Taking stock of Aquino cabinet members’ assets

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The 10 richest members of the Cabinet of former President Simeon Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III have listed in their Statement of Assets and Liabilities (SALN) for 2015: speedboats, jet skis, expensive European cars and golf club shares as among their wealth.

The wealthiest with their corresponding total assets are: Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, PHP 301.3 million; Tourism Secretary Ramon Jimenez, PHP 289 million; Health Secretary Janette Garin, PHP 141.5 million in assets; Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, PHP 92.9 million; Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson, PHP 88.5 million; Science Secretary Mario Montejo, PHP 63.1 million; Chairman of the Commission on Filipino Overseas Imelda Nicolas, PHP 41.6 million; Chairperson Patricia Licuanan of the Commission on Higher Education, PHP 40.4 million; Budget Sec. Florencio Abad, PHP 34.8 million and Environment Sec. Roberto Paje, PHP 33.28 million”

The richest, Purisima, listed properties in prime locations, including a unit in Wack Tower Condominium, a PHP 5 million property at Ayala Alabang and a condo unit in Pinecrest Village at Tagaytay Highlands.

Purisima’s SALN showed he has club shares in Alabang Country Club, Tagaytay Highlands Golf and Country Club, Summit Development Golf Club, Splendido in Tagaytay, Tower Club and Manila Polo Club worth PHP 290.1 million. His other assets include PHP 7.8 million in various vehicles and PHP 18.9 million in jewelry and art collection.

Jimenez has a 22-foot speedboat worth PHP 1.3 million and a PHP 106-million residence in Ayala Alabang and a PHP 43 million residence in classy Punta Fuego exclusive resort in Nasugbu, Batangas. He is also in possession of PHP 3 million in electronic gadgets and PHP14.3 million in vehicles – a PHP 5.4 million Mercedez-Benz, PHP 2.7 million 2013 Chrysler, Toyota Camry, Chevrolet pickup, Mazda CX-7 and a Volkswagen sedan.

The former advertising executive also has club memberships in Riviera Golf and Country Club, Eagle Ridge and Country Club and Camp John Hay in Baguio City – all with a combined value of PHP 4 million.

Garin, an obstetrician-gynecologist by profession, is third richest with two Toyota Land Cruisers – a 2012 model worth PHP 2.6 million and a 2013 model valued at only PHP 1.1 million. Her other vehicles include a Nissan Patrol Safari, an Isuzu Trooper and Hyundai Starex.

Alcala is the fourth richest who owns a speedboat and jet skis with a total value of PHP 3.2 million. He also listed a PHP 6.3 million 2008 Range Rover and a 2013 Toyota Alphard hi-tech van pegged at PHP 3.1 million – apart from his PHP 20 million residence in Acropolis, Quezon City and PHP 3 million condominium unit at Somerset Tower along Roxas Boulevard in Pasay City.

Singson, the fifth richest with PHP 88.5 million, owns a PHP 40 million residence in posh Magallanes Village and a PHP 10 million condo unit in Boni Ridge at Fort Bonifacio in Taguig, aside from a duplex inside the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority complex. He has a PHP 12 million farm in Hermosa, Bataan that he claimed to have sold for PHP 9.3 million in September 2015, aside from a PHP 1.8 million 2010 Hyundai Starex and PHP 1.1 million 2010 Mitsubishi Pajero.

The DPWH chief also listed club memberships at the Manila Polo Club, Alabang Golf and Country Club, Canyon Woods and Villamor Golf Club. Singson “sold” his Alabang shares in June 2015 for PHP 2.6 million.

Science Secretary Mario Montejo, brother-in-law of Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., is the sixth richest and owns a PHP 2.2 million condo unit at Capitol Hill in Quezon City.

Nicolas owns corporations in the country, the United States and China.

Licuanan lives at a high-class La Vista subdivision along Katipunan Avenue at Loyola Heights in Quezon City. She revealed that she receives, as a widow, some $7,513 in monthly pension from the Asian Development Bank (about PHP 345,598 at an exchange rate of PHP 46 to $1).

Abad and Paje own several agricultural and residential lands.

Another affluent Cabinet member was Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, a retired army general who also served during the first Aquino presidency in the late ’80s. He has two European luxury Mercedez-Benz automobiles – a 1993 sedan he listed as worth PHP 945,000 and a Benz ML pegged at PHP 2.8 million.

The former Presidential Security Group chief also has a PHP 1.3 million 2008 Toyota Hilux.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda, a lawyer by profession, listed a property at Daly City, California in the US that he acquired in 1982 at only PHP 2 million but is now valued at PHP 6.7 million. He also listed a 2008 Volvo worth PHP 400,000 and a PHP 1.4 million 2013 Mitsubishi Montero as properties, among others.

Controversial Political Affairs Secretary Ronald Llamas listed “gun collections” worth PHP 353,000, a Harley Davidson (Fatboy) big bike at PHP 875,000 and a 2013 Chevrolet Trailblazer pegged at PHP 1.7 million.

Executive Sec. Paquito Ochoa, referred to as the “little President,” also declared “handguns” and “jewelry and other valuables” at PHP 650,000. He has a PHP 2.3 million farm in his hometown in Pulilan, Bulacan and a Toyota Hilux worth PHP 1.6 million. (SWCA)

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