Mikey Arroyo’s reply and VERA Files rejoinder
ABS-CBN late night news Sunday quoted Mikey as saying he declared the San Francisco Bay Area property in his SALN but was waiting for his lawyer to return from Canada before he would issue an official statement.
I declare everything I own—Mikey Arroyo
By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
Pampanga Representative Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo on Monday refuted reports of irregularities in his statement of assets liabilities and net worth (SALN), calling them “malicious” and waste of his time.
“I have always been transparent with my SALN ever since I entered public office. I have declared everything I own there. It is self-explanatory,” said Arroyo, eldest son of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, in a statement.
VERA Files rejoinder
The house at 1655 Beach Park Blvd. in Foster City, California remains registered in the name of Angela Arroyo Montenegro, wife of presidential son and Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo, data from the San Mateo County assessor’s office show.
As of Monday, August 31, the latest entry in the assessor’s office was dated April 2008 and shows Angela as the “grantee” of the property, which Mikey on Monday said he had already transferred to a company called Beach Way Park LLC as a way of explaining why the property did not appear in his 2007 and 2008 Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Network (SALN). LLC is short for Limited Liability Company.
“(The house) is registered under Beach Way Park LLC in which I am a shareholder and which I declared in my SALN,” Mikey said in reaction to the VERA Files report.
The VERA Files report had cited an entry in Mikey’s SALN for 2008 in which he declared himself a “sharedholder” in Beach Way Park, a company sharing the same address, “Beach Park Blvd, California,” as his Foster City property.
The San Mateo County Assessor’s Office, however, yielded no record of Beach Way Park or its ownership of the Foster City property, which the couple bought in 2006.
Instead, the most recent transaction on record at the assessor’s office was between IndyMac Bank and Angela coursed through the Mortgage Electronic Registration System in which the title was reconveyed or returned to her, not to Beach Way Park. The transaction was recorded on April 15, 2008.
An online search with the U.S. and California Securities and Exchange Commissions and the State of California’s official Website, including its database of LLCs or limited liability companies, also yielded no record of “Beach Way Park LLC.” Information on the State of California’s Website is updated weekly and “is current as of Aug. 28, 2009.”
Although Mikey listed Beach Way Park’s address as Beach Park Blvd. in California, lawyers consulted by VERA Files said the Arroyos could have registered the company in another state.
LLCs or limited liabilities companies in the U.S. are small businesses similar to single proprietorships in the Philippines and can be set up even with just one person as shareholder.
“The limited liability company (LLC ) is now the most common legal entity chosen by small business owners,” said the LLC Expert, a website specializing in the setting up of LLCs. “When you create an LLC, you take the first step in smart business protection planning. A properly formed limited liability company creates a legally enforceable layer of protection between you personally and your business.”
Mikey denied having been contacted by VERA Files. But VERA Files stands by its assertion that it repeatedly tried to contact him by text and calls on his two mobile phones.
Although Mikey, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s eldest child, issued a statement refuting his nondeclaration of the Foster City property, he did not address the other points in the story, which needed explaining.
Among the questions VERA Files sent to Mikey were: Why did he transfer his Redwood City condominium to Angela before selling it in 2005? Similarly, why did he transfer the Foster City property to Angela?
Mikey and Angela sold their Redwood City condominium for $900,000 in September 2005. At the time, his mother, President Gloria Arroyo, was facing impeachment charges for the “Hello, Garci” controversy, the revelation through wiretapped conversations that President Arroyo called up Election Commission Virgilio Garciliano while votes for the 2004 presidential elections were being counted.
INQUIRER.net and other media organizations carried the report of Vera Files exposing that Arroyo failed to declare in his 2007 and 2008 SALN a $1.32-million or P63.7-million beachfront property in the San Francisco Bay Area in California which he bought and then transferred to his wife Angela in 2005.
The house is located at 1655 Beach Park Blvd in Foster City in San Mateo County.
Vera Files said that while the congressman-son of the President declared a residential house in the United States in his SALN for 2005 and 2006, he did not mention it in his SALN for the two succeeding years.
Vera Files also reported that the young Arroyo is indeed a shareholder in Beach Way Park LLC which is located on Beach Park Blvd California, the same street where the Foster City property is located.
“With regards to the San Francisco Bay house, it is registered under beach Way Park LLC in which I am a shareholder and which I declared in my SALN. And this fact was even attested to by the writer or the writers of the story,” he added.
The congressman said the report was misleading either due to the writers’ malicious intent or lack of knowledge on the matter.
“Unfortunately, either the writer or writers deliberately imposed a malicious twist on the story or they lack knowledge on the legal aspects regarding corporations,” he said.
Arroyo said those who have questions on his SALN can talk to his lawyer or those who do not believe him can sue him.
“As much as possible, I don’t want to waste my time dealing with issues like this,” said Arroyo. “There are far more important things to do especially in helping the government find ways to lessen the effects if not bail us out of the impact of the global financial crisis.”
Arroyo also denied that he snubbed the writers’ request for an interview to get his reaction, stressing that the news agency did not attempt to reach him.
From GMA-7 online:
Mikey denies irregularities in his SALN
Presidential son and Pampanga Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Macapagal Arroyo on Monday vehemently denied an investigative report alleging that he failed to declare in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Networth (SALN) a $1.32 million or P63.7 million property in California.
In a text message, Arroyo said he had “always been transparent” about his SALNs ever since he entered public office, contrary to the Vera Files report that said he did not declare in his 2007 and 2008 SALNs a beachfront property in the San Francisco Bay Area in California which he bought and then transferred to his wife Angela in 2006.
“I have always been transparent with my SALN ever since I entered public office. I have declared everything I own there. It is self-explanatory,” Arroyo said.
“In regard to the San Francisco Bay house, it is registered under beach Way Park LLC in which I am a shareholder and which I declared in my SALN. And this was even attested to by the writer or the writers of the story,” he said.
Arroyo said, “Unfortunately, either the writer or writers deliberately imposed a malicious twist on the story or they lack knowledge on the legal aspects regarding corporations.”
According to the Vera Files report, the house in question is located at 1655 Beach Park Blvd in Foster City in San Mateo County. It said that even if Arroyo relinquished to his wife any right to the property, guidelines for the filing of SALNs in the Philippines require public officials to declare property owned by their spouses.
The Vera Files report said the authors repeatedly attempted to get his side by phone, which Arroyo denied.
“There is no truth to the claims of Vera Files I would not reply to their query because in the first place, they have not contacted me. Vera Files did not try to reach me as they claim to. If they had, I would have taken time to talk to them,” said the presidential son.
Arroyo said anyone who wants to question his SALN can talk to his lawyer who prepared the document. “If they still have doubts, they can sue me,” he added.
Saying there are “far more important things” that he needs to attend to, the Pampanga congressman said he would not discuss the issue further.
“As much as possible, I don’t want to waste my time dealing with issues like this. There are far more important things to do especially in helping the government find ways to lessen the effects if not bail us out of the impact of the global financial crisis,” Arroyo said, adding that as chairman of the House energy committee, he is helping find ways to slash power rates and fuel prices. - Johanna Camille Sisante, GMANews.TV
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