SM needs a heart | BICOL TODAY

SM needs a heart

By Ellen Tordesillas

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 95th 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.

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.

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.

Re-posted from Ellen Tordesillas blog.

Posted by on December 21, 2017. Filed under Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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