Full Text --- Sen. Legarda's office responds to report on NY condo ~ Pinoy Media

Monday, May 6, 2013

Full Text --- Sen. Legarda's office responds to report on NY condo

On behalf of our principal, Senator Loren Legarda, we take this opportunity to express our protest with substantive matters contained in the article posted today on GMA News Online, entitled “Loren Legarda found to own condo on posh Park Avenue in New York" and written by Kimberly Jane Tan.

We refer in particular to the portion in the article wherein it stated, “But Legarda has been found to own luxury property in New York, on Manhattan's posh Park Avenue, which was not ever listed in her own SALNS."

We interpose our vehement objection to the inaccurate statements that would likely mislead the public as it puts forth as a statement of fact that may be incorrectly construed as a conclusion of law: that the subject property “was not ever listed" in the Senator's SALNS.

For the record, the subject New York property was properly declared in all the SALNS of
Senator Legarda as co-owned with her father and brothers.

A Certification dated May 1, 2013 issued by Senator Legarda’s Certified Public Accountant, Joel P. Wanagen, MBA, and reviewed by her lawyers, Atty. Cirilo P. Noel and Atty. Avelino Cruz, attested to these facts as follows:

“...The Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Networth (SALN) of Senator Loren Legarda prepared by the undersigned included the New York property since June 30, 2007 described as “'Other investment' in Annex A. Said amount (P7,175,000.00) is one-fourth of the total investment in the acquisition of apartment amounting to P 28,700,000.00.

Beginning December 31, 2007 up to December 31, 2010 the same property was also included on the SALN described as 'Equity in Real Property' in Annex A, also one-fourth of the total P 28,700,000.00.

As of December 311 2011 and December 31, 2012 the New York property was also included on the Senator’s SALN described as 'Real Property-USA,' P28,700,00000 in Annex A. On the SALN Form under Section 'Liabilities' a P21,525,00000 was disclosed to indicate the equity of the other Co-owners, leaving the Same amount of Senator Loren Legarda's equity in the amount of P7,175,000.00.”

Altogether, the article unfairly sends the wrong message of alleged concealment of property and deliberate non-compliance with the law.

We have full trust that your organization shalt maintain its tradition of excellence in fair reporting.

Very truly yours,

Chief Legislative Officer
Office of Senator Loren Legarda

GMA News Online Response:

We have revised the disputed sentence thus:

"But Legarda has been found to own luxury property in New York, on Manhattan's posh Park Avenue, which was not ever mentioned in her own SALNS."

According to the Civil Service Guidelines on the SALN, "Declaration of real properties shall include its description, kind, location, year and mode of acquisition, assessed value, fair market value, acquisition cost of land, building, etc. including improvements thereon."

-- the editors
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