President Rodrigo Duterte and members of the Cabinet pray prior to the start of the 12th Cabinet Meeting at the State Dining Room in Malacañan on Feb. 7, 2017. PPD/Marcelino Pascua

Duterte's Cabinet a millionaires' club with 1 billionaire
Edu Jarque ( - July 21, 2017 - 3:31am

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte's Cabinet is a gathering of millionaires and a billionaire with the exception of two officials, their disclosed statements reveal.

Duterte, seen as an outsider among political and economic elites when he won the May 2016 elections, is aided by relatively wealthy Cabinet members with a combined wealth of more than P3 billion.

Public Works Secretary Mark Villar, the heir of real estate magnate and former Sen. Manuel Villar, tops the list with P1.4 billion. Villar held top positions at family-owned publicly listed Crown Asia Corp. and Vista Land.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez, a former chief executive of flag carrier Philippine Airlines, reported a net worth of P351 million. Information and Technology Secretary Rodolfo Salalima, a lawyer who served as Globe Telecom's chief counsel, had a wealth of P304 million as of December last year.

ALSO READ: Duterte richer by P3 million in 6 months

Fourth on the list is Gina Lopez, who as Duterte's first chosen environment secretary was unable to successfully hurdle the appointments body. Lopez, with disclosed wealth of P266 million, is a member of an influential family with interests in media conglomerate ABS-CBN Corp. and power firm First Philippine Holdings Corp.

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who was general manager of the Philippine Ports Authority prior to being appointed to the Cabinet, had P162 million, while broadcast personality Martin Andanar, now serving as presidential communications secretary, had P152 million.

Ernesto Pernia, a longtime economist and professor, revealed a net worth of P105 million.

Among the poorest Cabinet officials are Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana with P3.6 million, Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo with P1.9 million, National Anti-Poverty Commission chief Liza Maza with P730,716 and Agrarian Reform Secretary Rafael Mariano with P273,000. — Camille Diola

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