NEOPHYTE lawmaker Michael Odylon Romero, representing 1-PACMAN Party-list, is the richest member from the House of Representatives with a declared total assets of P7 billion as of December 2016.
Romero is wealthier than Senate’s billionaires -- Senators Cynthia Villar and Manny Pacquiao -- who declared over P3 billion net worth each.
Romero has total assets of P7.058 billion and total liabilities of P48.41 million, resulting in a net worth of P7.009 billion, according to the summary of 2016 Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) released by the House of Representatives to media yesterday.
However, Romero has not attended the sessions at the House of Representatives since January this year. The Department of Justice last July has also reinstated the P3.4-million qualified theft case filed against Romero and two other former officials of Harbour Centre Port Terminal Inc. (HCPTI) -- HCPTI chief operating officer Edwin Jeremillo and former cashier Felicia Aquino -- by the solon’s father, construction magnate Reghis Romero II.
Another House solon billionaire is Democratic Independent Workers Association (DIWA) Party-list Rep. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, whose husband Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar is the richest member of the Cabinet.
Aglipay-Villar, who is also the caretaker of lone district of Las Piñas vacated by her husband, has net worth of P1.4 billion.
Close to being billionaires are Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez with P942 million, Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos with P917 million, and former Speaker of the House, Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr. with P852 million.
The other five richest solons are Manila Teachers Rep. Virgilio Lacson, P768 million; Marikina City Rep. Bayani Fernando, P738 million; Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto, P522 million; Davao del Norte Rep. Antonio Floirendo Jr., P491 million; Leyte Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez, P477 million.
Former President now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was 11th place with P434.6 million net worth while Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has P86.4 million net worth.
Meanwhile, Kabataan Rep. Sarah Jane Elago is the poorest House member with P50,000 total net worth.
Others with with fewer net worth are Camarines Sur Rep. Gabriel Bordado Jr., P179,071; GABRIELA Party-list Rep. Arlene Brosa, P501,000; KALINGA Party-list Rep. Abigail Faye Ferriol-Pascual, P672,050.88, and COOP NATCO Party-list Representative Sabiano Canama, P780,000.
Completing the list of poorest, but still millionaires, are: ACT Teachers Party-list Representative France Castro, P904,053; GABRIELA Rep. Emmi De Jesus, P1.2 million; YACAP Party-list Rep. Benhur Lopez Jr., P1.255 million; Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Carlos Zarate, P1.351 million and AASENSO Party-list Rep. Teodoro Montoro, P1.7 million.
The SALN summaries are traditionally released on the second week of May or two weeks after the deadline of filing every April 30th.
The summary contains the declaration of assets, liabilities and net worth of House solons. A copy of the detailed SALN of a lawmaker can be obtained only upon approval of a formal request justifying the need for the document.