Santiago: Using dummies to hide property Binay’s undoing
MANILA, Philipines–Using dummies to conceal ownership of the P1.2-billion sprawling estate in Batangas province could do Vice President Jejomar Binay in, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago said on Wednesday.
Speaking at Philippine Christian University, Santiago said the use of dummies to hide one’s ownership of a property betrayed an official’s ill-motives.
“You know most of our corrupt officials put their property in other people’s names when they are asked to report their property in their SALN (statement of assets, liabilities and net worth),” she said in her speech.
Former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado has accused Binay of owning a 350-hectare estate in Rosario town in Batangas. A corporation has emerged as the current owner, but Mercado said its shareholders were Binay’s dummies.
If this was the case, Santiago said simple techniques could be applied to look into dummy status.
A dummy is one who purchases property and holds a legal title for another, “usually to conceal the identity of a true owner.” A dummy corporation is formed for sham purposes, she said.
Santiago, however, said the country’s antidummy law applied only to liens.
The use of dummies, however, is a crime under the law creating the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG), by the Forfeiture Law and by the Anti-Plunder Law, she said.
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