Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Concentric Rings? -- Private musings on Manny, money and a national apocalypse

Part I: Personal net worth -- a case of perjury or money-laundering?

“When I travel, I don’t charge the government, although it’s allowed because it is work-related. I pay my own way. When you are this big, you have to follow the rules. You can’t afford not to, because all eyes are on you. It is not a wise business practice to use government perks. I’ll serve the three terms (allowed by the Constitution). After that, I’ll think about the future. But I’ll stop at being a congressman.” -- Senator Manny Villar

There was no doubt about it: the C5 issue had been troubling enough on its own merits. The scale of its core allegation -- that an esteemed solon had willfully deployed public funds for his own personal benefit – had been nothing short of vertiginous. The masterful studies by both Winnie ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUQDt-sXdlk) and Jamby (http://www.scribd.com/doc/25528863/Senator-Madrigal-Expose-on-Senator-Villar-C-5-Scam-Part-1) conveyed volumes, as had Joker’s allegations of conflicts of interest a decade before (http://article.wn.com/view/2010/02/07/Joker_savaged_Villar_in_1998/). The latter’s recent (and arguably dubious) shift in tone notwithstanding, a seed of doubt had already begun to nestle in the public mind.

Still, there were other issues those lengthy readings had failed to shed light upon. Looking at Villar’s own C5 Primer and his Senate speech on 2 Feb 2010, one wonders at that controversial 2008 P 200M budget insertion, which had been initially embargoed by the DBM, but was subsequently used for the Sucat flyover after it was realized that the C5 extension was in fact a dead-end road. Had there even been an existing “program of work” so as to justify the term “double insertion”? What we have on record, in fact, is an admission by Engineer Adriano (the consultant for Villar-owned businesses who had allegedly dictated the Villar amendment to the 2008 national budget; this, at least, was according to Yolanda Doblon, Director General of the LBRMO, the Legislative Budget Research and Monitoring Office in the Senate) that the amount had been arbitrarily made in anticipation of the fact that the original P 200M would most likely be reduced; the superfluous P 200M may have been added after the dead-end realization had been made, prompting Villar to use the embargoed funds.

GMA supposedly instructed DPWH to submit the study to use the embargoed funds for the fly-over only after the budget allocation had already been made, thereby effectively providing a “program of work” to justify the release of funds. Needless to say, this is highly irregular: in established funding practice, a program of work is usually submitted before. Does this suggest that the additional P 200M had been retroactively added to ultimately “free up” a hitherto unprogrammed amount?

Adriano, a Villar real estate employee, had been put in a critical legislative role. And while there have been indications that, as a Lower House representative, Villar had put some of his employees on the congressional payroll, Adriano himself was apparently not on the Senate payroll. So why was he dealing with LBRMO in the first place? And why does Committee Report 780 contain several admissions indicating position and knowledge with respect to the 2008 budget allocations? Separate documents also tag Adriano as the sole contact person authorized to “deal” with government agencies and the courts (DAR, NIA, lower courts, a Malacañang employee, LGUs, etc.: does this suggest bribery?) before specific Villar company interests could even be addressed.

This is not to quibble over minor details after the fact. But there was no doubt about it, as I said: there had been dubious business practices all round. So who was this Manny Villar and how had he managed to amass wealth that was nothing short of stratospheric in so short a span of time? According to PCIJ, after only 14 years in government, Villar's net worth had risen to P 1.05B in 2007 or to a staggering 1,292% increase from his assets in 1992: http://pcij.org/stories/top-bets-for-president-grow-wealth-despite-poll-expenses/.

In order to assess this "sipag at tiyaga" phenomenon as fairly as I knew how, I decided to investigate him myself, and to separate both propaganda and polemic, on the one hand, from what could be empirically verified, on the other. I began to think in terms of a concentric circle: at the center of the circle, I would look at his
personal finances (ultimately the measure of a man, one might say), before examining his land dealings in specific regions (as the circle expanded outwards) and, finally, his national/international endeavors on a larger scale (the outermost rim of the circle itself).

The personal: Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth

So I began with his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN). The documents studied (with the help of two gifted accountants, two lawyers and several highly-placed financial analysts, not to mention a handful of deeply committed patriots who patiently withstood my incessant questions and valiantly wore as many hats as were needed at any given moment) are copies of SALNs filed in the Philippine Senate. The difficulties in accessing them notwithstanding, they are technically a matter of public record. They cover an 8-year period (2001-2008, inclusive) because the 2009 SALN is only due for filing on 30 April 2010.

Anyone who has had to draw up a balance sheet or assess their own personal net worth will tell you that it can be a royal pain in the neck. But those insufferable categories and dreadful numbers notwithstanding, none of it, really, is rocket science. In a nutshell, it’s simply a snapshot of your financial health in any given year. The net worth statement includes what is owned (assets) on the left side of the sheet, what is owed to creditors (liabilities) on the right side of the sheet, and the net value (or difference) between what is owned and what is owed (net worth). Unless you’re a vagabond or happen to be fabulously wealthy, you generally have both A&L.

