CJ ‘accusers’ wealth increase

PNS — THE wealth of the House prosecution team members has increased, according to their Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN) for 2011.

However, spokespersons of the team, Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara and Marikina Rep. Romero Quimbo, said there is nothing irregular in the increase because their wealth grew because of their business investments.

Among those who have increased their networth are: Isabel Rep. Giorgidi Aggabao from P58.4 million 2010 to P68.7 million in 2011; Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya, P46.9 million in 2010 to P55.5 million in 2011; Dasmarinas City Rep. Elpidio Barzaga, P49.8 million to P53.1 million in 2011; Occidental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, P18.3 million to P22.9 million in 2011; lead prosecutor Iloilo Rep. Neil Tupas Jr., P44.4 million to P47.5 million and Deputy Speaker Raul Daza from P32.6 million to P34.2 million.

Even the spokespersons’ networth slightly increased: Angara, from P94.4 million to P98.9 million in 2011; Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tanada, from P12.5 million to P16.5 and Quimbo from P9.9 million to P10 million.

Meanwhile, while he is the richest member of the prosecution team, Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo Farinas’ wealth remained at P195.7 million.

One of the poorest members of the group is Citizens Battle Against Corruption (Cibac) Rep. Sherwin Tugna whose networth was P3.8 million in 2011 as it was in 2010.

The two ladies of the prosecution group have also higher networth: Pangasinan Rep.Marilyn Primicias-Aggabas, richer by P600,000 from P4.6 million to P5.2 million
and Akbayan Rep. Kaka Bag-ao from P712,000 to P1 million.

The poorest in the group is Bayan Muna Rep. Nereo Colmenares whose networth dipped from P1.1 million in 2010 to P697,000 in 2011.

In a press conference, the spokespersons said that people should not question lawmakers if their wealth increased because like ordinary people they are also working.

“Kami nagi-increase yung SALN kasi diba nagtatrabaho ako. Yung misis ko nagtatrabaho. Yung investments namin syempre kumikita naman yung iba dun. I think that’s a reasonable explanation,” Angara said.

Quimbo said there is nothing wrong if their networth increases.

“Siguro kahit papaano dumadagdag. Dapat bang bumabawas? Siguro kung consistent. Ibig sabihin hindi ba dapat tumataas through time? Kung dumadagdag man yun ay dapat maipapaliwanag,” Quimbo said.