Philippine congressman Manny Pacquiao is House 1st billionaire

Manila (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) - Manny Pacquiao, one of the world's highest paid athletes, is now the first billionaire member of the Philippines House of Representatives.

Ricardo Bering, chief of the House records division, told reporters that boxing's pound-for-pound king reported a net worth of more than 1 billion pesos (US$23 million) in his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN).

The 285 members of Congress were given until April 30 to submit their SALN.

Although official copies of the SALN would be available to the public by next week, Bering confirmed Pacquiao's lofty status.

In previous years, the Villar couple then Las Piñas representatives Manuel Villar (now a senator) and his wife Cynthia--were the richest House members, but they never breached the 1-billion-peso mark in their SALN.

In 2009, Cynthia Villar reported a net worth of 947.883 million pesos ($22 million). Her Las Piñas seat is now held by son Mark.

The Magazine of the US TV sports network ESPN on Monday said that Pacquiao was the world's highest paid athlete in 2010, raking in $32 million from two sold-out fights--against Ghana's Joshua Clottey in March and Mexico's Antonio Margarito in November. The pay was equal to what baseball superstar Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees got, ESPN said. Pacquiao's earnings do not include his income outside the ring such as his various endorsement deals.

Disclosure of Pacquiao's net worth came amid intense scrutiny by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) of lawmakers' income tax payments.

Bering said BIR Commissioner Kim Henares had sent the House a letter seeking a copy of the SALN of Pacquiao, Bulacan Rep. Linabelle Ruth Villarica and the former presidential sons--Ang Galing Pinoy party-list Rep. Juan Miguel "Mikey" Arroyo and Camarines Sur Rep. Diosdado "Dato" Arroyo.

Mikey and his wife Angela have been accused of tax evasion in 73.85 million pesos ($1.7 million) for failing to file the proper income tax based on the increasing value of their net worth as seen from their SALN reports from 2004 to 2010.

The BIR recently advised Dato that it was also scrutinizing his SALN from 2007 to 2010.

Both Arroyos complained that they were being singled out and that their cases were being used to divert the public's attention away from the country's pressing problems, such as the rising cost of fuel and commodities.

Mikey slammed what he called a "trial by publicity," claiming that the government had released the information on tax evasion charges or tax probes to the media before the Arroyos were informed by the BIR.

The older son of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who is now a Pampanga representative, also claimed that even before he got word from a special Department of Justice (DoJ) panel about his tax evasion charges, media were already reporting that he was being subpoenaed to produce documents in the case.

"I am willing to cooperate in the preliminary investigation because I have not committed any crime or wrongdoing and have nothing to hide. But inasmuch as I would want to take part and answer the allegations leveled against me and my wife, I have yet to receive a copy of the subpoena from the DoJ.

"This seems to reinforce our earlier belief that this whole controversy is one big publicity stunt to further malign our name in public with baseless and malicious accusations. This is all trial by publicity, plain and simple," said Mikey in a statement.

With a report from Christine O. Avendaño

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • Britain's tied visa rules fuel abuse of live-in maids, nannies

    By Katie Nguyen LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - When Susi, a single mother from the Philippines, left for a job in Qatar, she convinced herself it was a sacrifice worth making for her children at home. For more than a year, Susi's sacrifice involved waking before dawn and working past midnight, cooking, cleaning and looking after a Qatari family. Conditions deteriorated when Susi was brought to Britain by her boss. …

  • SE Asia Stocks - Philippines at four-month low after Q1 GDP miss

    BANGKOK, May 28 (Reuters) - Philippine shares hit a more than four-month low on Thursday after economic growth in the first quarter was slower than expected, while Thai stocks retreated after disappointing ... …

  • Philippine economic growth slows to 5.2 percent in 1Q

    MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Sluggish government spending slowed Philippine economic growth in the first quarter of this year, officials said Thursday. …

  • PSE to sell Makati and Ortigas offices
    PSE to sell Makati and Ortigas offices

    Set to move to a unified headquarters in Bonifacio Global City in 2016, the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) has issued plans to sell their offices in Makati and Ortigas. PSE President Hans Sicat issued that PSE means to sell the offices, but that they may also opt to rent them out instead. …

  • ‘Inland areas could be exposed to tsunami-like waves’
    ‘Inland areas could be exposed to tsunami-like waves’

    While strong earthquakes cause tsunamis in coastal areas, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned that inland areas could also be exposed to tsunami-like waves, or seiche, if located near or around bodies of water. In a recent earthquake awareness seminar in Muntinlupa, Phivolcs supervising science research specialist Joan Salcedo explained that a seiche is a large wave similar to a tsunami, triggered by strong ground shaking from an earthquake or volcanic …

  • China gives ‘gentle reminder’ to Phl, warns small nations
    China gives ‘gentle reminder’ to Phl, warns small nations

    China gave the Philippines a “gentle reminder” last Tuesday that Beijing will not bully small countries but warned these nations not to make trouble willfully and endlessly. “Here is a gentle reminder to the Philippines: China will not bully small countries, meanwhile, small countries shall not make trouble willfully and endlessly. The Chinese Foreign Ministry also said that China would continue to build other civilian facilities on relevant maritime features in the disputed Spratly Islands …

  • Back-channel diplomacy pushed for Phl-China dispute
    Back-channel diplomacy pushed for Phl-China dispute

    The Philippines should consider backchannel diplomacy to prevent its territorial dispute with China from deteriorating further, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said yesterday. There are a lot of Filipino businessmen with businesses in China and they have friends and connections there. Let’s utilize that, ask them to talk to their friends on how we can resolve this matter peacefully,” Marcos said. …

  • Phl, Japan to deepen ties amid China sea claims
    Phl, Japan to deepen ties amid China sea claims

    Japan and the Philippines are set to bolster security ties when President Benigno Aquino visits Tokyo next week, the latest move by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to beef up cooperation with Southeast Asian nations facing China’s growing naval ambitions. The two sides will likely agree to start talks on a framework for the transfer of defense equipment and technology and to discuss a possible pact on the status of Japanese military personnel visiting the Philippines to facilitate joint training and …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options