So what do Mr Villar’s SALNs indicate? (The SALNs from 2001 to 2008 can be accessed here: http://www.scribd.com/doc/28483980/Villar-s-Sworn-Statement-of-Assets-as-of-12-31-01-p1; http://www.scribd.com/doc/28484047/Villar-s-Sworn-Statement-of-Assets-as-of-12-31-01-p2; http://www.scribd.com/doc/28484179/Villar-s-Statement-of-Assets-as-of-12-31-02; http://www.scribd.com/doc/28484208/Villar-s-Statement-of-Assets-as-of-12-31-03-p1; http://www.scribd.com/doc/28484243/Villar-s-Statement-of-Assets-as-of-12-31-03-p2; http://www.scribd.com/doc/28484348/Villar-s-Sworn-Statement-of-Assets-as-of-12-31-04; http://www.scribd.com/doc/28484342/Villar-s-Sworn-Statement-of-Assets-as-of-12-31-05; http://www.scribd.com/doc/28484286/Villar-s-Statement-of-Assets-as-of-12-31-06; http://www.scribd.com/doc/28484151/Villar-s-Statement-of-Asset-as-of-12-31-07; http://www.scribd.com/doc/28484116/Villar-s-Sworn-Statement-of-Assets-as-of-Dec-2008; and the columnar numerical analysis)? The assets reported consist of only three main types:

a) Real Properties: i) Land/Buildings
b) Investment in Shares of Stock
c) Personal Properties: i) Cash in Bank; ii) Receivables; and iii) Other Personal Properties

Please note that this analysis is based on “acquisition cost” or “book value,” as reported in the SALNs. To simplify the analysis, the cost of living and personal expenses of someone of his stature and wealth have not been considered. A comprehensive reading no longer requires Cynthia Villar’s SALNs because they are, in fact and law, only one economic unit. The 2007 and 2008 SALNs were also jointly filed by the spouses, which means that the net worth indicated is in fact their joint net worth.

General Observations

* No liabilities were reported at all: ergo, net worth = assets, which means that he had nothing to pay off.

* His net worth from 2001 to 2008 increased by P 641,133,934, or 133%, making his 2008 Net worth 258% of his 2001 net worth.

*According to several published reports (please see the PCIJ reference below for an example), he started with a networth of P 75M when he first entered politics as a Congressman in 1992. In a span of 16 years, therefore, he managed to increase his net worth by over 1000 percent!

*The biggest increase can be found in his Personal Properties -- P 618,363,371, or 309%, making his 2008 Personal Properties 409% of those in 2001.

*An increase in net worth suggests that he made or realized income in the previous years equal to at least the amount of the increase, considering that he has had no liabilities.

*There is, however, no indication that he made such an income, nor is it suggested how this might have even been possible. As a Philippine senator, his declared salary is only P426,500.

Real Properties

* Real properties generally refer to real estate or immovable properties.

* In 2001, he reported only the following Real Properties at acquisition cost:

Residential, BFRV

Las Pinas: P 3, 181, 089

Residential, BF Vista Grande: 80, 000

Residential, BF Int’l LPC: 50, 000

Residential, Putatan, Muntinlupa: 446, 370

Residential, San Nicolas, Cavite: 337, 360

Residential, Naga Rd., LPC: 500, 000

Total: P4, 594, 819

* From 2002-2006, he declared the same properties, but at the aggregate acquisition cost of P4,588,619 (lower by only P6,200, so -- for the purposes of this analysis -- the lower figure is used).

* In 2007, this figure suddenly ballooned to P 19,518,532, or by 425% of the 2001 level. In absolute terms, this is an increase of P14, 929, 913.

* The 6 real properties listed from 2001-2006 became 38 parcels/pieces in 2007. These are the same properties declared in 2008. Reportedly, they are registered under the names of:

Cynthia alone, 10 parcels: P 5, 794, 232

Manny alone, 6 parcels: 2, 600, 500

The Spouses jointly, 8 parcels: 5, 503, 060

“Cynthia, married to Manny”: 14 parcels, 5, 620, 740

Total: P19, 518, 532

* There is no way to determine from the face of the SALN alone if the 6 properties he declared from 2001-2006 are the same 6 properties listed in his name in Annex “A;” for one, they are different in value/acquisition cost as those previously reported (PHP 2,600,000 v. 4,588,619 in 2002-2006). Those reported in 2001-2006 are listed by location; those in 2007-2008 are listed by title number and area, so an accurate comparison is difficult. However, since the aggregate acquisition cost of these properties in 2001-2006 are not much different from the 2007-2008 values, it may be safely assumed that the 6 properties in MV’s name are the same 6 properties he declared in 2001-2006.

* The rest of the listed properties – those registered under “Cynthia A. Villar m/to Manuel B. Villar,” and those registered in their joint names – are conjugal: should they therefore not have been declared in his SALNs from the outset as well? It is after all highly unlikely that they were only acquired in 2007, in view of the acquisition/book values that were given.

* Considering the values/amounts reported, it is equally unlikely that the Laurel Property on Shaw Blvd. (currently the NP HQ) is included in this list. This property is widely-known as having been acquired by Mr Villar and his wife: in a PDI article by Gerry Lirio in July 2008 (http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/inquirerheadlines/nation/view/20080713-148119/Villars-take-over-storied-Laurel-house-on-Shaw-Blvd), conversations with Cynthia on their purchase of the property are quoted, including their plans regarding the property, renovation costs of P4M, and the private dinner they shared when they first moved in, etc. Does this, too, suggest misrepresentation and therefore perjury? It should be remembered that we are after all required by law to declare all our assets and liabilities without any exclusions: any misrepresentation is considered to be perjury, which is a criminal offense.

