Party-list rep is richest lawmaker
MANILA, Philippines — The leader of the party list bloc in the House of Representatives remains the richest member of the outgoing 17th Congress, according to records released by the House secretariat on Wednesday.
1-Pacman Rep. Michael “Mikee” Romero, president of the Party-list Coalition Foundation, Inc., posted a net worth of about P7.9 billion to retain his ranking as the wealthiest member of Congress.
Romero’s party list group, One Patriotic Coalition of Marginalized Nationals (1-Pacman), supposedly stands for the “marginalized sector, including fisherfolk, farmers, peasants and those involved in other agriculture extension services,” according to its website.
Trailing Romero as wealthiest House member is Negros Occidental 3rd District Rep. Alfredo Abelardo “Albee” Benitez, who posted a net worth of a little over P1 billion.
Benitez takes the spot formerly occupied by then Diwa party list Rep. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, who has since been appointed undersecretary of the Department of Justice. She is married to Public Works Secretary Mark Villar.
The third richest House member is outgoing Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Romualdez Marcos with P923.8 million net worth. The former first lady was convicted by the Sandiganbayan for seven counts of graft for using Swiss bank accounts to stash millions from the country’s coffers.
The others in the list are: former Speaker and outgoing Quezon City Rep. Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte, Jr. (P864.75 million), party list lawmaker and Manila Teachers Rep. Virgilio Lacson (P793.87 million), Representatives Bayani Fernando (Marikina City, P748 million), Antonio Floirendo Jr. (Davao del Norte, P714.6 million), Vilma Santos-Recto (Batangas, P555.3 million), Yedda Romualdez (Leyte, P487.6 million) and House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (Pampanga, P479.54 million).
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