MANILA, Philippines – Debt incurred for the payment of the electoral protest fee caused the net worth of Vice President Leni Robredo to dip to P1.114 million, down by P7.7 million in a span of a year.
Robredo's net worth as of December 31, 2017 stood at P1,114,102.84, compared to her net worth of P8,878,111.43 as of December 31, 2016.
This dip was reflected in Robredo's 2017 Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN), a copy of which was released on Wednesday, May 16, by the Office of the Ombudsman as requested.
The dip was largely caused by debt incurred to pay the fee of the ongoing electoral protest filed against her by former senator Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. The protest is now undergoing initial recount at the Supreme Court (SC) sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET).
Robredo's P6.9-million liability in December 2016 grew to P11.9 million. The P5-million difference was brought by the amounts she borrowed from Vicente Hao Chin (P2 million), Pablito Chua (P1 million), and Rafael Bundoc (P2 million) to help pay for the P8-million deposit fee required by the PET in May 2017.
The Robredo camp had said the Vice President used her personal funds to pay for the rest.
From cash assets worth P8,940,111 in December 2016, she only has cash worth P6,176,102.84 as of December 2017.
"She had to borrow money to pay protest fees required by the PET. Supportive citizens raised money through contributions and attempted to submit to the PET, but the petition was denied. So VP had to raise money herself," Robredo's legal adviser Barry Gutierrez said.
Gutierrez was referring to the P7.5 million raised by the group Piso Para sa Laban ni Leni to help Robredo pay the fees. The PET did not allow the group to do so, ruling with finality in December 2017.
There were no changes in 8 of Robredo's real estate properties in Naga City, worth a total of P1.735 million. As of December 2017, she still has two residential lots, 3 agricultural lots, one orchard, a memorial lot in Eternal Gardens, and the Robredo residence – all in Naga City.
Robredo still listed herself as having "shares of stock" in Meralco, but the amount was unspecified.
In her 2017 SALN, Robredo listed as her personal properties the following: cash, P6,176,102.84; furniture, appliances, and other equipment, P1.5 million; jewelry, P100,000; prepaid insurance, P630,000; 2010 Toyota Innova, P1.123 million; and 2014 Toyota Grandia, P1.75 million.
While the revision teams conduct a manual recount of ballot boxes from 3 pilot provinces, the PET stands to decide on Robredo's appeal to acknowledge a P25% shading threshold for vote counts.
The PET asked Marcos and the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to comment on Robredo's motion on April 24, before the Court took a writing break that will last the whole month of May. (The May 11 Sereno quo warranto vote was a special session.)
Marcos accused Robredo of electoral fraud after the latter beat him in the 2016 vice presidential elections by just 263,473 votes. – Rappler.com