Investment in Shares of Stock

* From 2001-2008, he declared Investments in Shares of Stock in a lump sum amount of P200, 837, 890 – no breakdown and no changes.

* In 2007, he itemized in Annex B.2.1 of his SALN the following “Investment Items” at “Book value” (i.e., acquisition cost):

Shares of Stock, Adelfa Properties: P 99, 997, 000

Shares of Stock, Fine Properties: 98, 000, 000

Shares of Stock, MB Villar Co: 1, 000, 000

Shares of Stock, Macy’s Inc: 500, 000

Shares of Stock, Mooncrest Properties: 1, 340, 890

Total: P200, 837, 890

Could this really have been all? Where were the shares in the other companies? Indeed, had Mr Villar not gone out of his way to declare his enormous wealth to all and sundry? So why is it not in the books, one is compelled to ask?

Since the total value of the foregoing investments is also P200,837,890 -- the same amount he reported from 2001-2006 as "Investments" -- and the companies are also the same companies he reported in 2001-2006 as those in which he and his wife had “business interests and financial connections,” is it not more likely that he is referring to the very same investments (which remained unchanged from 2001-2008) here?

In 2007, his investments in shares of stock increased by P7,846,850, although they remained unchanged in 2008. These consist of the following items:

Shares of Stock, PLDT: 10,600

Shares of Stock, Sun Life: (no value given)

Club share, Alabang Country Club: 1, 100, 000

Club Share, The Country Club: 4, 150, 000

Club Share, Quezon City Sports Club: 150, 000

Club Share, Tower Club: 356, 250

Club Share, Sta. Elena Golf Club: 1, 800, 000

Club Share, Camp John Hay Golf Club: 280, 000

Total: P 7, 846, 850

Based on the reported values of the “additional” investments above (which were at acquisition cost), it is improbable that they were acquired only in 2007; given real estate values, it is more likely that they were acquired much earlier, but were reported in his SALN only in 2007. Could this be another ground for perjury?

* From 2001-2008, he has consistently declared only 5 companies in which he and his wife have an interest: Fine Properties, Adelfa Properties, MB Villar Co., Macy’s Inc. and Mooncrest Properties. So where and how does Vista Land relate to these companies? What is his connection to, and interest in, Vista Land? And what of other companies associated with him or otherwise referred to by him in press statements as “his” company/ies? This, I thought, bore further scrutiny (please note the following SEC documents: Adelfa Properties GIS; Brittany Corp GIS; C and P Homes GIS; Fine Properties GIS; and Vista Land and Landscapes).

* Of course, as a highly-placed hedge fund insider later qualified: "an analysis of the SEC filings of Vista Land (VLL) indicate that VLL is 35.83%-owned by Fine, 22.48%-owned by Adelfa, 5.35%-owned by Polar and 2.12%-owned by ML&H Corp., or at least 65.78%-owned by holding companies that were all controlled by MV/CV. Fine is nearly 100%-owned by MV (51%) and CV (~49%); Adelfa is 39%-owned by the spouses and 51%-owned by a company called Althorp Holdings. I assume that the remainder comprises most of the public float. I am also assuming that the Villars or Villar-controlled entities (i) control Althorp; and (ii) own enough additional shares to take the Villars’ aggregate controlled shareholdings in VLL to more than the 2/3 supermajority threshold. In short, there is no need for MV/CV to directly own VLL shares if he already controls the companies that own a controlling stake in VLL (itals mine)."

* The C-5 Report should also be considered, given its core allegation, precisely, that he used his position to allocate funds for the road that traversed and benefited “his” housing subdivisions. According to the C-5 Report, Adelfa Properties, which is owned by Mr Villar and his wife Cynthia, owns Brittany Corporation (formerly Azalea), together with Vista Land and Paolo Villar, MV’s son. Vista Land, on the other hand, is also owned by Adelfa and MV’s sons Paolo and Mark. Adelfa further owns Golden Haven Memorial Park. Brittany, Vista Land and Golden Haven are therefore 100% owned by MV and his family indirectly, through Adelfa. These companies -- Adelfa, Brittany and Golden Haven -- all sold properties to the government as right of way for the C-5 Project.

Personal properties

* As stated earlier, this is where the most dramatic increases in his net worth can be found:

Amount/Value Increase YoY % Increase
Increase 2001: 200,085,040

2002: 274,868,165 74,783,125 37.37%

2003: 325,798,839 50,930,674 18.53%

2004: 415,327,318 89,528,479 27.5%

2005: 554,398,826 139,071,508 33.48%

2006: 710,225,075 155,826,249 28.1%

2007: 813,180,674 102,955,599 14.5%

2008: 818,448,411 5,267,737 .65%

* Cumulatively, from 2001-2008, the increase in absolute terms is P618,363,371 – or a three-fold increase (309%) over an 8-year period – making his 2008 declaration 409% of the 2001 values.

* From 2001-2004, these were simply reported as “Personal Properties;” in 2005-2006, as “Other Real and Personal Properties.” Here, too, we observe no details or itemization.

