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Cusi’s P1.43-B net worth highest among Cabinet members in 2019

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi surpassed Public Works Secretary Mark Villar’s net worth last year, making him the richest Cabinet member for the first time since the Duterte administration took office in 2016.

Cusi had a net worth of P1.429 billion in 2019 as compared to Villar’s P1.407 billion, according to asset statements obtained by GMA News Online from the Malacañang Records Office this week.

The bulk of Cusi’s personal wealth is in cash, placements, jewelries, furniture and fixtures (P1.249 billion) followed by investments in shares of stocks (P137.469 million). He declared zero liabilities.

A high-ranking official of Duterte’s political party PDP-Laban, Cusi is a former businessman who had managed companies involved in logistics and distribution, manning and crewing, and maritime engineering as well as convenience stores.

Villar, a son of real estate tycoon and former Senate president Manny Villar and incumbent Senator Cynthia Villar, saw his net worth drop by P836,738 in 2019. He had a net worth of P1.408 billion in 2018.

Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III retained the third spot with a declared net worth of P369.09 million, with zero liabilities.

Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade (P310.733 million) and Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Martin Andanar (P172.027 million) ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.

In sixth place is Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, whose wealth grew from P120.076 million in 2018 to P137.224 million last year or a difference of P17.148 million.

The declared wealth of other Cabinet members and Cabinet-level officials whose Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALNs) were made available by the Palace is as follows:

  • Former Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia: P120.367 million
  • Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. : P102.539 million
  • Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo: P77.723 million
  • Agriculture Secretary William Dar: P71.960 million
  • Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea: P57.645 million
  • Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez: P48.300 million
  • Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat: P43.869 million
  • Information and Communications Technology Secretary Gregorio Honasan II: P30.030 million
  • Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año: P29.529 million
  • Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu: P27.415 million
  • Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Carlito Galvez Jr. : P25.922 million
  • Human Settlements and Urban Development Secretary Eduardo Del Rosario: P23.610 million
  • Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III: P17.350 million
  • Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana: P16.154 million
  • Social Welfare and Development Secretary Rolando Bautista: P15.750 million
  • Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra: P15.159 million
  • Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles: P14.685 million
  • Science and Technology Secretary Fortunato dela Peña: P13.011 million
  • Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado: P12.498 million
  • Acting Presidential Management Staff Head Ferdinand Cui Jr. : P10.946 million
  • Education Secretary Leonor Briones: P10.863 million
  • Agrarian Reform Secretary John Castriciones: P7 million

The SALNs of National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Director General Isidro Lapeña, Presidential Legislative Liaison Office chief Adelino Sitoy and presidential spokesperson Harry Roque, who rejoined the government in April, were not immediately available.

Under the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, public servants are required to file their SALN within 30 days after assumption of office, on or before April 30 of every following year, and within 30 days after separation from the service.

But the deadline for the submission of the SALN forms to the appropriate repository agencies was extended by the Civil Service Commission to October 31 this year.

The Palace had earlier referred the release of President Rodrigo Duterte’s SALNs for 2018 and 2019 to the Office of the Ombudsman, which is the repository of the original SALNs of the President, the Vice President and members of constitutional bodies.

However, Ombudsman Samuel Martires, in a controversial move in September, tightened the rules on the release of SALNs.

Martires, who secured his previous post at the Supreme Court and current one at the Ombudsman through an appointment by Duterte, argued that such restriction would protect public officials from being wrongfully accused since the SALN can be weaponized by political rivals. — BM, GMA News

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