Palace, Senate: Multi-millionaires' club of 2017

Kia Obang, Jhoanna Ballaran, Ana Maria Reyes, and Fernando Cabigao Jr., ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group

Posted at Feb 17 2017 09:03 PM | Updated as of Feb 20 2017 05:38 PM

THEY are all multi-millionaires, two of them even billionaires.

The men and women in top government posts pledging to alleviate the plight of the poor are worth many millions, based on the latest copies of their Statements of Assets and Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs).

Among them are President Rodrigo Duterte, with some 30 years in government behind him, and Vice President Leni Robredo with a net worth of P24.1 million, and P11.1 million, as of June 30, 2016 respectively.

They are definitely not the richest on the list and there is nothing spectacular about their possessions, based on their SALNs. The two are both lawyers.

The President’s assets

Duterte reported P4.5 million worth of real properties, which are mostly residential areas and a few agricultural lands in Davao City. Of the total real properties in Duterte’s SALN, P3.1 million are under his daughter Veronica Duterte’s name. Her real properties are indicated as “purchased through the exclusive funds of the (girl’s) mother, Cielito S. Avanceña.”

His personal properties total P20.7 million that included cash on hand/in bank of P15.3 million. He has P1.1 million liabilities from a certain Samuel Uy.

Duterte’s 2016 Statement of Election Contributions and Expenditures also listed a certain Samuel Uy as one of his contributors who donated P30 million to his 2016 presidential bid.

Duterte reported he was one of the incorporators of Honda Cars General Santos, Inc., since 1997, and Poeng Yue Foundations, since 2012.

He had a three percent or P131,250 shares in Honda Cars General Santos, Inc. in 2014. The company recorded P1.8 million net loss that same year based on its 2014 Audited Financial Statements.

A non-stock corporation, Poeng Yue Foundation extends “assistance, financial or otherwise to cancer patients with special focus on children suffering from said cause.” It is located in My Hotel, San Pedro St., Davao City.

Senator Antonio Trillanes recently revived claims that Duterte had P2 billion in undeclared funds, supposedly amassed during his term as Davao city mayor.

But Duterte fired back, saying he will immediately resign if the senator can prove his allegations that he and his family have billions of pesos in ill-gotten wealth in their bank accounts. He maintained that they earned money through legitimate means.

Robredo of Naga

The Vice President reported P16.2 million worth of personal properties and P1.7 million in real estate properties, a combination of residential and agricultural lands, all located in Naga City. She has total liabilities of P6.9 million in 2016, incurred mostly from relatives.

Robredo has shares of stocks in Manila Electric Company since 1999 as stated in her 2013 SALN. In her 2016 SALN, she acquired shares of stocks in Meralco on “different years.” The country’s biggest electricity distribution company logged P18.4 billion in net income in 2015, 3.8 percent higher than its P17.8 billion net income in 2014.

Villar’s billions

The richest in government sits in the Senate--Sen. Cynthia Villar with a net worth of P3.5 billion as of Dec. 31, 2015. She and her husband, former Senate President Manny Villar, made a fortune in real estate and construction. Her family has been in business for decades.

Villar declared total assets worth P3.5 billion; no liabilities. Her real properties are worth P4.6 million, including a property in BF Resort Village in Las Piñas City whose acquisition cost was P2.9 million, the largest of her real properties assets.

She disclosed two items under “personal properties”: “investments in shares of stocks” and “other real and personal properties,” in all making up 99.87 percent of her net worth.

Pacman the nouveau riche

The other billionaire is Sen. Manny Pacquiao, with a P3.03-billion in net worth. Called “Pinoy Cinderella Man,” he was a lowly “panadero” (bakery man) until he made a fortune as an international boxer. To date, he has nine world titles, including the World Boxing Organization welterweight champion, which he got after defeating the Mexican-American Jessie Vargas last November.

Curiously, the first-time senator provided more details in his SALN.

Placed at P3.3 billion, his assets include 100 pieces of real properties with an aggregate value of P1.6 billion, mostly residential, commercial, and agricultural properties in General Santos and Digos cities, and in different municipalities in Sarangani province.

His most talked-about asset is his house in Cambridge Circle on Forbes Park he acquired several years back, but his SALN didn’t say if this was the residential property in Makati City worth P388 million. The statement listed no house on Forbes Park.

His most expensive property is located in Lagao, General Santos City, acquired in 2015 for P400 million.

Others include a house and lot at Hancock Park, Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles, USA worth P115 million and a commercial property on Mercado St., Dadiangas Heights, General Santos City worth P121 million.

Pacquiao acquired two lots in 2016 at Labangal and Lagao, General Santos City. Thirty-four of his real properties do not have a year of acquisition indicated in the SALN.

Pacquiao had P1.3 billion cash on-hand and in-bank, jewelry, and other personal properties.

Unlike Senator Villar, Pacquiao has liabilities, placed at P250.2 million from different banks.

The combined net worth of the 22 other senators (P1.52 billion) amounts to less than half (43.3%) of Villar’s net worth and only half of Pacquiao’s net worth.

Senate’s multi-millionaires

Next to Villar and Pacquiao, Sen. Ralph Recto comes at a far third with a net worth of P511.3 million. The bulk of his assets comes from personal properties, specifically his “cash in bank and financial institution,” which is worth P295.9 million, and “investments in stocks” worth P143.1 million.

He did not provide details of the specific stocks in which he has shares. He also listed four real properties in Metro Manila and Lipa City—all residential—worth a total of P73.8 million.

The grandson of Claro M. Recto is married to Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos, one of the country’s more accomplished actresses.

