Jump in Salimbangon’s net worth questioned by rival in poll race

BOGO City Mayor Celestino Martinez Jr. is asking how come Rep. Benhur Salimbangon’s net worth jumped from P3.4 million in 1994, when he was still a Provincial Board (PB) member, to P42.24 million in 2014.

Martinez, a former congressman, is running to represent the fourth district against Salimbangon in next week’s elections.

In a text message, Salimbangon, who was a PB member until 1998, said he got into business even before he ran for Congress in 2007 and won.

But the mayor said Salimbangon’s net worth increased but his source of income and business interests did not.

“There is no showing that he has a legitimate source of such assets and that he paid taxes for those income and assets he had amassed as of Dec. 31, 2003,” he said.

According to Salimbangon’s 2013 SALN, he had a net worth of P49.287 million, and that he is a stockholder of Cebu United Investors Inc., which he acquired in 2011.

In 2014, his net worth dropped to P42.24 million.

Family-owned venture

Salimbangon has been a consultant of MSY Holdings Corp., which is owned by his sister Mariquita Salimbangon Yeung’s family.

“Private pa ko nagnegosyo man tawon ko (I was into business as a private citizen) until I got elected as congressman in 2007,” he stated in a text message.

Between 1998 and 2007, he said he managed the family’s real estate business. But he withdrew when he got elected in 2007 “to avoid conflict of interest.”

“My net worth dropped from 2007 to today,” he said in his text message.

The congressman did not provide figures on how much his net worth was from 1998 to 2007.

Salimbangon’s SALNs that Martinez provided were only for 1991, 1994, 2013 and 2014.

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