Senate of the Philippines

Billionaires Villar, Pacquiao still richest senators in 2020

Rappler
Billionaires Villar, Pacquiao still richest senators in 2020
Detained senator Leila de Lima of the opposition remains the poorest member of the Senate

Senators Cynthia Villar and Manny Pacquiao, the only two billionaires in the Philippine Senate, are still the richest members of the chamber in 2020.

Based on the summary of the 2020 Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALNs) posted on the Senate’s official website, Villar declared a net worth of P3,875,696,435, the highest among her colleagues in the 18th Congress as of December 31, 2020. 

This was higher by over P61 million compared to her net worth in 2019 at P3,814,091,438. Villar was also the wealthiest senator that year. Her husband, former senator and congressman Manny Villar, a business tycoon, was also declared the richest man in the country in 2019, with a net worth of $5.6 billion or around P281 billion.

The Villar family owns the Philippines’ biggest homebuilder Vista Land, shopping center developer Starmalls Incorporated, and housing and condominium developer Golden Bria Holdings.

Her son Mark Villar, who is secretary of the Department of Public Works and Highways, is mulling a senatorial run in 2022.

Pacquiao, the second richest senator, declared a net worth of P3,187,092,600.69 in 2020. This is an increase of about P14.5 million from his 2019 net worth of P3,172,524,957.50.

A wildly popular boxer before he ventured into politics, Pacquiao announced his presidential bid in the 2022 elections on Sunday, September 19. 

Detained senator Leila de Lima, President Rodrigo Duterte’s fiercest critic in the Senate, remained the poorest senator in 2020 with a net worth of P9,544,111.68. Her wealth increased by over P1.2 million, from P8,323,470.91 in 2019.

De Lima has been in jail for four years since 2017 due to what she described as trumped-up drug charges against her.

Senators Nancy Binay, Francis Tolentino, and Sherwin Gatchalian, meanwhile, recorded decreases in their wealth from 2019 to 2020.

Binay’s net worth slightly went down to P59,770,251 in 2020 from P60,318,928 in 2019, while Tolentino’s wealth decreased to P59,812,000 from P61,172,000. For Gatchalian, his net worth went down to P91,213,596.57 from P95,404,344.93 in 2019.

Here is the list of senators’ 2020 net worth, ranked from highest to lowest:

  • Cynthia Villar:P3,875,696,435.00
  • Manny Pacquiao: P3,187,092,600.69
  • Ralph Recto: P581,071,657.97
  • Juan Miguel Zubiri: P220,736,702.43
  • Bong Revilla: P179,958,909.30
  • Sonny Angara: P150,898,358.00
  • Frank Drilon: P106,862,853.00
  • Grace Poe: P101,327,620.48
  • Sherwin Gatchalian: P91,213,596.57
  • Vicente Sotto III: P85,643,477.63
  • Pia Cayetano: P84,591,678.21
  • Richard  Gordon: P77,569,572.39
  • Lito Lapid: P74,948,600.00
  • Francis Tolentino: P59,812,000.00
  • Nancy Binay: P59,770,251.00
  • Panfilo  Lacson: P58,330,268.50
  • Aquilino Pimentel III: P37,203,400.00
  • Imee Marcos: P36,270,467.00
  • Ronald dela Rosa: P34,383,136.29
  • Joel Villanueva: P33,029,725.00
  • Kiko Pangilinan: P23,941,333.25
  • Bong Go: P22,274,508.68
  • Risa Hontiveros: P16,720,359.73
  • Leila de Lima: P9,544,111.68

– Jacq Martinez/Rappler.com

Jacq Martinez, a Rappler intern, is a third year journalism student at the University of Santo Tomas. This article was reviewed by a Rappler reporter and an editor. Learn more about Rappler’s internship program here.