Roberto Ongpin, who started and led the Philippine real estate company Alphaland, died peacefully on Saturday at the age of 86.
His nephew Rafael Ongpin claimed on Facebook that Ongpin passed away peacefully in his sleep at his resort on Balesin Island.
The tycoon’s vast real estate business includes a private, members-only tropical island that spans 500 hectares and is located about 115 kilometers east of Manila.
His wife, Monica Arellano, and his children Stephen, Anna, Michelle, and Julian, as well as four grandkids, all predeceased him.
Anna, a graduate of Wellesley College in the United States, has been serving as Alphaland’s vice chair since 2020.
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After a difficult separation from U.K. investment business Ashmore in 2014, Ongpin, who served as trade minister under the late Philippine president Ferdinand Marcos Sr., gained control of Alphaland by delisting it from the Philippine Stock Exchange.
Alphaland has built many upscale office and residential complexes in Makati’s core business district and a mountain resort in Baguio, roughly 240 kilometers north of Manila.
The business is also developing Balesin Gateway, a resort on Patnanungan Island close to Balesin that will feature a 300-room hotel, a golf course, and 500 private villas.
Ongpin, who has a history of courting controversy, was one of the corporate leaders that former Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte went after in a crackdown on corporations in 2016.
A court order forced Ongpin to sell his majority stake in the PhilWeb online gaming company. In a 2017 interview with Forbes Asia, Ongpin revealed, “I lost $360 million—I became a pariah.”
Before the latest publication of the Philippines’ Richest in August, Ongpin was valued at $830 million. He has 16 residences in places like Tuscany, London, Paris, Salzburg, and Saint-Tropez, in addition to the cigar manufacturer Tabacalera.