*In 2007, “Other Personal Properties” were itemized as follows:

Cash in Bank (SA/CA/TD): P 24, 573, 990

Receivables: 701, 106, 684

Other Personal and Real Properties: 87, 500, 000

Total: P 813, 180, 674

(See Annex B.2.2 of his 2007 SALN)

In 2008, “Other Personal Properties” were:

Cash in Bank P 29, 212, 803

Receivables & Other Personal & Real Properties 789, 235, 608

Total: P 818, 448, 411

(See Annex B.2.2 of his 2008 SALN)

* It is unfortunate that he lumped “Receivables” with “Other Personal and Real Properties” in 2008, so no assessment can be made about whether “Receivables” increased in 2008. For the purposes of the ensuing analysis, the 2007 figure of P 701,106,684 will therefore be used. Taken together with the rest of his assets, receivables – even at the amount of P701,106,684 declared in 2007 -- comprise more than half of his entire net worth! (Receivables of P701,106,684 divided by his 2008 net worth of P1,046,651, 683 = 67%).

* It is intriguing, to say the least, that he would have receivables in the first place. Remember, this is money one is expecting to receive. This category is usually reported by business enterprises, like corporations and single proprietorships, and arises from sales on credit or loans extended in the course of business. But is he actually running a business as a single proprietor? Is he selling goods or services, where it is customary to sell on credit; or is he engaged in the business of a lending investor, pawnshop or some such enterprise, where he would tend to extend credit or loans? If so, should he not have reported in his SALN that he is a single proprietor/individual engaged in business? As far as we know, he deals only through corporations – like those 5 companies he declared in his SALN, in which he has “business interests or financial connections.”

* What could this imply? The only plausible explanation is that he extended personal loans, year after year, to unspecified parties, or had money claims with these parties, as would give rise to such receivables. If this is the case, to whom did he lend or from whom does he have money claims, and why? Is this not a matter of public interest, considering the enormous size of his “receivables”? Indeed, a typical rural bank outside of Metro Manila and other urban centres, such as Cebu or Davao, might not even have a loan portfolio this sizeable.

* More significantly, if he lent money, where and how did he get the funds to lend? If he has money claims, what is the underlying obligation of the supposed debtor/s? Logic – and the causal connection between creditor and debtor – dictates that he must have had a source for the moneys he lent out and, since he had no reported liabilities, he must have generated enough income to lend. As stated earlier, an increase in net worth -- where, as in this case, there are no liabilities -- presupposes that income was earned to the extent, at least, of the increase in net worth itself. So where and how did Mr Villar get the money?

* The increase in his net worth could not have come from the following:

a) The sale of real properties: he reported 6 in 2001-2006, with fair market value -- by his own report in the SALN – of P4,012,760 (2006 SALN), and there are still 6 in his 2007-2008 SALN registered in his name alone. Moreover, as of 2008, his Real Properties included 32 “additional” parcels/pieces.

b) The sale of shares in his companies: shareholdings in the 5 companies he declared remained constant from 2001-2008; there was therefore no change.

c) Stock market transactions in quick deals; i.e, he bought and sold “short term” (could this have been margin trading?): if he had invested in the stock market, should he not have declared these investments in his SALN? Apart from his shares in the 5 companies and the club shares in various golf and country clubs, there were no other such investments declared. Assuming that he bought and sold in quick succession such that, as of the end of each year, he had no other shares than those he held in the 5 companies (hence, no other stock investments to declare in the SALN), could he have made so much on these deals without having first sunk in a significant investment so as to enable him to take such positions in the first place?

d) He could have also earned interest on his bank deposits but, given the level and nature of his declared Cash in Bank in 2007-2008 of less than P30M, the interest income could not have been that significant.

* So where was the increase coming from? In a newscast aired on 10 February 2010, he declared that the increase in his net worth came from dividends (http:www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSFqGxfeYIU&feature=youtube-gdata). If so, these dividends (a sum of money paid to shareholders of a corporation out of company earnings) must have only come from the 5 companies he declared. Records obtained, however, indicate that, of these 5, only Fine Properties was reported to have declared dividends of P196,000,000 on 2 December 2006. This is certainly very far from the net increase in his net worth from 2001-2008 of P618 M+.

* Even assuming that his companies had in fact declared dividends, it would appear that they have not been paid out – hence the term “receivables.” This suggests that he does not have the funds on hand, and only has the expectation that these “receivables” will be converted into cash in due course. If so, how could he have over a billion pesos “of his own money,” which he has openly admitted to having spent on his campaign and that of the NP's?

* In any case, regardless of the source of the increase in his net worth, should he not have paid income taxes on them? Did he in fact do so? Dividends constructively received by individuals are subject to a final tax of 10% of the gross amount, to be withheld by the corporation-declarant. Assuming that the P700M+ “receivables” are dividends, the withholding tax would be at least P70M. BIR insiders (who were apparently too apprehensive to go on record) have privately suggested that nothing near this amount has been paid in taxes, although this has yet to be verified. Still, as this is a matter of public interest, perhaps we could prevail upon Mr Villar to address these insinuations and clear his record once and for all?

* The considerations above strongly suggest that he may have deliberately “inflated” his net worth with the ingenious use of receivables to justify his widely-publicized wealth and the billions he is now spending on his campaign, which he continues to describe as “his own money.” When “hidden wealth” or “ill-gotten” gains are put through legal channels (like reporting them in the SALN) so they can “surface” as legitimate, can this be considered to be a case of money-laundering? In other words, did he make up those receivables to make it look like he had more assets than he actually did so he would therefore appear to be extremely wealthy, in the hopes that people wouldn't look into how he has been able to finance what has arguably been the most expensive political campaign in Philippine history?

