Who are the richest Philippine senators?
WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez (The Freeman) - January 7, 2020 - 12:00am

The Philippines is a very rich country with millions of very poor Filipinos. Those who are in control of the Philippine economy also control Philippine politics, either by being in government themselves or by funding their candidates in government. That is why we will never solve social injustice because the rich will never truly work for the poor. They will work for themselves.

The Senate, the House, the local governments are all in the hands of the rich. Don’t expect them to pass a genuine land reform law, or hope that they will ever stop their socio-economic conditions from deteriorating. The rich solons will never pass laws for the sake of the underprivileged. They are in government precisely to protect their businesses and their economic status. If ever they pass some social measures these will be in aid of re-election. They will never pass laws to give to the tenants in Negros, the land of the hacienderos. They will never support measures to give the lumads and the indigenous people their ancestral domains. For such measures are going to collide with their own selfish interests.

They will never stop the illegal mining and logging. The last Cabinet member who crossed the line was rejected by the Commission on (dis)Appointments. She died broken-hearted. If you are not a billionaire or a multi-millionaire, you will never win a Senate seat. Those in the Senate were put there by the tycoons, moguls, magnates, and taipans to protect their companies and their families. Thus, never entertain any ray of hope that the Philippine Senate, as it is currently constituted, will ever work for the poor. The poor have to struggle for themselves to survive. There is no one in the Senate who will really help their cause in the true sense of the word.

Here are the richest senators (with their 2019 reported net worth, according to their SALN, which their accountants must have worked hard to appear less and less) These honorable men and women will never help the poor: Cynthia Villar, P3.534 billion; Manny Pacquiao (number one absentee), P3.005 billion; Ralph Recto, P555.324 million; Migs Zubiri, P182.851 million; Bong Revilla, P164.203 million; Sonny Angara, P130.026 million; Frank Drilon, P97.726 million; Sherwin Gatchalian, P96.210 million; Grace Poe, P95.693 million; Pia Cayetano, P82.308 million; Gordon, P71.285 million; Sotto, P70.120 million; Lapid (what has he done there?), P69.910 million; Tolentino, P62.482 million; Binay, P59.911 million; Lacson, P42.422 million. Never be hoodwinked by the pretensions of trapos.

Number 17 is Imee Marcos, P29.970 million (really, only that?); Pimentel, 29.934M; Bato dela Rosa, P28.258 million (how can he be richer than Bong Go?); Villanueva, P26.921 million (praise the Lord); Pangilinan, P16.695 million (Sharon could be 50 times richer but they have pre-nuptial agreement of complete separation of properties); Hontiveros, P15.627 million (how could she be richer than Bong Go?); Bong Go, P15.508 million (he is a CPA and his son is CPA Board topnotcher); and Leila de Lima, P7.706 million (but she is still receiving all salaries and benefits while in detention) and her staff are still paid full salaries much higher than rural teachers and doctors. Lucky girl, and her jailers are now banned from entry to the US, thanks to Trump.

Well, it’s not a crime to be a billionaire or multi-millionaire. But as the Lord says, it’s easier for a camel to enter the needle's eye than for a rich senator (I paraphrase) to pass a genuinely pro-poor law for 80% of the Filipinos who are dying of hunger, disease, and hopelessness. God bless the Philippines.

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