Binay slams DOJ for ‘hiding Mercado’
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay has accused the Department of Justice (DOJ) of hiding former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado, a state witness in the impending plunder case of the government against the vice president, after the DOJ refused to disclose Mercado’s whereabouts.
Binay was asked by reporters on the whereabouts of Mercado, who said last week he was in Los Angeles, California, to visit his family and would be back in the country after Nov.30.
Mercado is the key witness in the ongoing Senate inquiry into the corruption allegations against Binay. The former vice mayor accused Binay of rigging infrastructure city projects when he was mayor of Makati City and profiting from them. He also accused Binay of amassing illegal wealth. Mercado has been admitted into the Witness Protection Program (WPP) of the DOJ.
“Tinatago ng DOJ (DOJ is hiding him),” Binay said of his former vice mayor, noting that the justice department would not even say where Mercado has gone now.
Justice Secretary Leila De Lima declined to comment on Binay’s statement.
“I do not wish to comment except to say that WPP matters are confidential,” De Lima said in a text message to reporters.
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