As far as this writer can see, there are only three possible conclusions one might make about his declared assets (what remains undeclared, of course, is another story entirely). Either my assessment is riddled with errors (in which case this also applies to the battery of financial and legal experts/scholars I have had to consult informally) or there's something seriously amiss with his SALNs, in which case he could conceivably be accused of perjury. Otherwise, if my graver suspicions are correct, he could be accused instead of money-laundering. Either way, the implications make the mind reel, and the voter would do well to consider how this might affect the public in the long term (especially the poor, who have arguably lost out in terms of desperately-needed social services). We are after all no longer talking about opportunity cost here but about actual losses to the public purse at a time of serious economic recession; if, as a solon, Mr Villar was able to achieve more than a 1000% increase in his net worth during his few years of "public service," what could happen to our entire social infrastructure if and when -- perish the thought! -- the man becomes President of this embattled republic? Perish the thought, indeed: unlike Dante's inferno, which ultimately leads upwards into the light, MV's concentric circles can only propel us towards a collective abyss from which we may never recover.

A private postscript

Once upon a time -- oh, 24-odd years ago, I think it was, when the unending grief of the Marcos era had finally begun to lift its thick and impenetrable shadow in a youthful clarion call to freedom -- I carried with me a dream that the Philippines would one day be more than just another banana republic, teeming with warlords and armies, oligarchs and monopolies. As I peer yet again upon the threshold of history, this moment gives me pause, and I pray that our voters will be wise enough not to be taken in by glib and facile solutions or appealing personalities bereft of substance; I pray that we boldly defy dishonesty (even as that easy buck is unfailingly served up before us on a gleaming, silver platter) and instead consider sacred -- no matter the personal cost -- this country's future and that of our children's unborn children.


-- M B Villar campaign expenditures and personal finances:

-- C5:
* http://www.scribd.com/doc/25761977/Villar-Ethics-Presentation
* http://www.scribd.com/doc/25470164/Enrile-Committee-Report

-- Laurel mansion:

-- Poverty:
* http://propinoy.net/2010/02/08/was-manny-villar-really-ever-poor/


  1. This is amazing, a true lies I might say.sa dami ng naghihirap sa Pilipinas meron pa bang konsensiya itong taong ito na tumatakbong Pangulo ng ating bansa...Ngek Ngek mo.......pweeeeeee.

  2. P.S. I would ask only that we all focus on the specific issues raised and not on anything personal about this writer or any of the future commenters. I would appreciate less mudslinging from all sides and more emphasis on the actual meat of the discussion. Civility would certainly be an added boon. The sooner we learn to be constructive in our critical responses, the more we will all learn. Thanks again! ;-)

  3. . . . some are really smarter than others!

    Did Villar and his wife pay the corresponding taxes accruing to their income and/or real estate properties in the years stated above?

  4. Thank you for a very comprehensive analysis of MV's financial skeleton or at least how he wants the public to believe it to be. In the process of desperate justification, I can see more questions are left unanswered. I definitely dread the thought of electing a president with dubious financial background and dealings.

  5. I and the Filipino electorates can't be convinced but always boubt your sincerity to serve the Filipino public as President when you're accused of many questionable transactions while in office, and combining the 5 presidentiable expenses has the same amount with your spending alone, is this not too much sacrifices for you? Is this kind of attitude you're doing not to buy out the electorate people only to win the presidency you aspire for? Even you'll be elected the salary allowed by the law is a mere P60,000.00 per month and so far for only 3 months period had been past you had spent more than billion peso and still increasing to another billions. How would you explain this to us Filipino? We only doubt you'll take back your wealth to regain and enrich your own, your family from presidency and give us honest presidency? Moderate your hungry, Mr. Senator!The Filipino people know what best for them.

  6. This is fine work, Lila!

    "if, as a solon, Mr Villar was able to achieve more than a 1000% increase in his net worth in a span of five short years, what could happen to our entire social infrastructure if and when -- perish the thought! -- the man becomes President of this embattled republic?"


  7. are you the same person who wrote a letter to her Uncle FVR, i've read somewhere? =)

  8. Lila you are doing this country a great service, thank you.

    I hope this makes it to Villar and he answer the Filipino people he says he wishes to serve.

    I would not expect an honest answer from him though. He's never had one. And an honest answer will put him in jail for sure.

