Press Release
March 17, 2012

Manifestation on Day 30 of the impeachment trial of CJ Corona
Re: Definitions and Purposes of Values to be stated in the SALN of a public official


Sen. Alan Peter S. Cayetano raised clarificatory questions addressed to both the defense, the prosecution, as well as the witness (Taguig City Assessor) regarding the values to be declared in the SALN as stated in the law.

Cayetano cited the various values necessary in filling up the SALN form namely the "fair market value", "acquisition cost", and "assessed value" of the properties to be declared as "Assets". He asked the various parties to explain their interpretation of what value should be used in order to compute an accurate "net worth" of a public official.

Cayetano also stated that while the discussion on the values have their corresponding comprehensible definitions pursuant to accounting principles and rules, it no longer delves on an "issue of fact" but more appropriately as an "issue of law" as to what value should be considered to be used in the computation of a public official's accurate "net worth" in the SALN and its proper filing and disclosure required by law to be an effective Anti-Corruption tool of the government.


ASC: Malinaw sa constitution na kailangan magfile ng SALN ang isang opisyal. Malinaw din pos a RA6713 at sa amendment nito ang kailangan natin i-file. Dito po sa form, makikita po natin ang "assets", "liabilities", at "net worth". Doon po sa under "assets", nakalagay "real properties" at sa baba nito ay nakalagay ang "kind", "location", "year acquired", "mode of acquisition", "assessed value", "current fair market value", "acquisition cost" na may "land", "building" and "improvements"

Ang pinagtatalunan po natin ngayon ay "current fair market value". May I ask the prosecution first ano po ang pagkaintindi niyo sa current fair market value at ano ang basis nito dapat?

Prosecution explains that for them, the fair market value is the actual value of the property at the time it was declared.

ASC: So including the price of the improvement or the value of the improvement?

Prosecution affirms.

ASC: Ano pong basis ninyo? Bakit po yun ang interpretasyon ninyo? Pakidagdag narin po kung sino ang nagsasabi kung ano ang current fair market value?

Prosecution states the definition according to the old SALN form (1992).

JPE interrupts to state that these terms have settled technical meanings in the accounting world. Assets should be based on historical value or acquisition value, the forms have only confused us.

ASC: (to the prosecution) Sino pong magsasabi?

Prosecution states that it is the person declaring or the public official who is filling out the SALN who will determine the current fair market value.

ASC: Ano pong basis niya?

Prosecutor states that it may be the acquisition cost or the value of the improvements but he can not use the tax declaration because it is based on the schedule of values that are outdated.

ASC: Para malinaw, itanong po natin sa defense. Same question po.

Defense states that the fair market value that should serve as the basis for the declaration would be on the basis on the valuation made by the assessor. No assumption of malice should be implied because there is an assumption of good faith.

JPE intervenes to state that Cuevas' assumption would be correct if the proceedings were not part of an impeachment case. The question here is: was the Constitution violated? According to the law, you should declare and swear by your assets, liabilities and net worth as stated in the SALN. The purpose of this is for anti-corruption purposes. This is why the important part of this discussion is the acquisition cost.

Defense agrees.

ASC: Mr. President, thank you.

Yung word po na current at yung sinabi po ng Senate President na acquisition cost, wouldn't that affect yung choice nung declarant kung ano ang ilalagay niyang interpretation niya ng current fair market value?

Defense explains that he understands that the term current implies that the property value may vary in time.

ASC: Mayroon pong as of December 31. So current value as of that date.

Defense cites a similar event as an example.

ASC: Yung acquisition cost po at yung assessed cost po ata yung pagtatalo dun. But isa pa hong tanong. Kung pwede po yung mga lawyers natin, pakitingnan niyo po yung SALN ng Chief Justice. Putol lang ho ba yung form o yung iba mayroong ho at yung iba wala?

Kasi sa form po namin, mayroong net worth. Ang tanong ko po is hindi po ba hindi magiging accurate yung net worth kung hindi po ang ilalagay natin ay yung actual market value?

Defense explains that the current market value may change yearly but this is not indicative of fraud.

ASC: If you bought the property 5 years ago for P5 million, so ang declaration niyo is P 5 million (acquisition cost) and P 5 million (fair market value). If 3 years later it is P 10 million, ang declaration niyo P 5 million and P10 million. If 10 years later bumagsak ang presyo to P1 million, ang declaration niyo is P 5 million and P1 million, para makita po talaga kung magkano ang nalugi.

Defense affirms and asks does the difference make him guilty of fraud.

ASC: The point that I wanted to drive at is yung pagtatalo sa fact. This is not an issue of fact. Kasi sinasabi po na iba ang current fair market value at yung sinasabi niyo po iba.

