MANILA, Philippines—In a House of Representatives filled with multimillionaires, Anakpawis party-list Rep. Crispin “Ka Bel” Beltran died Tuesday the poorest of them all, the summary of statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) of House members showed.
As of Dec. 31, 2007, Beltran had a declared net worth of only P50,000 with assets of P110,000 and liabilities of P60,000. He was least in the House in terms of net worth, placing last among 238 members.
The document was prepared and signed by lawyer Ricardo Bering, director of the House records management service. It was certified correct by Jose Ma. Antonio Tuano, executive director of the House administrative management bureau.
A copy of Beltran’s SALN received by the House of Representatives on Aug. 1, 2007 showed that his net worth amounted to P22,750.
He declared as his only real asset his home in Barangay Commonwealth, GAO, Quezon City worth P50,000 which he acquired in 1978.
Instead of appliances and jewelry, he declared as personal assets his two barong tagalog, a pair of eyeglasses, cabinet shelves and shirts. Together, he said, they amounted to P14,750.
Beltran declared as his liability the remaining bills from his lengthy “hospital arrest” at the Philippine Heart Center which amounted to P42,000.
His house in Barangay Muzon in San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan where he met his freak accident wasn’t reflected in the said document.
A member of his staff, Maureen Hermitanio, explained that it was only acquired after Beltran was on his second term in the House in 2004 as Anakpawis party-list representative.
Hermitanio said it was bought with a loan from the Government Service Insurance System.
Beltran was followed at No. 236 and No. 237, respectively, by two other leftist party-list members—Bayan Muna Rep. Satur Ocampo with a net worth of P618,147.33 and Bayan Muna Rep. Teodoro Casiño who declared assets worth P307,900.
Despite millions of pesos available to him as a lawmaker, Beltran lived a simple life.
His unpainted house sits on a 60-square meter lot in a low-cost housing subdivision in Francisco Homes 3, San Jose del Monte, Bulacan.
The monthly amortization is P5,000, according to his wife Rosario “Ka Osang” Beltran.
In the living room are a simple sofa and two electric fans.
An old TV set in the only bedroom can be seen from the dining area, which also served as the lawmaker’s office.
“He slept here on a folding bed. I sleep in the sala,” Ka Osang said.
In front of the house is a small store—her “libangan” (pastime) while the lawmaker was away.
“By his living here among us, we knew he was not corrupt,” said a neighbor, Adela Aceron.
“There are even bigger houses owned by ordinary employees,” she said.
According to Beltran’s brother-in-law, Fortunato Soto, the lawmaker had been wanting to put up a shade in the yard in anticipation of the rainy season.
Soto said Tuesday was the first time Beltran deviated from his daily routine of going to his garden upon waking at 4 a.m.