  9. I'd love to see how Villar can squeak his way through this one! I'm getting popcorn and beer. :)

  10. Fortune 500 Sy, Tan, and ... Villar? after 2010...Share the loot, po!

  11. (i posted the same comment in B7)

    will have to read this again. 1st pass pa lang yun but this is good stuff, medyo i have to understand it more. para kang nag-due diligence if you know what i mean.

    i was wondering though that given that they are public officials, these SALN, aren’t these prepared by independent CPA’s? because if they are, you could request details of each of the accounts especially the receivables that you were talking about.

    since this is a personal financial statement, you got it right and it’s true, having a big accounts receivable is always a suspect because the other side of the entry goes to equit/capital and/or net worth.

    in external auditing, we do confirmation kaya i am sure there has to be a listing of this somewhere. if this was audited by independent CPA’s there should be notes to personal statements at the very end to tell you the details of material numbers like this. then you can find out the validity of each of the A/R. but i do believe that they should be dahil with the numbers, medyo di na ako updated sa rulings that’s why.

    in fact, he has a real estate business, sinalpak nya ba ang A/R nung biz na yun to inflate his networth? and if he is inflating his net worth, why?

    i blogged another story about his increase in networth which really sounded more like the subprimes in the United States. you know, mortgages in bulk bought by Fannie Mae, then in millions sold to Wall Street and rebranded sa Wall Street as funds and then traded. When homeowners began defaulting, sunod sunod ang bagsak until it reached Wall Street that spelled the financial crisis.

    i read that he did the same thing which started by influencing passing some laws and regulations benefitin ghis companies that involved SSS and Pagibig loans with his low cost housing. so, when the homeowners defaulted, sinalba yun nang SSS which sounded like a federal bailout here in the US, dun daw sya kumita nang pera according to the story ( i will edit this one to put the link later)

    great work, i would not be surprised if you had sleepless nights on this. this is massive sabi nga ni Ferrum sa FB

  12. great... will share later... hope u can include next how he/his family acquired his wealth/properties... i.e. the memorial park in Las Pinas acquired in the late 80s after a forceful demolition; the construction of the Daang Hari road in Cavite diverted to favor Villar's properties... everybody in Cavite knows it... and please incl.the business dummies & inner circle/people who does the business (shady)deals, dirty jobs etc... waiting for part 2...... and advance happy 18th birthday!!! :D

  13. Hi Ms. Shahani. Just read the above-mentioned article on Villar's rapid increases in net worth. Several weeks back, I projected Villar's earnings if ever, God forbid, he becomes president. Assuming he would have spent P2B (as investment) to be president and he took just a 3% cut in our national budget (Average P1.4 T @ 5% annual increase), Villar's internal rate of return (IRR) over the next 6 years is a staggering 2,105%. In absolute amounts it would reach P285B or US$ 6.1 B.

  14. Quarterly Diiviidend Report VOL. I NO. 5 4th Quarter 2009
    Vista Land & Lifescapes, Inc. VLL
    1Q-4Q 2009
    Dividends Declared (Php) 0.033
    Dividend Yield (%) 1.76

    1Q-4Q 2008
    Dividends Declared (Php) 0.064
    Dividend Yield (%) 6.46

    1Q-4Q 2007
    Dividends Declared (Php) 0.0
    Dividend Yield (%) 0.0


    There are approximately 1,120 holders of common equity security of the Company as of
    December 31, 2008 (based on the number of accounts registered with the Stock Transfer Agent).
    The following are the top 20 holders of the common securities of the Company:

    1. Fine Properties, Inc. 3,042,615,495 35.633%
    2. PCD Nominee Corp. (Non-Filipino) 3,002,762,901 35.166%
    3. Adelfa Properties, Inc. 1,556,461,666 18.228%
    4. Polar Property 456,811,000 5.350%
    5. PCD Nominee Corporation (Filipino) 255,728,580 2.995%
    6. ML&H Corporation 181,190,507 2.122%
    7. Bestimes Investment Limited (Non-Filipino) 26,814,493 0.314%
    8. Althorp Holdings, Inc. 5,000,000 0.059%
    9. Barclays Bank PLC (Non-Filipino) 3,565,800 0.042%
    10. John T. Lao 1,502,000 0.018%
    11. Sulficio Tagud Jr.&/or Ester Tagud 401,000 0.005%
    12. Tomas L. Chua 400,000 0.005%
    13. Federal Homes, Inc. 324,850 0.004%
    14. Christian A. Aguilar 290,617 0.003%
    15. Chan Chak Ching 250,000 0.003%
    16. Marcelino C. Mendoza 206,690 0.002%
    17. Benjamarie Therese N. Serrano 200,000 0.002%
    18. Maribeth Tolentino 200,000 0.002%
    19. Manuel Paolo A. Villar 200,000 0.002%
    20. Mark A. Villar 200,000 0.002%


    Villar has investments on only Adelfa and Fine Properties as declared in his 2008 SALN


    adding the shares declared on Villar's SALN, and multiplying it to dividend payout per share (which I assume is the right computation to arrive at a total dividend payment)
    3,044,171,956 * 0.064 (per SEC report as of 2008)
    = 194,827,005.184

    isnt it a far cry from the P789+ M declared as Receivable and Other Personal and Real Properties?

    there are 8,538,740,614 shares for VLL, a total divident payout for investors of VLL for 2008 would be 546,479,399.296.. its still not close to P789+ M..

    assuming that this is correct..
    * Of course, as a highly-placed hedge fund insider later qualified: "an analysis of the SEC filings of Vista Land (VLL) indicate that VLL is 35.83%-owned by Fine, 22.48%-owned by Adelfa, 5.35%-owned by Polar and 2.12%-owned by ML&H Corp., or at least 65.78%-owned by holding companies that were all controlled by MV/CV. Fine is nearly 100%-owned by MV (51%) and CV (~49%); Adelfa is 39%-owned by the spouses and 51%-owned by a company called Althorp Holdings. I assume that the remainder comprises most of the public float. I am also assuming that the Villars or Villar-controlled entities (i) control Althorp; and (ii) own enough additional shares to take the Villars’ aggregate controlled shareholdings in VLL to more than the 2/3 supermajority threshold. In short, there is no need for MV/CV to directly own VLL shares if he already controls the companies that own a controlling stake in VLL (itals mine)."