Ang sinasabi po ng prosecution dapat kung ano yung pag pumunta ka sa broker ngayon at itinanong mo kung magkaano mo ibebenta ito at magkaano ito bibilhin, yun ang amount na fair market value.

Sa inyo naman po ng defense ay magulo yung ganoong basehan kasi pwedeng ibaba at itaas nung broker na paiba-iba. Sa inyo ang sinasabi niyo po ay pwedeng yung value sa assessor sapagkat good faith ang public official pag doon.

Actually ang pinaguusapan po natin ay hindi conclusion of fact but rather conclusion of law. So ang trabaho namin ay magdecide kung ano ba ang ibig sabihin ng current fair market value at kung magaagree kami sa prosecution na dapat yung actual. Ang susunod namin na iddeliberate is impeachable ba ito or is it a simple mistake without malice, as you stated. Correct po ba ang pagkaintindi ko more or less?

Defense states that they may vary on their articulation and postulation.

ASC: My point precisely. We can spend the whole month arguing on values and amounts but ang pinagtatalunan pala dito is yung conclusion of law: kung ano ang definition ng fair market value.

Let me elaborate. Tatlo ang values na alam natin. Sa Taguig o sa Fort Bonifacio ang pinakamataas na value is P19,200 sa kahit anong building at condominium.

Witness affirms.

ASC: Hindi po kayo pwedeng mag-assess ng mas mataas?

Witness affirms.

ASC: Kahit na mayroong po tayong isang condominium na P130,000 per square meter na ang bentahan, tama po ba?

Witness affirms.

ASC: At bakit po na ganoon?

Witness states that they are bound by the ordinance.

ASC: And what are the considerations of our councilors and of our dear mayor in determining kung itataas o hindi?

Witness asks ASC to repeat question.

ASC: Didiretsuhin ko na. Two years ago, itinaas ng 200-300 percent ang taxes diyan. Ngayon ang policy nung bagong mayor is no new taxes at hindi itataas. Bakit? Pag tinaas niyo yung taxes, ano po ang mangyayari? Sa Taguig po ba bibili ng condominium? Sa Taguig po ba magtatayo ng condominium o lilipat ng Mandaluyong, Pasig, Quezon City, Makati, Maynila?

Witness agrees.

ASC: Ibig sabihin po, hindi inuutos ng local government code sa Sanggunian na ilagay mo yung actual market value. Ang sinasabi lang ay option niyo yan.

JPE interrupts to explain his position. The only thing material here is if the respondent included in his SALN all of his assets, liabilities and net worth. This is Article 2. If he did not, then we have to go back to the Constitution. Did he comply with this faithfully?

Defense agrees.

JPE explains that this is the issue, not values.

ASC: Your point was precisely my point because we've been quibbling from the start and many senators have been trying to help clarify these amounts. So please just allow me to wrap up.

Kaya po yung batas po ang sinasabi yung fair market value, yun po ay yung nasa schedule. Iba po yan sa fair market value na nasa Constitution na kung halibawa ang gagamitin niyo yung imminent domain at may i-e-ex-appropriate niyo yung lupa, susundin doon yung sinasabi ng prosecution na yung halaga na yung isang buyer ay gustong ibenta at yung isang seller ay payag siyang ibenta at ang buyer ay willing siyang bumili.

So kung pupunta akong broker at sinabing gusto ko itong condo na ito at itanong kung magkano ibebenta iyan. Pag sinabing P50,000 per square meter, kahit sa schedule ay P19,200 per square meter lang, yun po yung actual fair market value.

Kaya tayo nalilito kasi ginamit ng local government code yung salitang fair market value at ginamit naman po ng SALN current fair market value at sa Constitution naman na sinasabing far market value ay magkaiba po yun.

Lastly, nadagdagan ng zonal value na nandiyan sa Section 60 of the NIRC na sinasabi na for payment of internal revenue taxes whichever is higher: the amount determined by the commissioner which is the zonal value or the amount shown in the assessor's. Both of these can be lower.

So bottomline, Mr. President, you are correct. Sa haba-haba ng po ng pinaguusapan ang punto lang po ay ito: Mas mababa ang assessed value at fair market value sa ordinansa sa buong Pilipinas kaso sa actual. So ang pinaguusapan lang ay ano ba dapat ang ilagay sa column na yun.

Pero para matigil na po ang usapan, ang sinasabi po ng prosecution ay actual at ang sinasabi ng defense good faith dahil sinunod yung sa assessors.

So I hope I helped clarify this matter and we can move on to another point.

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