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri is the fourth richest senator with a net worth of P118.9 million. The bulk of Zubiri’s assets comes from personal properties worth P94.8 million, specifically, from his shares in Bukidnon Power Corp. amounting to P54.4 million. He has five agricultural properties of which three are located in Bukidnon and the other two in Calatagan, Batangas.

His father, former Bukidnon Rep. Joe Zubiri, is a sugar hacendero.

Next are Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara with a net worth of P118.3 million and Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian with a net worth of P93.1 million. Angara is the son of former Senate President Ed Angara, one of the founders of ACCRA law firm, the most influential in the 1970s and 1980s. Gatchalian is a son of plastics king William Gatchalian, a low-key taipan.

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III ranks 19th among the 24 senators with a net worth of P17.9 million, made up of P4.8 million in real properties and P13.1 million in personal properties. He has zero liabilities. The bar topnotcher of the 1990, he is a son of former Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jr., one of the staunchest critics of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Poor senators?

Senator Francis Escudero has the lowest declared net worth at P5.85 million. He listed two of his real properties as “under court proceedings” and the exclusive properties of his two unmarried children. He is the son of Marcos’ Agriculture Secretary Sonny Escudero. Until he died, the older Escudero was never linked to corruption.

A lawyer, Senator Escudero is married to actress Heart Evangelista whose family made a name in the restaurant business.

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV has the second lowest declared net worth at P5.98 million. He was a former Navy officer who led a number of failed coup attempts against former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Debts they owe

Aside from Villar, the following declared having zero liabilities in their SALNs: Senate President Aquilino Pimentel, Senators Gregorio Honasan, Francis Escudero, Sherwin Gatchalian, and Panfilo Lacson.

Sen. JV Ejercito declared the second highest amount in liabilities, next only to Pacquiao. He declared P122.9 million in advances and loans payable to various financial institutions as of Dec. 31, 2015, including P50 million in loans payable to Rizal Commercial Banking Corp.

Rich men, richer men

Pacquiao has the largest real property assets. His 100 pieces of real property have a combined value of P1.6 billion. He is followed by Senator Vicente C. Sotto, whose eight pieces of real property declared in his SALN amount to P103 million.

Poe’s daughter

Senator Grace Poe, meanwhile, has two houses in California purchased in 1992 and 2008 for P28 million and P15 million, respectively. Her most expensive property is a house and lot in Quezon City acquired in 2007 for P30 million.

She is the daughter of actors Fernando Poe Jr. and Susan Roces, acknowledged King and Queen of Philippine Movies.

A lawyer, Senator Richard Gordon ranks third with 15 pieces of real property, 10 of which are buildings located in Olongapo City and Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

Note: The senators of the 17th Congress were ranked based on the latest Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) that they filed with the Secretary of the Senate. The SALNs of the 12 senators elected in 2013 are as of Dec. 31, 2015, while those of the senators elected in 2016 are their SALNs filed upon assumption to office (SALN of June 30, 2016/July 1, 2016).

* Inheritance from Mrs. Angara's mother's estate-values to be determined; Total accumulated depreciation of P12,770,400 is decreased from the real properties total acquisition cost of P41,246,272, thus actual total is P28,475,872

** Gordon’s Personal Properties should be P2, 9476, 805.85; Total assets should be P76, 613,507.97 and Net worth should be P66, 100,382.97

Source of Data: Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) as of June 30/July 1, 2016; and Dec. 31, 2015.

Richest Cabinet man

In the President’s Cabinet, Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez of Finance emerged as the richest of the 28 Cabinet members whose SALNs were released by Malacañang, with net worth of P322.1 million. Down the list, National Anti-Poverty Commission Secretary Liza Maza and Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano posted a few thousand pesos in net worth, effectively making them the odd-persons out. Mariano has the lowest declared net worth at P30,000 which are described as “clothes and accessories” under the “personal properties” item.

Domiguez’s assets comprised of P270 million personal properties and P52 million real properties and no liabilities. He belongs to a family of businessmen and professionals in Mindanao. He served the Cory Aquino administration as agriculture secretary.

Dominguez listed pieces of real property in his SALN, five of which are agricultural, three residential lots and one commercial property. His house and lot in 2005 SW Myrtle Drive Portland, Oregon in USA is the most expensive real property assets worth P52 million purchased in 2001. His “shares of stocks and advances” are worth P136.8 million while “cash and financial instruments” are worth P120.4 million. He provided no other details.

Information and Communications Secretary Rodolfo A. Salalima ranked second with a net worth of P311.4 million with no liabilities. He reported real properties worth P64.1 million located mostly in Antipolo, Rizal.

The former Globe Telecom senior vice president and chief legal counsel, Salalima has P150.2 million cash on hand and in bank; his “shares of stocks (outstanding)” are worth P56 million.

Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade followed next, with a net worth of P300.1 million, also with zero debt.

There were no listed real properties in Tugade’s SALN. He has P69.9 million cash on hand and in bank accounts and offshore investments of P57.1 million which are among his largest personal assets.

There are five Cabinet officials whose SALNs had discrepancies in computation. These entries are highlighted in the table below.

Malacañang has yet to release the SALNs of the rest of the Cabinet members.

In a letter to ABS-CBN News, Malacañang Records Office Director Marianito Dimaandal said that the other 22 officials “whose entry SALNs are being requested assumed office after June 30, 2016, their respective offices have until June 30, 2017 to transmit their entry SALNs.”

The ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group has requested SALN copies of the members of the House of Representatives, but it rejected the request.

In a letter to ABS-CBN News, House Secretary General Cesar Pareja said it was the policy of the bigger house to discourage the release of its records, which “may cast doubt on the integrity, authenticity and completeness of the records.”

“In addition, the documents requested contain personal information, the disclosure of which may pose a threat to the lives and security of the Members and their families,” Pareja said.