Bilyonaryos in Congress: Mikee Romero, Albee Benitez lead richest congressmen
By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN
Port magnate and 1-Pacman Party-list Rep. Mikee Romero has remained the richest lawmaker in the House of Representatives.
Romero has declared a net worth value of P7.858-billion based on the summary of the Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net (SALN) of members of the House of Representatives for 2018 which was posted on the agency’s website.
Romero, also president of the 54-man Party-list Coalition Foundation Inc. (PCFI), has increased his stake in the airline operator Philippines AirAsia, Inc. to become the single largest shareholder in the low-cost carrier.
The Romero-led F&S Holding has acquired the shares held by Philippines AirAsia chairman Marianne Hontiveros and Zest-O Corp. founder Alfredo M. Yao in the airline company, bringing its stake to 44.4% from 15.7% previously.
Meanwhile Visayan bloc convenor and outgoing Negros Rep. Alfredo “Albee” Benitez place second with a declared net wort vaule of P1.017 billion.
Benitez is expected to head the newly-created Department of Housing and Urban Settlement after being recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte by outgoing House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.
Former First Lady and outgoing Ilocos Norte Rep. Imelda Romualdez Marcos who was convicted of multiple counts of graft in November 2018 placed third with a declared net worth of P923.8 million.
Former House Speaker and outgoing Quezon City Rep. Feliciano Belmonte Jr. placed fourth with P864.8 million net worth wealth, and followed by Manila Teachers Rep. Virgilio Lacson (5th) with P793.9 million, and Marikina Rep. Bayani Fernando (6th) with P748 million.
Rounding up the top 10 richest House members were outgoing Davao del Norte 2nd Rep. Antonio “Tony Boy” Floirendo Jr. (P714.6 million), reelected Batangas Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto (P555.3 million), Leyte Rep. Yedda Romualdez (P487.6 million), and Arroyo (P479.5 million).