime of stealing a can of corned beef after you grew hungry while working to make Henry Sy, the country’s richest man, even richer? “

Even the policeman who handled Tanglao’s case questioned SM’s action: “Of course, stealing is not right. If it were up to me, I wouldn’t even file [a case]. I’d just fire him. Look, the money spent on photocopying the documents needed to file the case in court is more expensive than the price of the corned beef,” he said.

Have a heart, SM.

December 20, 2017 11:26 pm  Tags:   Posted in: General, Human Rights

6 Responses

  1. roc - December 23, 2017 5:46 pm

    tanglao was very hungry kuno kaya nagnakaw ang corned beef. pero, why must stealing be his 1st choice? why did he not go and talk to his supervisor and ask for food? most likely he will be directed to the bin where food that are nearly out of date but still good to eat are kept. they’re marked down for immediate sale. there are bananas there that are medyo lamog na pero still good to eat, may mga day old bread, wilted vegetables that only need sprinkling of cold water to freshen, etc.

    if tanglao has any problem, gutom or others, he should talk to his supervisor or management, and give them chance to help him. hwag lang yong he took matters into his own hands kaagad. maliban na lang kung talagang gusto niya yong corned beef kaya iyon ang kinuha.

    as worker, tanglao is entitled to discount on purchases and does not need to pay full price. and if he was not caught, what is he going to steal next he’s hungry?

    you are going to hate me for this, ellen, but I’m going to say it. ask and it will be given to you, knock and you will not knock in vain. and maybe, with a little prayer like, god I’m going to do the right thing and ask management for help, so do your part, god, and help management see my point of view, and thank you, god.

  2. roc - December 23, 2017 5:57 pm

    para sa akin, it’s good to have a heart, but it must be in the right place.

  3. batangpasig - December 23, 2017 8:52 pm

    you want to know a business tycoon with a heart? henry ford, the automobile industry pioneer, implemented the 8-hour a day / 5-day a week work schedule and a minimum wage for his workers in his car company. he didn’t make his employees work continuously for 12 hours, standing, and without benefits.

  4. jcj2013 - December 27, 2017 11:45 am

    The thing is Henry Sy doesn’t have a heart for the poor. All he wants is our money, money, money, and more money. All that at the expense of his underpaid but overworked employees. He’s in his 90s but his greed for moolah hasn’t decreased a bit. When he dies, he should be eulogized for being one of the greediest and most heartless taipans that ever lived in this benighted country.

  5. vic - January 7, 2018 6:11 am

    Peter Munk said his donation to a Tornto heart Hospital is a ‘debt to repay” to Canada fir taking his family after the Second world War

    on tuesday Oct 10, $100 million was contributed to the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre , Said to be the Largest contribution to a Canadian Hospital in History

    “When you thank me for what I’ve done for Toronto,and you thank me for what I can do for this community, it doesn’t begin to express myimmense gratitude to what this country has done for me and my fmily”. said Munk,wgi was born in Hungary.You opened the door. you gave us everything…

    Please Note that the Peter Munk Centre is a Part of the University network Hospital, and is one of the Teaching Hospitals of Univesity of Toronto..Peter took his undergraduate degree in Engineering at the University of Toronto and is the Founder of Barrick Gold Mine, the World’s Largest..The Peter Munk Cardiac Centre was named after him in Hoonour of his Generous contibution to the Hospital in the past. It is one of the leading Research and Treatment centre for heart and stroke and its services is funded under the UNIVERSAL TAX FUNDED HEALTH CARE.

    The Historic Gift will be invested in efforts to optimize the Quality of care and improve health outcome fortose Struggling with CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE both DOMESTICALL AND ABROAD.

    Added Mr. Munk: “It’s critical to make the Hospital a point of excellnce for Canada and we have a chance to do so.”

    And Mr. Munk is not yet done with his Kindness and Generosity and at 90 years of age is still very active in the community..

  6. vic - January 7, 2018 6:31 am

    Here a very beautiful but sad story..
    Michael Garron, at 14 years of age died of a very rare form of cancer and what he told his parents that someday when they both were gone, he will not be remembered by anyone..his parents promised him that they will do something that his name will be be forever remembered afer they both long gone..They parents worked so hard to amass good fortune in automotive bussiness and in last few years donated to the Sick Kids Hospital $28 millions, where Michael was taken care for his sickness…

    But it was the Toronto East Hospital who agreed to change the Hospital name to “The Michael Garron” Hospital (Michael was given birth at Toronto East) to recognize the parent $50 millions contribution..

    BUT.. but the Province now will Prohibit Hospitals for changing the name in recognition of contributions but can name a wing or a building or research centre but not the Whole this will be the last Hospital to be named after a Generous contributor…

    Since All Hospitals are Publicly Funded, The Board just can not change the name to invite more contributions in exchange for naming the Hospital..Michael Garron is an exemption…

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