    65.78% of 546,479,399.296 is 359,474,148.86.. its still not close to P789+ M..

    could it be that dividends were rolled over for the whole period in question in question? along with the dividends from other investments taken by his declared companies? i do not know if its a corporate practice either

  15. Any public servant, otherwise required by law to be honest and transparent with the public, who waffles on such basic truths as ought to be in his SALN mangles the trust that that underpins his mandate.

    Your analysis is enlightening more for the doubts it raises than for the questions it answers. And given that Mr. Villar seeks the Presidency, the indicative answers are more frightening than entertaining.

    Which compels one to ask: Are the SALNs accurate and true at all? Were they meant, in this instance, as mere pro forma compliance with the legal requirement, to dissemble and mislead, to rectify or justify a public image?

    SALNs are expected to be a public product of an honest and personal undertaking, meant to convey transparency and avert suspicions of misdeeds or misguided judgments otherwise unworthy of the public trust. This analysis indicates that SALN requirement fulfils its purpose, albeit in a roundabout manner: it shows what is not otherwise manifest. And that's a pity.

    It's a pity enough that, by this analysis, Mr. Villar would seem to have been less forthcoming than we've been led to believe. Greater is the pity that the greater public seems content in believing as they have been led.

    For having persistently claimed to have much, Mr. Villar certainly has much to explain. But I’m hopeful; there's still enough time till May for Mr. Villar to explain, not entertain. If he insists he doesn’t have to spend millions to do that, I’d believe him.

    Here’s an expectant “hoot” he does just that.

    Great piece of work here, Lila.

  16. Thank u all for your kind and thoughtful comments -- certainly much appreciated... ;-)

    Homer, as I noted above, MV's dividends can only come from the 5 companies he declared: Adelfa, Fine, MB Villar, Macy's and Mooncrest. Thus, even if Vista declared dividends, none of it could have been received by him, since he is not a shareholder of Vista -- he did not declare this to be so, remember? VL dividends can only go to its shareholders -- Adelfa and Fine among them (the biggest shareholders). Simply because Villar is a shareholder of Adelfa and Fine does not mean that he receives the VL dividends as well. They stay with Adelfa and Fine until Adelfa and/or Fine also declare dividends to their respective shareholders -- i.e., Villar and spouse.

    In this case, however, only Fine declared dividends -- in 2006 -- of about 196 M. So ito lang ang dividends ni Villar, see...

    If he claims that the dividends are from Vista, that means he has shares of stock in Vista. The problem is, he didn't declare in his SALNs that he is a shareholder of Vista. So: if he is, doesn't this create another problem for him?

  17. The expose' on Villar's financial health thru his SALNs is to question Villar's honesty as a public official. The presentation of the SALNs is insulting to an accountant. No liabilities? His current networth maybe in billions of pesos, but how did he earn it while in public service? An expanation is in order. Otherwise he may be a crook. This is my opinion and my take on Ms. Lila Shahani's superb investigative reporting.

  18. Thank you for this wonderful piece, Lila. I read from one of your posts all that you have gone through to get what should be a "public" information and to find people that will support this data. It is always easier to critic a work then to amass data and write about it. My kudos to you!

    On Villar, I continue to be amazed how corrupt politicians continue to maintain huge public support. Unbelievable.

  19. Lila, setting the figures aside for the moment, just some thoughts on SALN, per se:

    By its very concept and legal intent, the SALN must be honest and complete on its face, by and of itself in the very first instance, upon its submission. It is intended precisely to compel absolute and unqualified honesty of all public officials. As such, it discounts the post facto introduction of all other documents extraneous to it.

    A contrary position would allow a dishonest filer to, post facto, complete what should have been complete in the first instance, correct what had been made deliberately misleading, or clarify what should have been otherwise clear and unambiguous. In other words, it would allow lying right at the very first instance.

    Indeed, where in the SALN law does it state or even imply that the filer may dissemble because it may corrected once caught anyway? If there is such allowance, then I will submit that the SALN law in fact allows public officials to be "somewhat honest" until caught, and when caught, correct the same SALN, short of doing it at the next SALN filing.

    I may have errors in the legal premises, but by all the gods in heaven, I certainly could make a case and gut it out: while they may be material, all other documents are irrelevant to the honesty that should accompany and be patent in the SALN if they were not filed together with the SALN at the very moment required by law. And, if their contents do not support (not clarify) what the SALN declares at the moment of filing but, instead seek to clarify or justify what is not there, those documents become a pathetic excuse for an attempt to evade criminal liability for perjury.

    What that proves to me is, the officer lied, or at least intended to lie. Period.

    This, to me, is what Villar's 2001-08 SALNs are all about.

  20. A man who LIES blatantly about his SALN while vying for the highest seat in the land is not a product of "BLACK PROPAGANDA" as some cobwebbed mind bloggers and writers insist upon. Villar can make up excuses to excuse why he FALSELY projected himself as a man who swims in a sea of garbage when he never did, but he cannot make excuses for the statements and the figures in his SALNs and what is in fact truth.

