Wealth Check: GRACE POE, Galing at Puso

ACCORDING to the few SALNs she had filed in her short stint in public office – as chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board (MTRCB) in 2010-2012, and as senator since 2013 – Grace Poe’s wealth story is one of unexplained progressively declining riches.

She started off with a net worth of P152.53 million in 2010. This slipped to P132.25 million in 2011, recovered to P148.9 million in December 2013, then skidded again to P89.46 million in 2014.

What is puzzling about Poe’s wealth is this: She has reduced the values of her real and other assets by a third to half in the last four years, even as she also managed to reduce her debts by a fourth during the same period.

In short, Poe has been declaring much less assets but also much less loans, and a net worth cut to half in four years alone. Why all the numbers in her SALN covering both her assets and her liabilities are going down, is an intractable equation.

During her first year in public office, Poe declared a mix of inherited (from her late father Fernando Poe Jr.’s estate) and acquired real properties worth P134.4 million, personal and other properties of P63.45 million, and liabilities of P45.31 million.

Four years later in 2014, all her numbers hit the doldrums for reasons not quite clear in her SALNs.

Last year, Poe put her real properties – all residential units – to be worth P95 million only (down P39.4 million or 29 percent less in value). She did not declare owning any commercial, agricultural, or mixed-use real estate.

In 2014, too, Poe’s personal and other properties also declined to P31.9 million (down P31.55 million or 49.7 percent less in value). Nonetheless, the amount included, she said, P22 million in investments in such entities as:

• JSP Realty and Development Corp.;
• 226 Wilson Development, Corp.;
• Chambrant L. Holdings Corp.;
• The Health Cube Rehabilitation and Wellness Center;
• AB Design Studio and Trading Corp.;
• Filinvest Land Inc.;
• Sunlife Property Balanced Fund;
• San Miguel Corporation A;
• 226 Wilson Development, Corp.; and
• FPJ Productions, Inc.

To make matters more confusing, in 2014, Poe’s indebtedness also declined from P45.31 million in 2010 to just P37.4 million, down nearly P8 million or 20 percent in a year’s time.

In her SALN for 2015, Poe declared a net worth of P89,118,760.02, assets of P125 million, and liabilities of P36 million.

As of Dec. 31, 2015, she said she owned a total of 30 real properties, including 14 pieces of mostly residential real properties she purchased from 1992 to 2010 with aggregate acquisition cost of P95,002,568.81.

The 14 included two house and lots in California, U.S.A. — the first valued at P27,995,500 that Poe said she purchased in 1992, and the second valued at P15,074,500 that Poe said she purchased in 2008.

Poe gave only the “acquisition cost” of the two properties and left blank the columns for their “assessed value” and “current fair market value.”

In addition, Poe listed 16 other pieces of real assets — three commercial in nature, two agricultural, and 11 residential — for which she assigned zero acquisition cost.

She said all these 16 additional real properties were “inheritance” passed on to her in 2004, the year her father Fernando Poe Jr. died.

Aside from real assets, Poe declared “personal and other properties” to be worth P30,656,423.16 in all, as of last yearend.

The amount included: a checking account she opened in 2011 with P862,099.92 balance; her husband’s checking account opened in 2006 with P474,183.57 balance; shares of stocks in nine various business entities acquired from 2006 to 2012; six vehicles; a “money market account” worth P96,415.17; and a foreign currency savings account opened in 2011 with P202,270.19.

Among her investments, Poe said she acquired in 2012 “shares of stocks (in) San Miguel Corporation A, by subscription — 8,500 shares.” Her SALN, however, had this notation for her stocks in San Miguel Corp.: “Divestment of stock began 19 APR 2016.”

Again by “inheritance,” Poe said she had shares of stocks in two more entities: P7,375,000 in 226 Wilson Development Corp. (7,375 shares valued at P1,000 per share), and in P2,235,772, at face value, in FPJ Productions, Inc.

Poe’s latest SALN did not enroll values for furniture and appliances, books, paintings, jewelry and other entries that typically appear in the SALNs of many other public officials.

Minus the real properties and shares of stocks that she declared to be “inheritance” for which she assigned zero acquisition cost, the senator’s total assets (real assets plus personal properties) amounted to P125,658,991.97.

Her net worth for 2015 came up to just P89.1 million because she had total liabilities of P36,540,231.95.

These liabilities included, she said, subscription balance payable to JSP Realty & Development Corp, 226 Wilson Development Corp., and Chambrandt L. Holdings Corp.; a lot installment payable; two automobile loan payable; and a personal loan from Jesusa S. Poe of P17,760,000.

Popularly known by her screen name Susan Roces, Jesusa S. Poe is the senator’s mother and the widow of Fernando Poe Jr.

Poe’s SALN for 2015 made two disclosures in an extra page: “P451,661.64, running balance of Cash in Bank as of 31 December 2015” of her minor children; and “P4,780,237.70, running balance of Cash in Bank as of 31 December 2015” of Jesusa S. Poe’s aggregate savings/checking account in which the senator said she is a “secondary/co-signee.”

Poe said she has been an officer/shareholder from 2006 to 2009 in FPJ Productions, JPS Realty and Development Corp., and 226 Wilson Development Corp.; and a shareholder in AB Design Studios and Trading Corp. and The Health Cube Rehabilitation and Training Center.

Poe said her husband Teodoro ‘Neil’ V. Llamanzares is also an officer/shareholder in Chambrant L. Holdings Corp.— PCIJ, May 2016
For details, check out PCIJ’s Money Politics Online