Lapid says wife Marissa is rich

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02:07 AM January 27th, 2012

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SEN. LITO LAPID and wife Marissa were part of President Arroyo’s entourage during her US visit in July 2009. Photo taken in Washington. INQUIRER PHOTO

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—Senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid on Thursday said that his wife, Marissa, who has been arrested in the United States for violating American travel restrictions, had the means to carry  $50,000 for her travels abroad.

So, why didn’t she declare it?

Foreign travelers are only allowed to bring $10,000 into the United States.

Marissa has been freed on bail in Las Vegas.

Lapid said his wife was carrying her own money, rejecting rumors she was smuggling his money into a foreign country.

“She has many businesses,” Lapid said when the Philippine Daily Inquirer asked how Marissa obtained such a big amount of cash.

Lapid did not give details about his wife’s businesses, saying it was up to her to disclose information about her private affairs.

“She earns her own money. She’s a business-minded woman,” Lapid said.

Lawyer hired

Queried on the case, Raul Hernandez, spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs, said: “We are in the process of getting information from authorities and persons concerned about the case in order to see what possible assistance we could extend to Mrs. Lapid.”

In a statement released in Manila last night, Lapid said his wife had already hired a lawyer to represent her in a US court.

“This is an unfortunate event but my wife is ready to answer all issues about this incident.  She already has a lawyer to help her with the case,” Lapid said in Filipino.

“We are still waiting for the details of the case from her lawyer and we would rather hear information about the case first before issuing further reactions,” he added.

Trading sand

In the Lapids’ hometown of Porac, Marissa is known to own and operate Marissa Hall, a multipurpose building that she rents out to the public.

Residents interviewed by the Inquirer said that Marissa and her family, who belong to the Tadeo clan, were also engaged in hauling and trading sand in the town.

The Lapid family is also reputed to own tracts of land in Porac.  With reports from Cathy C. Yamsuan and Tina Santos in Manila

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