Which reelectionist lawmakers increased wealth?

MANILA, Philippines – At least 130 out of 238 available seats for district representatives will be occupied by members of the present Congress who sought another term and won in the 2016 elections. These reelectionists constitute roughly more than half of the incoming 17th Congress.

Last Wednesday, June 8, the House of Representatives released a summary of the information encoded in each of its members’ Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN). (READ: Absent-prone Pacquiao, Ledesma top list of richest congressmen in 2015

Rappler looked into the dataset and checked who among these returning congressmen had the biggest gains in their net worth during their past term.  

Comparing their 2013 and 2015 net worth, it turns out that there are 11 reelectionists who doubled – or even quadrupled – their wealth in the last 3 years. (READ: 224 members of Congress richer in 2014

A big gainer who is pursuing a return to Congress come June 30 is Dinagat Islands Representative Arlene “Kaka” Bag-ao. The ruling Liberal Party (LP) member and human rights lawyer recorded a growth rate of 505% in her net worth from 2013 to 2015.

Here are other district representatives who doubled their wealth:

The list includes former president and incumbent Pampanga 2nd district Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. From P136.8 million in 2013, her net worth rose to P393.9 million 3 years after. Arroyo, who has been under hospital arrest at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center since 2012, has no recorded liabilities for 2015.

Meanwhile, Catanduanes Representative Cesar Sarmiento became neither richer nor poorer during his second term. The former LP lawmaker, who recently took his oath before President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan, consistently filed a net worth of P4.65 million.

Poorer

But while most of the returning congressmen became richer, there are also a number whose wealth dropped.

Cagayan de Oro 1st district Representative Rolando Uy lost over P36.6 million in the last years he served in Congress. This amounts to a 72% decline from his P50.5 million in 2013 to P13.9 million in 2015. 

Following Uy in the “biggest losers” list are Antipolo City 2nd district Representative Romeo Acop and Quezon City 2nd district Representative Winston Castelo. Both lost half their wealth in the last 3 years.

There are about 30 reelectionists who became “poorer” after their 3-year term. This includes former First Lady and incumbent Ilocos Norte 2nd district Representative Imelda Marcos whose wealth decreased by a mere 0.5% from 2013 and 2015.  

– Rappler.com

Editor's note: In an earlier version of this story, Bohol 2nd District Representative Erico Aristotle Aumentado was listed as among the biggest gainers among congressmen in terms of wealth in 2015, compared to 2013. This was based on a summary of the SALNs of congressmen released by the House of Representatives Media Office to reporters.

Aumentado, however, clarified to Rappler that his 2015 net worth was only P4,771,380.89 and not P44,771,380.89 as erroneously cited in the House summary. This is lower than his 2013 net worth of P5.2 million. 

The House of Representatives has also corrected their entry. Here's a copy of the letter they wrote to Aumentado: 

 

Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.

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