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Everybody happy! Senators on last terms exiting richer

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by Xave Gregorio

All senators who are exiting the chamber in 2019 when they hit the end of their second term would be leaving with fatter pockets, as their wealth increased as they have been sitting in the Senate since 2007.

Leading the pack is the chamber’s perennial poorest Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, whose wealth tripled in the 10 years he has been sitting in the upper house.

According to his statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN), Trillanes, a former mutineer, entered the Senate with only P2.6 million, but he is set to exit the upper house with P6.9 million.

Trillanes’ wealth has been gradually increasing through the years, along with his liabilities, which are still reflected in his latest SALN from December 2017.

Following him is his fellow rebel from the military, Senator Gringo Honasan, whose wealth has doubled during his term at the upper chamber.

Honasan had just P12.2 million in 2007, when he was already on his third term in the Senate. This has gone up by 108 percent to P25.2 million in 2017.

The wealth of the senator, who has been implicated in the P10 billion pork barrel scam, has been increasing yearly by several millions, only slipping by a few hundred thousands in 2013 and 2015.

Next to Honasan is Senator Francis Escudero, who is only now recovering his losses after his separation from ex-wife Christine Elizabeth “Tintin” Flores.

From his first to his latest SALN, Escudero got richer by 13.82 percent to P6.9 million in 2017 from P2.6 million in 2007.

His wealth when he started as senator steadily increased to P9.9 million in 2011, but sank to just P4 million in 2012 following the split with Flores.

The senator’s wealth jumped to P6.1 million in 2014, just before his marriage to actress Heart Evangelista in 2015, when his net worth slumped again to P5.9 million.

He got richer the following year, earning P6.6 million. From 2016 to 2017, Escudero’s wealth increased by 28.78 percent.

Senator Loren Legarda, the richest among the lawmakers set to exit the Senate, is also leaving the chamber richer by 12 percent compared to her net worth in 2007 amounting to P46 million.

Legarda, who has been accused of failing to declare a New York property in her SALNs as senator, would be stepping down next year with at least P51.3 million in her pocket.

Her wealth remained in the P45 million level from 2007 to 2012, only dropping to P41.4 million in 2013.

Her net worth further slipped to P40 million in the following year and maintained it at that level until 2016.

However, she posted a 25.43 percent increase in her wealth from 2016 to 2017.