11 ‘missing’ in Talisay mayor’s SALN?

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Thursday, June 26, 2014


CEBU CITY -- In his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) for 2013, Talisay City Mayor Johnny V. de los Reyes listed only two relatives working with him at City Hall.

One son confirmed that at least one more relative works in the mayor’s office; he just wasn’t listed because he was hired after the deadline for the SALN passed.

But another source inside Talisay City Hall said as many as 11 other relatives of the mayor work with City Hall, yet do not appear in the first-term mayor’s SALN.

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The 2013 document is supposed to be the mayor’s second SALN, because the law requires that newly elected officials must file one within 30 days after assuming office. The SALN is then due before April 30 of each year.

Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees states that the SALN must include the official’s relatives up to the fourth degree of affinity or consanguinity who works in government. It must also list their positions and the office where they work.

Mayor de los Reyes (more popularly known as JVR) listed his son, John Yre, and daughter, Irish May Racaza, as his relatives in government in his 2013 SALN. John Yre serves as the city administrator while Irish May serves as the mayor’s executive assistant.

Interviewed over the phone, John Yre confirmed that his uncle, Joel, was also hired as his father’s executive secretary. Joel’s duties include overseeing the City’s car pool, fishermen’s group and solid waste management program.

John Yre explained his uncle was not included in his father’s SALN because Joel was hired after the April 30 deadline for public officials to submit the document.

John Yre also denied his father is practicing nepotism, saying that the mayor employed only seven or eight of their relatives, who were hired as job-order personnel assigned to various City Hall departments.

But a source in Talisay City’s human resources office confirmed that JVR employed more his relatives.

Are there others?

The source said that Myrna, JVR’s wife, also works in the mayor’s office as head of the women’s council. Apart from Joel, JVR’s other brother Jim also heads a task force.

JVR’s other sons, Clifford and JVR Jr., reportedly hold confidential positions under the Office of the Mayor.

The source also confirmed that Jackie, wife of Clifford, works in the mayor’s office.

JVR’s nephew Jijie de los Reyes Gatchalian is also reportedly in the mayor’s plantilla and works as the secretary in Barangay Linao.

Evelyn de los Reyes, wife of JVR Jr., is also assigned to the senior citizens’ office.

JVR’s other relatives, Matthew de los Reyes, Roy Villaester and Sherlie Gatchalian, wife of Jijie Gatchalian, also reportedly hold confidential positions.

Property, business

Apart from having the most number of relatives in government, de los Reyes is also the richest elected official in Talisay City, with a net worth of P9.88 million.

Much of the mayor’s wealth comes from his personal properties, which amounted to P10.51 million. These include, among others, a Kia Sorrento (P1.7 million), Kia Forte (P1.6 million), Starex van (P1.2 million), Kia truck (P1.5 million), Fuso Canter (P350,000), Suzuki Skydrive (P80,000) and Kawasaki Ninja (P250,000).

His real properties include three residential lots in Tampilisan, Zamboanga del Norte; four commercial cottages in Gaas, Balamban town; a house and lot in Bulacao, Talisay City; a chapel and basketball court worth around P2 million. He listed three bank loans, amounting to P2.62 million combined, as his liabilities.

His family owns JVR Industries and the JVR Island in the Sky Resort in Balamban, Cebu.

The wealthiest city official, after Mayor de los Reyes, is Association of Barangay Councils (ABC) President Raul Cabañero, who reported a net worth of P6.48 million.

Millionaires

Cabañero, Barangay Bulacao captain, listed two lots and a building in Bulacao and another lot in Barangay Sinsin, Cebu City as his real properties, worth around P6.76 million.

His personal properties also include a 1999 Mitsubishi Strada, a television, stereo and refrigerator amounting to P720,000. Cabanero’s liabilities amounted to P1 million as of December 31, 2013.

In terms of net worth, Councilor Doroteo Emit, who posted P5.67 million, rounded up the top three wealthiest officials in Talisay City.

Emit declared various personal properties, including a Chevrolet Trailblazer (P1.15 million), Toyota Fortuner (P1.1 million), Hyundai Sta. Fe (P1.7 million) and Isuzu D-Max (P1.5 million). He owns three residential lots in Talisay City and a house and lot in Mandaue City, worth around P800,000. Emit declared P636,288 in liabilities as of December 31, 2013.

Councilor Edward Alesna, the official with the fourth highest net worth, declared P5 million.

Alesna owns two house-and-lot packages in Barangay Poblacion, Talisay City and an agricultural lot in Valladolid, Carcar City, which amounted to P3.16 million.

The councilor has at least five cars—a Toyota Fortuner, Mitsubishi Mirage, and three multicabs, plus appliances, furniture and jewelry worth P2.24 million. His bank loan as of December 31, 2013 amounted to P391,200.

The other city officials whose SALNs were also released are: Vice Mayor Romeo Villarante (P4.10 million net worth), Councilors Eduardo Gullas III (P4 million), Valeriano Ylanan (P3.85 million), Danilo Caballero (P3.42 million), Richard Francis Aznar (P2.28 million), Aldin Diaz (P2 million), Dennis Basillote (P1.88 million), Socrates Fernandez (P882,450), and Antonio Bacaltos (P720,321). (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 27, 2014.

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