    What is SAD is that intelligent people view Villar as the "ina-api".. stupid - the lot of them who does. Pity the intelligent person who gets duped into believing Villar is the answer to all our poverty questions. He is NOT. A simple question they should ask themselves - WHERE and HOW will he get back all the billions of money he spent on this campaign buying airtime, print media, buying people, buying souls?

    Before you know it, you no longer own the house you live in or grew up in - he already has the TCT of your land and is being sold to the highest foreign bidder. Now think about that and tell me again if everything in this article is "black propaganda".

    Great work Lila. I am awaiting the next one.

  21. It's a very good post I have come across.I really like this post very much.It's a very appreciated post.Thanks for sharing.Keep blogging.
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  22. This was the reply of Arthur Sicat to my email where I forwarded your blog entitled "Personal essay on WHY NOYNOY" dated March 2010. [WOW! Very nice indeed! If only this essay is written in Tagalog and/or other popular dialects to suit the common tao and Pinoy masses' thinking -- I believe, will make a hell of difference! There's still time!]
    I think his suggestion is doable and should be done soonest so we can send out to the C, D and E sectors of our society.

  23. hi thanks for this post.

    it is so enlightened!

    MV's political ambitions are obviously for the good of his businesses. no more no less!

    the more he is going to waste millions of pesos for his political campaigns the more Filipinos specially the poor will felt insulted.

    amidst the suffering of the multitude due to poverty here comes a man wasting billions of pesos for a presidential position with a monthly salary of 60,000.00 pesos.

    as a businessman as he is, he will surely looking forward for the (R.O.I) RETURN OF INVESTMENTS if ever he is going to win the presidential race.

    and that is the hidden agenda of most(thanks GOD, not all!)of the politicians running for office may it be in local or in national positions.

    so help us, GOD!

  24. Thanks, all! :-)

    This was mentioned on GMA News yesterday:

    Risa Hontiveros cited this blog and was refuted by a Villar spokesperson. My response, which I sent the GMA News editor:

    Dear Editor,

    Please note that Crown Asia is a Vista Land company. U might find the attached GIS of Vista Land helpful: http://www.scribd.com/doc/28598445/Vista-Land-and-Landscapes-GIS-2009-07-02
    Kindly note that there r two Villar sons on the board; please also note the list of stockholders.

    As I posted in my blog (http://lilashahani.blogspot.com/2010/03/concentric-circles-private-musings-on.html), which Risa Hontiveros refers to, "...an analysis of the SEC filings of Vista Land (VLL) indicate that VLL is 35.83%-owned by Fine, 22.48%-owned by Adelfa, 5.35%-owned by Polar and 2.12%-owned by ML&H Corp., or at least 65.78%-owned by holding companies that were all controlled by MV/CV. Fine is nearly 100%-owned by MV (51%) and CV (~49%); Adelfa is 39%-owned by the spouses and 51%-owned by a company called Althorp Holdings. I assume that the remainder comprises most of the public float. I am also assuming that the Villars or Villar-controlled entities (i) control Althorp; and (ii) own enough additional shares to take the Villars’ aggregate controlled shareholdings in VLL to more than the 2/3 supermajority threshold. In short, there is no need for MV/CV to directly own VLL shares if he already controls the companies that own a controlling stake in VLL."

    Please post this response.

    With thanks and best wishes,

    Lila R. Shahani

  25. Dear Ms. Shahani,
    I have been reading you for sometime now. I only not admire your literary style but your indepth analyis of our politics. I was the first teacher of Noynoy at the Institucion Teresiana when he was in Kindergarten. He was a very well mannered boy, quiet, attentive,very neat who followed directions. I remember him upset because he could not write number 8 the way I did. I liked holding his hand in writing and taught him how to write his name - "BENIGNO AQUINO III". I did fondly call me "Third". Anyone can assess that he comes from a loving, caring and organized home as manifested in how neat & well groomed he was everyday. I have him seat in the back because he did not give any problem. What irks & surprises me is the attack made by his rivals that he has mental problems...as his teacher I could have spotted that right away. He was a VERY NORMAL BOY who towed the line and never rowdy. I supervised the dismissal and I see his mother (Cory)in the car with a little girl( must be Kris) who must have been eager to hear how school went. Anyway, I have been rooting for him and is accused of being "star struck". I am too old for that. My classmates & I are planning our 50th jubilee (College '61) next year at the Maryknoll/Miriam College. I am dating myself and you can guess how old I am.
    That's beside the point,Noynoy, among all the candidates is not tainted with corruption and you very well put it. His bills are geared for the good of the people. He can lead by example.
    Let this man with integrity stir our country back to a respectable level like when your Uncle Fidel was President. We have earned the highest place in sports like boxing but need to strive that we can be proud again as Filipinos politically. I know,we are a people/country of contradictions nevertheless, it is time to learn from our mistakes and make intelligent choices. I am for Noynoy not because he was my student but he the best in terms of character and integrity. My loyalty comes second.

    Speaking of the Ramoses,your grandfather Narciso & his wife was the wedding sponsors of my parents in Asingan, Pangasinan at which my parents would relate how they sometime took care of your Uncle Fidel when he was a toddler. We have pictures of them visiting each other.

    More power to you!!! I hope and pray that our candidate win....

    Rosebill Vargas