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Ex-DBM exec Lao told to explain P5-million net worth hike in 2020

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 07/09/2021 HANA BORDEY,GMA News
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Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Tuesday asked former Budget Undersecretary Christopher Lloyd Lao to submit to the Senate Blue Ribbon committee the copies of his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN) since he joined the government.

The lawmaker requested for Lao’s SALN since he started holding a national government position in August 2016. Lao previously served in the Presidential Management Staff in 2016. He was assigned in the HLURB before he was appointed as undersecretary in the DBM.

Drilon made the motion after he scrutinized Lao's 2019 and 2020 SALN and noticed the P5 million increase in Lao’s net worth in 2020.

“I am analyzing your available SALN and we noticed that your net worth in 2019 was P36 million… and this rose to about P41 million in 2020. How do you account for the increase? Drilon asked.

Lao said one of the reasons for the increase was because he sold 40 of his 140  memorial lots which an investment he got more than a decade ago.

His former clients had given him the said memorial lots as “legal fees.”

Lao said he had reported these lots as assets in his past SALNs.

Apart from the memorial, Lao said he also sold a property located in a golf course residences.

According to the former DBM official, he bought the property around 12 years ago and he decided to sell it after the golf course was opened and the prices “shoot up.”

“I sold it because I was planning to buy the property adjacent to my house in Davao City,” he said.

Drilon said he was “trying to trace” how Lao’s net worth increased, arguing that changing the nature of property from real estate to cash does not account for the increase on his assets.

“Whether cash or land, those are assets,” Drilon said.

However, Lao explained that it account for the change because the value of his properties have increased over time.

“Everything that I bought that was sold last year, was at least 10 years old assets,” Lao said.

Citing as an example the memorial lots, Lao said the value of these lots are ranging from P10,000 to P20,000 but now, the price of each lot is ranging from P80,000 to P100,000.

On top of that, Lao said he has collectibles from his loans that have matured in 2020.

Furthermore, Drilon noted Lao’s cash assets of P15.78 million and $100,138 for a total of P20 million in 2020.

Lao said his dollar account was already existing even before he entered the government.

He added that his cash assets stored in his peso account were collected from his businesses.

According to Lao, he owns two businesses and one school.

“When I entered the government, my net worth is already around P30 million, Mr. Chairman,” Lao said. -NB, GMA News

This article Ex-DBM exec Lao told to explain P5-million net worth hike in 2020 was originally published in GMA News Online.

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