Duterte wealth untouched by elections

Duterte wealth untouched by elections
PCIJ: In Sara Duterte's case, some unusual situations are apparent, in terms of sudden and sharp rise in her net worth

PART 1: 
The Duterte wealth: Unregistered law firm, undisclosed biz interests, rice import deal for creditor
PART 2.1: Duterte, Sara, Paolo mark big spikes in wealth, cash while in public office

MANILA, Philippines – Since 1998, President Rodrigo Duterte has run 7 times for different posts: once as congressman for the 1st District of Davao City (1998), 4 times as mayor of Davao City (2001, 2004, 2007, and 2013), once as vice mayor of the same city (2010), and once as President of the Philippines (2016).

In all these election years, Rodrigo Duterte did not only win the post he ran for; he also managed to leave his cash assets untouched for campaign purposes. In fact, his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs) during these years would indicate increases in his cash assets, except for the one he filed in 2001, when he ran again as Davao City Mayor. 

In the 2013 elections, Rodrigo Duterte ran unopposed for mayor of Davao City. In his campaign-finance documents, he declared a meager P85,884 in campaign expenditures, with the bulk of that amount  – P60,000 – going to meals and drinks at the After Dark Piano Bar. His submitted papers also say that he did not receive any contribution and had zero unpaid obligations.

His 2013 SALN would reflect a P723,000 increase in his total net worth from 2012. Broken down, this was due in part to an uptick of P1.023 million in his cash assets and P50,000 in jewelry. And while the worth of his vehicles slid by P500,00, there was also a decrease of P150,000 in his liabilities.  

In the 2016 presidential elections, Duterte reported a total of P375 million cash and in-kind contributions. He said that he used P371.5 million for his campaign, with P200,000 coming from his personal funds. That would therefore leave some P3.7 million in unspent funds from the contributions he had received. 

Duterte’s net worth rose by P3.9 million from 2015 to 2016, based on the SALNs he filed during these two years. In fact, much of the increase happened in just 6 months, between June and December 2016, when his net worth somehow shot up by P3.35 million. 

His December 2016 SALN reflects an increase of P3.6 million in cash assets compared with the corresponding figure in his December 2015 SALN, plus “Other Personal Properties” valued at P1 million. Yet even as his liabilities declined by P200,000, his investments decreased as well, by P900,000, during this period. Then again, 2016 was when he divested from Honda Cars Gen. Santos – his only for-profit private interest appearing in his SALNs since 2000 — which should translate to an increase in his cash assets.

Sudden, sharp rise

In Sara’s case, some unusual situations are apparent, in terms of sudden and sharp rise in her net worth; for certain years, her real assets and personal properties kept growing, despite parallel increases in her liabilities.

A year after she was elected vice mayor in 2007, her declared net worth of P7.25 million grew to P18.49 million in 2008. Curated data using belated declarations of acquisition costs, however, reflect a more modest increase of P4.6 million in her net worth from P13.88 in 2007.

Yet, her marriage to fellow lawyer Manases R. Carpio in October 2008 may have boosted her net worth only slightly at this time. Sara reported in her 2008 SALN an annual gross salary of P340,000, and an annual gross family income of only P667,422. By these amounts, it would be hard to explain the significant rise in her net worth, and acquisition of more real assets, from 2007 to 2008 – declared or curated.

She reported an even bigger increase in her net worth as mayor in 2012 of P22.12 million, from just P14.27 million in 2011. She had in 2012 slightly more liabilities of P8.69 million (an additional P1.14 million), but also huge upticks in her real assets at P18.59 million (an additional P7.79 million) and personal assets at P12.22 million (an additional P1.2 million). 

In 2011, Sara had liabilities of P7.55 million, real assets of only P10.80 million, and personal properties of only P11.02 million.

Bigger after break

After a 3-year break from public office, Sara reported in her 2016 SALN a net worth of  P34.9 million, or 58% more than her SALN filing in 2012 of P22.12 million. A P12-million increase in the value of her real assets accounted for the difference.

But the biggest increase in her net worth year-to-year was recorded in her 2017 SALN, filed nearly a year after she returned to work as mayor of Davao City, and her father was elected President. Sara’s net worth in 2017 climbed to P44.83 million, or an increase of 28.45% from what she had declared the year before. This time, the difference came from a surge in her personal assets, which in 2016 was only P11.30 million but ballooned to P20.59 million in 2017, or an additional P9.29 million. 

In her 2017 SALN, Sara reported that her cash on hand/in bank had grown to P6.37 million (up from P3.75 million in 2016); vehicle/van and vehicle/motorcycles valued at a combined P4.1 million (from P2.53 million in 2016); and her “Other Personal Properties” valued at P3.62 million (from P1.18 million in 2015).

She reported, too, that in 2017, her husband Manases had a P3.4-million vehicle bought in 2014; P1.45-million pick-up bought in 2017; and P1.64 million in “Other Personal Properties.” In her 2016 SALN, Sara said that Manases owned only these personal assets: the P3.4-million car and P500,000 in “Other Personal Properties.”

Her 2017 SALN also shows P30.55 million in real assets and liabilities of P6.31 million.

Paolo: Same path

Paolo’s net worth tracked a similar path. The SALN he filed in 2007on his first year in office as barangay captain showed a net worth of P8.34 million that rose by 98% in 2008 to P16.51 million, when he reported the acquisition values of all 7 real properties. 

In his 2008 SALN, his real assets represented acquisition costs of real properties and vehicles bringing the amount up to P13.74 million. Sans the vehicles, he declared his personal assets at P4.27 million.

Curated data of his 2007 and 2008 SALNs using acquisition costs of his real properties and reflecting acquisition costs of vehicles under personal properties, Paolo’s 2008 net worth reflects an increase of P4.77 million, and increases in real and personal assets computed at P3.33 million and P342,020, respectively.

In his 2008 SALN, Paolo reported receiving an annual gross salary of only P324,624 as barangay captain, and an annual gross family income of P951,926.33. These amounts could hardly explain the huge uptick in his net worth from 2007 to 2008.

Paolo would experience his second net-worth upsurge in 2017, although by December of that year he would resign as vice mayor of Davao City.

From P19.84 million in 2016, Paolo’s net worth rose to P27.74 million in 2017, an increase of P7.9 million or 39.8%. 

What accounted for the rise is his personal assets’ growth from only P7.82 million in 2016 to P13.32 million in 2017. Paolo reported that he had P4.3 million more cash on hand (P7.29 million from only P3 million in 2016); acquired P500,000 more jewelry and firearms and P110,000 more furniture/furnishings; and invested an additional P600,000 in 2017. The increase in his net worth was also boosted by a P2-million decrease in his liabilities.

Like his father and kid sister, Paolo had also come out of the 2016 elections with his wallet intact. In fact, from having a declared net worth of P18.54 million in 2015, Paolo in 2016 had a net worth of P19.84 million. (To be continued) – with infographics by Arnel Rival, PCIJ, April 2019

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