VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Multimillionaire Duterte says ‘I am not a millionaire’

A month after taking his oath of office as president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte told an audience at the Ateneo de Davao University, “Ako hindi ako milyonaryo (I am not a millionaire).”

But his own sworn declarations in his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth (SALN) from 2001 to 2015 say otherwise.

STATEMENT

In a speech during the Mindanao Environmental Summit “Oya Mindanaw” on Aug. 4, 2016 in Davao, Duterte warned those who have links to illegal drugs that they will be killed.

“Do not destroy my country because I will kill you. Do not destroy the young kasi iyon iyong aming capital bukas. Alam mo bakit? Ako hindi ako milyonaryo, and along the way, maybe after retirement, a fewer years of comfort. Pero pagtanda ko, sino magpapakain sa akin ng lugaw? Who will pay the bills sa ospital ko? Sino magbili ng mga medisina (Do not destroy my country because I will kill you. Do not destroy the young because they are our capital for the future. You know why? I am not a millionaire, and along the way, maybe after retirement, a fewer years of comfort. But when I’m old, who will feed me porridge? Who will pay my hospital bills? Who will buy me medicine)?”

(Source: Speech of President Rodrigo Duterte during the Mindanao Environmental Summit “Oya Mindanaw”, Martin Hall, Ateneo de Davao University Main Campus, Jacinto Street, Davao City, Aug. 4 2016, watch from 52:50 to 53:21)

FACT

Duterte’s net worth by his own declaration was P23,514,569.93 as of Dec. 31, 2015. It grew 23 times that in 2001 or by 2,200 percent in the 22 years and four months he was in office as mayor of Davao City. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: How long did Duterte serve as Davao City mayor?)

(Please click the interactive infographics to see exact figures per year)

In 2001, when he ran again for mayor of Davao City after serving as Representative of the 1st District of Davao, he was already a millionaire with P1,016,732 net worth, with “cars and motorcycles” listed as his biggest asset at P1,206,482.

He had P512,135 cash on hand and in banks, and five residential lots and three farm lands, which he would transfer to his three children and estranged wife Elizabeth Zimmerman on May 24, 2006.

Duterte lists only two business interests in all of his declarations from 2001: as incorporator of Honda Cars in General Santos City since 1997 and Poeng Yue Foundation, which he started listing in 2012.

The biggest jump in his net worth was between 2007 and 2008 when he registered a P5,630,559.08 increase.

By 2015, Duterte’s cash on hand and in banks had ballooned to P14,839,569.93, with investments totalling P3,900,000. He had also acquired 12 residential lots, four of which have houses, and two agricultural lots.

The submission of a SALN is a legal requirement for government officials and employees under Article XI, Section 17 of the 1987 Constitution and Section 8 of Republic Act No. 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.

The president has conflicting accounts of his family’s wealth. He has said various times that he was born to a poor family, only to backtrack when asked to explain his supposed billions of pesos in bank accounts. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Duterte flip-flops on family’s wealth)

Sources:

Rodrigo Duterte’s Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net worth from 2001 to 2015

Presidential Communication Operations Office

1987 Constitution

Republic Act No. 6713

FOR FURTHER READING

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