Binay preempts new Mercado exposes
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Jejomar Binay has preempted a supposed expose by a former ally and friend about his alleged properties in the United States.
Binay said that former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado talked to their common friends in the US and tried to convince them to turn against him.
“‘Yong complainant namin nagpunta sa America. Alam na namin kung ano ‘yong mga pinagpupuntahan niya. Pinipilit niyang tumestigo at gumawa ng istorya,” Binay said over the weekend in Pampanga. (The complainant went to America. We know whom he talked to. He insisted that they testify and make up stories.)
“‘Yung mga gusto nilang tumestigo, pinuntahan nila para magsisinungaling – na tumanggap ako sa kanila kahit na wala naman ‘yon,” the Vice President said. (They went to people whom they want to testify to lie that I received (bribes) from them even when there’s none.)
“Pinuntahan si ganoon: ‘Sabihin mo na lang si Binay, bati-bati na tayo. Hindi ka na namin pahihirapan sa Senate,’” he added, citing Mercado’s alleged words. (They went to this person: Tell on Binay and we’re good. We won’t grill you at the Senate.)
Binay said Mercado and his companions took photos of some properties, among them owned by the former vice mayor. According to the Vice Preident, Mercado would make it appear that the properties belonged to him.
The photos of the properties, the Vice President said, would be released to the public before the Senate resumed its investigation on him and his family.
“’Eto [si Mercado] kukuha ng litrato. [Tapos sasabihin,] ‘(p)roperty niya ito. Property ni Binay ito.’” the Vice President said. (This guy [Mercado] took pictures. The he will say: ‘This belongs to Binay.”
“Hindi boss. Siya ang may-ari niyan,” Binay said, referring to Mercado. (No, sir. He owns those.)
“Inumpisahan na ‘yon kay (Tony) Tiu,” he added, referring to businessman Anotnio Tiu, who claimed ownership of the Batangas property, which Mercado said belonged to Binay. (They already started with Tiu)
“Ngayon, [property sa] Beverly [Hills naman]. Hindi ko nga alam kung saan sa America ‘yong Beverly [Hills] na ‘yon,” Binay added. (Now, it’s Beverly Hills. I don’t even know where that is in America.)
The Senate blue ribbon subcommittee has temporarily suspended its probe into the allegedly overpriced Makati City Hall 2 parking building, where Binay allegedly collected kickbacks.
The probe has branched out to other alleged irregularities of Binay when he was still mayor of Makati City.
The Vice President has denied all the allegations.
Binay said the Senate investigation was being prolonged to turn public perception against him.
“This is basically a perception game. Definitely, there is no end game as far as the law is concerned. And what is the end game? Conviction,” he said.
The Vice President also said he was expecting more attacks since other government agencies were now involved in the campaign against him.
“Talagang gobyerno na ang kalaban mo rito. Inimbestigahan kami ng NBI (National Bureau of Investigation), ng [Office of the] Ombudsman, ng AMLC (Anti-Money Laundering Council). So, more to come,” Binay said. (The government is the enemy now. We are being investigated by the NBI, the Ombudsman, and the AMLC.)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.