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PAL Holdings president Lucio Tan Jr dies at 53

Manila

PAL HOLDINGS Inc president Lucio "Bong" Tan Jr, son of Philippine billionaire Lucio Tan, died on Monday after collapsing while playing in a basketball game days earlier. He was 53.

The younger Mr Tan succumbed to brain herniation, the Philippine Star reported. He had entered a hospital on Saturday. PAL Holdings, the listed parent of Philippine Airlines Inc, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"His untimely passing leaves a deep void in our hearts and our group's management team, which would be very hard to fill," his sister Vivienne Tan said in a statement, referring to him as "an elder brother whom we all relied on for advice, counsel and leadership". He is survived by his wife and two sons.

The sudden death of Mr Tan Jr casts doubt over the leadership of the airlines to banking group, especially as he was seen as a potential successor to his father, said Rens Cruz, an analyst at Regina Capital Development Corp. His passing "will definitely add a layer of uncertainty", Mr Cruz said.

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Mr Tan Jr had taken over as president and chief operating officer at PAL Holdings on Oct 28. He was also the president of Tanduay Distillers Inc and Eton Properties Philippines Inc and a director of LT Group Inc and Philippine National Bank.

Shares of LT Group, the holding company of the 85-year-old patriarch, fell as much as 1.8 per cent, while PAL Holdings rose 6.8 per cent in Manila trading on Monday. BLOOMBERG

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