Critical Thinking II

Oracle Philippines’ Pirating Policy
by: Jerrry Liao

Last October 8, 2007 (Monday), I wrote the article “Critical Thinking I” which is about Oracle hiring an employee of its partner Nexus Technologies, Inc. For those of you have not read that article, you can visit

December 14, 2007- After more than two months, Oracle Philippines finally gave their response to my article. As professionals in the media industry, we are printing in full the letter sent to Manila Bulletin by Mr. Francis Ong, managing director Oracle Philippines:

“There are several details contained in the article “Critical thinking Oracle Philippines’ pirating policy” in The Manila Bulletin, 8 October 2007 by Jerry Liao, that are in our opinion, inaccurate and misrepresents Oracle –

1. The interaction described in the article is inaccurate:

* The article states: “During this project, Oracle might have been impressed with the Nexus representative and hinted that they want to hire the Nexus representative. An offer sheet was made I believed. This came to the attention of Nexus, and like any other partner, Nexus informed Oracle about their objection. Guess what, Oracle proceeded with the hiring despite the objection from its partner. At present, the Nexus representative is now with Oracle. And with the hire, Nexus decided to discontinue its business relationship with Oracle Philippines.”

* The facts are: The employee was not involved with Oracle in any capacity while at Nexus. As such, there was no meeting between Oracle and the Nexus employee as described in the article.
* Oracle did not headhunt or pirate the Nexus employee, as suggested. She was seeking a suitable opportunity and her CV, which was passed on to Oracle by a third-party, was unsolicited. She went through the standard Oracle selection process, along with other job applicants.

2. The article misrepresents Oracle:

* The article states: ‘Like any other company, Nexus invested a lot in developing their staff to become competent. Invested a lot of time, money, effort, trust and relationship.”
* “And you know what, Oracle was even disappointed with Nexus decision to terminate its business relationsip with them? What does Oracle expect? Nexus awarding Oracle a Plaque of Appreciation for Piracy? Can I have the Business Software Alliance check on this? Just kidding.”

* The facts are: Oracle continually invests in its relationships with partners to provide growth opportunities, education, technical services and go-to-market engagement. The investment is not only by the partner alone. Oracle had indicated that the ending of this partnership is disappointing in light of the investments made on both sides.

* The article states: “The secret perhaps is in the way Nexus motivates, encourage and support it’s employees – a trait that does not exist in Oracle am sure.”
* “One last thing, Oracle may have caught the buying habit because of their numerous acquisitions, and now they’re buying or pirating people. A classic display of arrogance and insensitivity. With Oracle’s action, Oracle may have increased their intellectual capital within the company. But I will now question their social capital and their cultural capital.”

* The facts are: Oracle hires best-fit candidates who want to join the company. We focus on the welfare and development of our employees and continually invest to provide a wide variety of technical, professional, and personal development opportunities.

We strongly object to your publication of the article. The article is disparaging of Oracle Philippines and Oracle companies globally, and the reputation of our companies, and as such has caused harm and damage. Oracle was not contacted before publication and offered an opportunity to respond to the allegations that are made in this article. At no time has Oracle acted contrary to law or our contractual relationships with Nexus or in contravention of normally accepted proper recruitment practices with a business partner.

Oracle requests a published apology and correction by the Manila Bulletin.

All our rights are hereby reserved.

Managing Director

As a columnist of Manila Bulletin TechNews, I would like to thank Oracle Philippines and Mr. Francis Ong for the clarification. This is one clear sign that there is democracy is this country and that Manila Bulletin as the nation’s leading newspaper adheres to fairness and balance reporting.

If you will noticed in my first article, I didn’t mention any names and I did not publish the emails because this is not about any personalities, this is about Business Ethics. The article is about respect and the correct way of valuing business partnerships.

Let me start by saying this: I may just be an ordinary columnist, nothing compared to Mr. Ong who is a managing director and Oracle – the world’s 2nd biggest software company in the world. But when it comes to reporting, we have ethics and rules to follow and like any other professional writers, we live by it. I presented the facts, I will let the readers decide.

I guess Oracle is putting its attention on the small black dot in the white shirt and failed to appreciate how white the shirt is. They read the article but failed to see the message. The point here is not about whether Oracle pirated the lady employee of Nexus Technologies or not. The issue here is why did Oracle hire the lady employee despite the objection made by Nexus which resulted to losing a partner.

Oracle is claiming that they were not contacted before publication and offered an opportunity to respond to the allegations that were made in the article. I would have called or emailed Oracle had they have a Marketing & Communications Manager, but they don’t have one, so I did the next best thing – call their PR company – ProSolutions Management Inc.

I called Oracle’s Philippine PR company specifically Miss Maui Terrado on October 4, 2007 (Thursday) informing her about the article that I am about to write that will be published October 8, 2007. I made the call during a meeting so I have people who will testify that I indeed made the call. I also told Ms. Terrado that I will wait for Oracle’s response and if in case Oracle won’t be able to submit their reply on time, we (Manila Bulletin) will be giving Oracle the same space we gave the article.

After the phone conversation, Ms. Terrado sent me a text message which reads: “Jerry, thanks 4 alerting me, Appreciate it.” The message was sent October 4, 2007 – 10:35am. I still have the message with me and I can show it to Oracle anytime.

The morning of October 8, I again called Ms. Terrado informing her that the story was already published and told her that we are still waiting for Oracle’s response and we will give Oracle the same space. Oracle was told that an article about the incident will be written (October 4), Oracle was also informed that the article was already published (October 8). Why deny it and why did it took Oracle more than two months to respond?

For the sake of discussion, let us say that Oracle was right, They didn’t pirate the lady employee of Nexus. May I just ask where is she working now? She is now working for Oracle Philippines. Even if she went through the normal hiring procedure, why did the hiring proceeded even an objection was already made? WHY?

The bottomline here is this, Oracle got the lady employee but losses a partner. If you my reader were in the shoes of Oracle, which one will you value more? The partner or the talent? And if you my readers were in my position, what will you get as a writer if you fabricate or lie about this story? I am just a writer but I value my reputation and integrity and I will not trade it for anything in this world.

Oracle is asking Manila Bulletin to publish an apology and correction. Apologies and corrections are made if a mistake was committed. We did not fabricate the story, We simply reported the truth and we’ve been professional in dealing with the incident. I think it is more proper and important for Oracle to issue an apology to their partner and do something to correct the mistake rather than asking Manila Bulletin to apologize because we exposed what happened.

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