MANILA , MAY 1, 2010
(STAR) By Michael Punongbayan - President Arroyo’s wealth has more than doubled to P145.7 million since assuming power in 2001.

Based on her Statements of Assets and Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) filed with the Office of the Ombudsman, Mrs. Arroyo’s net worth grew by P79 million from only P66.7 million.

Her SALN also showed her stocks and notes receivables at P71.3 million and P13.8 million, respectively, as of Dec. 31 last year.

Her cash on hand and in banks went down from P53.3 million in 2001 to P39.4 million last year, but the value of her jewelry went up to P3.4 million from only P1.2 million nine years ago.

When Mrs. Arroyo became President in 2001, she declared no outstanding obligations or debts other than a P3.5-million car loan from the Export and Industry Bank for a Toyota Lexus.

The value of her real properties likewise increased by P2.1 million from P3.5 million nine years ago to P5.6 million as of Dec. 31, 2009.

She still owns the same house and lot in Baguio; a residential lot in Antipolo; a commercial lot in Tayabas, Quezon; and an agricultural lot in Nasugbu, Batangas.

Her 2009 SALN shows that she now also owns raw land in Coron, Palawan worth a little over P2 million and a fish pond in Malolos, Bulacan worth P507,800.

The President’s 2008 SALN made news last year after it showed a P44.9-million increase in her net worth supposedly because of the sale of her agricultural land in San Rafael, Bulacan.

Her 2008 SALN said she was worth P144.5 million from P99.6 million in 2007. Her wealth in 2007 was P11 million higher than the previous year’s.

Mrs. Arroyo’s 2009 SALN was her last as president. But under Republic Act 6713, she is required to submit another within 30 days after her last day in office on June 30.

In 2001, her SALN declared no other business interests and financial connections for her and her spouse but in 2008 and 2009, her SALN listed First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo as stockholder of La Vista Investments and Holdings Inc.

Nine years ago, Mrs. Arroyo listed six relatives working in government including Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel Arroyo who was then vice governor of the province; Carlos de Leon who was then an assistant court administrator of the Supreme Court and is now an executive assistant in Malacañang; and Erlinda de Leon who was a confidential secretary and now an assistant at the Office of the President.

Her 2009 SALN now lists three more family members in government – Rep. Diosdado Arroyo of Bicol, Rep. Ignacio Arroyo Jr. of Negros Occidental, and Ma. Lourdes T. Arroyo of a party-list group.

Meanwhile, at a forum on “Clark-Subic corridor” at Clark Freeport in Pampanga, Mrs. Arroyo said that she would be “very happy” to step down after her term in June.

Former Subic-Clark Alliance for Development Council chairman Edgardo Pamintuan praised Mrs. Arroyo for her role in the development of Clark and Subic freeports.

“Even the strongest critics of the President have conceded (to the President’s accomplishments) although perhaps grudgingly,” Pamintuan said, citing a 115 percent increase in investments in Clark and 67 percent improvement in Subic from 2000 to 2009.

Pamintuan also cited a 179 percent increase in employment at both Clark and Subic since 2000. with Ding Cervantes

Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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