MANILA, Philippines – He’s the first senator to be arrested in connection with the public fund scandal. Might as well, since Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla’s alleged kickbacks from the pork barrel scam outweighs the entire net worth of the Sandiganbayan justices combined.
As of December 31, 2012, the 14 anti-graft court justices had a collective net worth of P215.65 million (US$4.9 million)* about P8.8 million ($200,000) less than the P224.5 million ($5.1 million) Revilla is accused of collecting in exchange for the alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) from years 2006-2010.
Revilla was the first senator against whom an arrest warrant was issued after the anti-graft court’s First Division found probable cause for his indictment. Separate plunder charges against his colleagues Senator Juan Ponce Enrile and Jinggoy Estrada are lodged with the 3rd and 5th divisions, respectively.
Enrile is accused of accumulating P172.83 million ($3.93 million) from 2004 to 2010, while Estrada is charged with amassing a total of P183.79 million ($4.18 million) from 2004 to 2012. (READ: 3 PH senators charged with plunder over PDAF scam)
How much they’re worth
Composed of 5 divisions with 3 justices each, the Sandiganbayan handles cases from plunder to violations of the Code of Conduct And Ethical Standards to offenses under the Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices law. While the primary target are erring public officials, private individuals involved in the misuse of public funds are also tried by the Court. (READ: Get to know the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan)
At present, the Court is composed of 14 members, with one vacancy following the retirement of former Presiding Justice Francisco Villaruz in 2013.
Framed in the context of the massive corruption scandal pending before them, how do the justices measure up financially?
Based on their December 31, 2012 Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth, 4 have not even breached the P5-million mark. Two even had an outstanding salary loan with the Government Service Insurance System.
First Division chairman Justice Efren de la Cruz declared a net worth of P9.68 million ($220,000), a third of which is in cash. Division members Justices Rodolfo Ponferrada and Rafael Lagos stated declared a net worth of P23.96 million ($544,545) and P14.82 million ($336,818) respectively.
Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, who also chairs the 3rd division, declared a net worth of P5.85 million ($132,955). Cabotaje-Tang may the first among equals in the Sandiganbayan but her wealth is no match to those of her division members. Justice Alex Quiroz had the highest net worth at P50 million ($1.14 million) while colleague Justice Samuel Martires had the second highest net worth at P40 million ($909,091)
The chairman of the 5th division, Justice Roland Jurado declared a net worth of P15.5 million ($352,273). Member Justice Alexander Gesmundo stated P4.14 million ($94,091), which is the fourth lowest in the anti-graft court. (Filling in the vacancy for the 3rd slot in the meantime is Quiroz.)
Herrera is ‘poorest’
The 2nd division failed to snag any of the first 3 sets of plunder complaints filed by the Ombudsman. Its chairman, Justice Teresita Baldos, had a net worth of P3.76 million ($85,455), the third lowest. Division members Justices Napoleon Inoturan had a net worth of P13.28 ($301,818) while Oscar Herrera Jr declared P2.8 million ($63,636) which is the lowest net worth among all.
On the other hand, the 4th division was excluded in the raffle of the plunder cases after its chairman Justice Gregory Ong inhibited. Ong begged off after he was investigated by the Supreme Court for his alleged links to alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles. His administrative case is still being deliberated on by the SC.
Ong’s net worth reached P16.25 million, while members Justices Jose Hernandez and Ma. Cristina Cornejo declared a net worth of P11.9 million ($270,455) and P3.12 million ($70,909), respectively. Cornejo’s net worth is second “lowest” among the magistrates.
Most liquid, most indebted, gun collection
Although the justices have filed their 2013 SALN, their 2012 SALNs are the latest available declaration released by the Court. This is the second time they have made their SALNs public.
Generally reclusive, the justices allow the public a peek into their assets and liabilities incurred by disclosing their SALNs.
Quiroz is the most liquid, with P11 million ($250,000) cash on hand. His assets, the bulk of which are real estate properties, are mostly part of inheritance.
Like Quiroz, Martires’ wealth is mostly inheritance in nature. But unlike Quiroz, the bulk of Martires’ inheritance is in the form of corporate shares amounting to P20 million ($454,545).
Inoturan had the biggest liabilities at P13.28 million ($301,818), the bulk of which are housing loans. In contrast, he may be the “poorest,” but Herrera is debt-free. Also with zero liabilities are De la Cruz and Hernandez.
For their part, Baldos and Jurado had outstanding salary loans with the GSIS, amounting to P250,000 ($5,682) and P212,920 ($4,839), respectively.
While most justices had banks and other institutions as their creditors, a few had outstanding loans with private individuals. Ong reported a total of P7.8 million ($177,273) in personal loans to two persons. Tang owed P2.1 million ($47,727) to one individual.
Among the justices, only Hernandez indicated guns as part of his personal properties. His collection of guns amounted to P570,000 ($12,955). – Rappler.com
*$1 = P44