Speaker Belmonte richer due to sale of Philstar shares
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. has become richer by nearly half a billion pesos after he sold his 20-percent stake in the Philippine Star Group last year.
Belmonte confirmed to reporters Monday that his statement of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) showed that he gained P443 million in 2011, which made him the third-richest member of the House of Representatives, behind Saranggani Representative Manny Pacquiao and Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Marcos.
“It’s true there was a substantial increase in my [net worth],” Belmonte said. “I sold shares of Philstar Group to the Pangilinan Group or PLDT Group. We have a 20-percent stake in these companies. As founders of these companies, me and my late wife, Betty, got our shares at par value. Now due to the success of the group, we got a higher value for our shares,” Belmonte explained.
Belmonte reported a net worth of P726.2 million in 2011, an increase of P443 million from P283.2 million in 2010.
He said he paid all the capital gains taxes and declared his huge payout in his SALN “in the spirit of the times.”
Belmonte led 188 congressmen in impeaching Chief Justice Renato Corona in December for failure to disclose his personal finances as required by law.
MediaQuest Holdings Inc., led by PLDT chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, announced in 2009 that it was acquiring an 87.5-percent stake in Philippine Star and its sister publications for a hefty P4 billion as part of a “media convergence.”
MediaQuest has also acquired interests in the Philippine Daily Inquirer and in BusinessWorld.