With the declaration of Martial Law in September 1972, the influential Lopez family was targeted for its denunciations of the corrupt regime of President Ferdinand Marcos. In retaliation, Marcos shut down the family’s media outlets and arrested Eugenio’s eldest son, Geny, on fabricated charges. With his son held hostage, Eugenio was forced to give up his holdings in a group of companies worth several hundred million dollars. Marcos failed to release Geny, and Eugenio Lopez died in 1975, his son still imprisoned.
In November 1974, Geny Lopez he embarked on a hunger strike along with his cellmate, Serge Osmeña to protest the unjust detention of thousands of innocent Filipinos. This resulted in the release of 1,022 political prisoners in December 1974. Defiant to the very end, Osmeña and Lopez escaped from their maximum security prison cell in Fort Bonifacio in 1977. This exploit was enacted in the 1995 movie, Eskapo. After the 1986 People Power Revolution, he re-acquired ABS-CBN and re-established it to become a prominent media conglomerate in the Philippines.
He died of cancer in the morning of June 28, 1999 in Quezon City. Leaving the legacy as the “Father of Philippine Broadcasting”. One of the buildings inside ABS-CBN was named after him as to show how much people from ABS-CBN pay tribute to the once known for them as “Kapitan”. His son, Eugenio Lopez III became Chairman and CEO after his father’s passing.
What really struck me about this book and this family are their Core Values. Particularly when it comes to their Humility. They knew that when they need to do something, they do it at whatever cost. A great example is giving up a controlling stake in Manila Electric Co. (Meralco), the country’s biggest power retailer, was painful and difficult for the Lopez clan, but it had to be done out of necessity. Given how Meralco’s history has been intertwined with their family, acceptance of this sale was not easy.
This book represents the family values of which Oscar M. Lopez is proud to tell, were the life work of Oscar M. Lopez ‘s father, Eugenio “Ening” Lopez Sr., and his Uncle Former Vice President Fernando Lopez which have been heralded as a pioneering entrepreneurial spirit, business excellence, nationalism, team work, strong work ethic, integrity, social justice and concern for employee welfare and wellness.