_freeman
^

Opinion

The richest and poorest Filipino politicians

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus B. Jimenez - The Freeman

There are only four ways in the Philippines to become a top national politician. You either have to be very rich like the Villars, the Gatchalians or, you need to be a very famous actor or world boxing champion like Manny Pacquiao or Lito Lapid and Bong Revilla. The third way is to be a son, daughter, or close relative of a famous icon, like the Marcoses, the Dutertes, the Macapagals, the Aquinos, or the Binays. The fourth way is to be endorsed by a very powerful icon, like Bong Go, Bato de la Rosa, and Francis Tolentino.

Let us start with wealth, no matter how it is acquired. It is important that the Filipino voters should know how rich or poor our top politicians are today. Well, these are usually based on the statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth. But these big billionaires have many ways of hiding or disguising their true wealth. The lawyers call it tax avoidance. I call that pretended poverty. Based on my research, the richest is Manny Villar, who is worth $6.7 billion, according to the Forbes List. Bongbong Marcos has more than $5 billion. Imelda has $923 million as of 2019. Manny Pacquiao has about $5 billion dollars. President Duterte has only P28.5M million as of 2018 and Bong Go has only P18.4 million. Lacson's net is P48.9 million while Tito Sotto has P77.8 million Leni Robredo is the poorest with only P3.5 million, mostly inherited from her mother. Among the senators, the richest is Cynthia Villar, followed by Pacquiao, shown above.

The rest of the senators have the following net worth: Ralph Recto, P567.438 million; Migz Zubiri, P203.667 million; Bong Revilla, P176.363 million; Sonny Angara, P142.212 million; Frank Drilon, P102.259 million; Grace Poe, P97.631 million; Win Gatchalian, P95.404 million; Pia Cayetano, P82.774 million; Tito Sotto, P77.8 million; Dick Gordon, P71.2 million; Lito Lapid, P70.9 million; Francis Tolentino, P61.17 million; Nancy Binay, P60.31 million. The ten poorest senators are Ping Lacson, P48.9 million; Koko Pimentel, P36.3 million; Imee Marcos, P34 million ( I don't believe this); Bato de la Rosa, P33 million; Joel Villanueva, P30 million; Kiko Pangilinan, P19.9 million (because of pre-nuptial agreement, Sharon has separate declaration of about P3 billion allegedly); Bong Go, P18.4 million; Risa Hontiveros, P16 million and Leila de Lima P8.3 million. That is why the poor who are very much more competent are not interested to run because they have no money to finance a national campaign. You need P250 million to P500 million at the very least to run for the Senate.

The 15 richest congressmen are: Mikee Romero (1Pacman partylist), P6.5 billion; Virgilio Lacson (Manila Teachers party-list), P793.9 million. It seems that the party-list congressmen who are supposed to be the poor and marginalized turn out as the wealthiest members of Congress. Bayani Fernando (Marikina 1st District, P748 million; Vilma Santos, P567.4 million; Yedda Romualdez (Tingog Sinirangan party-list), P487.6 million; Juan P. Bondoc (Pampanga 6th District) P426.6 million; Lucy T. Gomez (Leyte 4th District), P33.3 million; Rossana Vergara (Nueva Ecija 3rd District), P327.4 million; Abraham Tolentino (Cavite 8th District, also the brother of senator Francis Tolentino and much richer than him), P302 million; Manuel Lopez (Manila, 1st District), P261.1 million, Alex Advincula (Cavite 3rd District), P260.3 million; Michael Duavit (Rizal 1st District), P258.7 million; Michaela Violago (Nueva Ecija 2nd District), P256.4 million; Vicente Veloso III (Leyte 3rd District), P230.6 million. Leyte has three richest, and Cavite has three. Cebu has none among the top 15.

All the congressmen representing the seven districts of Cebu Province, the two representing Cebu City, and the congressman representing Lapu-Lapu and the party-lists based here, are all multi-millionaires. Leadership now cannot be attained without at least P150 million to 300 million, if you want to run for congressman. For governor, you need P300 million to P700 million. For city mayor, prepare at the very least P500 million. Ideology, platforms, and principles do not count much based on the prevailing values of the electorate. What you need is money, a famous name, and a vast organization. Qualifications are the least important. Sad but true.

POLITICIAN
Philstar
  • Latest
Latest
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with