Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI) is one of the top national daily broadsheets in the Philippines.
It was founded by journalists Eugenia Apostol, Betty Go-Belmonte, Max Soliven, Luis Beltran, and Arturo Borjal in December 1985, a month after ailing strongman Ferdinand E. Marcos, under pressure from the United States, called for a snap presidential election. Beltran served as editor-in-chief.
For running reports critical of Marcos, PDI was among the few publications referred to as “alternative media,” that played a major role in the ouster of Marcos through the February 1986 People Power Revolution.
Belmonte, who was Inquirer’s co-chairman and treasurer, resigned from her post in May 1986. Her son Miguel Belmonte, now Philippine Star president, said this was after then president Corazon Aquino named his father GSIS president. Belmonte was concerned this might affect the paper’s credibility.
Borjal, Soliven, and Beltran later broke away from Apostol and founded the Philippine Star with Belmonte. Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc, who was editing the Sunday Inquirer Magazine, took over as editor-in-chief and held that position until her death on December 24, 2015.
In 1989 Nora Bitong, formerly the president and chief executive officer of Jaka Investments Corporation of Sen. Juan Ponce-Enrile, filed a suit before the Securities and Exchange Commission claiming that the money invested by Jaka in Mr. & Ms was used for PDI and was mismanaged by Apostol. SEC dismissed the suit saying Bitong was not a party of interest.
In September 1987, two veteran newspaper managers from another broadsheet Manila Bulletin joined Inquirer: Mariano B. Quimson Jr. as president and Ben M. Pangilinan as vice president for marketing. It was also at that time the Inquirer received an urgently needed capital infusion from Quimson's group.
Apostol lost the chairmanship of PDI after her rivals within the newspaper, led by Quimson, found out that she did not own a single PDI "qualifying share" in her name as mandated by the Corporation Code. She was ousted as chair in a board meeting on April 30, 1990. Other Inquirer board members replaced her with Bienvenido Pangilinan, one of the paper’s directors.
Apostol's ouster came shortly after she filed a suit before the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Quimson's group. Apostol found out that Quimson gained a 58 percent upper hand in the Inquirer board when it decided to invalidate some shares belonging to Apostol's group. Prior to the invalidation of the disputed shares, both Apostol and Quimson's groups held identical and pre-agreed 46.6 percent holdings.
Meanwhile, a group headed by Marixi Rufino Prieto had bought into the PDI. The Rufino-Prieto family owned Bataan 2020, formerly known as Bataan Pulp and Paper Mills Inc. (BPPMI), supplier of paper to all newspapers including PDI.
On Jan. 26, 1994, Apostol retired and Marixi Prieto took over as PDI chair, a position she holds until today. A group led by Eduardo Espiritu, former PNB president, bought Apostol's shares in the company.
On April 29, 1998, Ben Pangilinan retired as PDI president and was succeeded by Marixi’s daughter, Alexandra, popularly known as Sandy.
In a published article, Sandy she joined PDI in 1995 when her brother, Louie, who was originally the one groomed to head the newspaper, died in a motorcycle crash. She started as executive assistant to the President.
Sandy is married to mining executive Benjamin Philip G. Romualdez, chair of the newspaper, The Manila Standard. The Romualdez family has also regained The Journal that was sequestered by the government of Corazon Aquino after the ouster of the dictator, Ferdinand Marcos.
In 1999, PDI had a brush with the powers that-be, exposing the vulnerability of media to political pressure and dependence on advertising revenues.
Displeased by Inquirer’s critical coverage of his administration, President Joseph Estrada instigated an advertising boycott against the paper, which was heeded by several government and privately-owned corporations including the Philippine National Bank, Social Security System, Land Bank of the Philippines, and private companies like PLDT and Smart.
Estrada was impeached on corruption charges and was eventually ousted through another People Power in January 2001.
PDI is part of the Inquirer Group, which also publishes the tabloids Bandera, Inquirer Libre and Cebu Daily News. It has an online platform, inquirer.net.
The Inquirer is 60-percent owned by LRP, Inc., a holding company that can be traced back to the Prieto family. Businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan holds shares in the paper through Excel Pacific Holding Corporation, which has 13 percent shares.
Inquirer prints in Manila, Laguna, Cebu and Davao, and has four regional bureaus. In 2013, the paper reported a weekly circulation of around 270,000 to 286,000, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority.
Media Companies / Groups
Inquirer Holdings Corporation
Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inc. is a subsidiary of LRP, Inc., a holding company whose board of directors include the Rufino-Prieto family.
Group / Individual Owner
LRP, Inc. is a holding company registered in the Securities and Exchange Commission in 1991.
Excel Pacific Holding Corp.
Excel Pacific Holding Corp. is wholly-owned by Treasurekeeper Holdings, a subsidiary of Manuel V. Pangilinan-owned Hastings Holdings.
Group / Individual Owner
Letty Jimenez-Magsanoc, Max Soliven, Betty Go-Belmonte, Art Borjal, Louie Beltran, Eugenia Apostol, Florangel Braid
Affiliated Interests Founder
Former journalists Betty Go-Belmonte, Max Soliven, Art Borjal and Louie Beltran also founded the Philippine Star after parting ways with the Inquirer.
Ma. Alexandra Prieto-Romualdez
Affiliated Interests Ceo
Ma. Alexandra Prieto-Romualdez is married to Benjamin Philip Romualdez, the chairman of the board of another broadsheet, Manila Standard Today.
Jose Ma. D. Nolasco
Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief
Nolasco was Inquirer's managing editor before he was promoted as executive editor in 2016. In the paper's early years, he served as a political writer, covering historic events during the Martial Law such as the snap elections.
1098 Philippine Daily Inquirer Building Chino Roces Avenue cor. Yague & Mascardo St.Telephone Number: +632-897-8808inquirer.net
Revenue (in Mill. $)
42.88 Mil $ / 2.01 Bil P
Operating Profit (in Mill. $)
1.004 Mil $ / 47.02 Mil P
Advertising (in % of total funding)
35.49 Mil $ / 1.67 Bil P
Conversion rate on Dec. 31, 2015: P 46.85
Audience share from Nielsen's Consumer and Media View (Jan.-June 2016)
General Information Sheet of Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inc. (available upon request at SEC) (2016), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Financial Statement of Philippine Daily Inquirer, Inc. (available upon request at SEC) (2015), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
(9 December 1997). Official History: It started with less than 1 million pesos. Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Gaborni, J. (12 May 1990). Apostol ousted as Inquirer chairman. The Manila Chronicle.