Binay files libel complaint vs Mercado over ‘condo gifts’ allegations
Vice President Jejomar Binay has filed a libel complaint against former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado over allegations that Binay received condominium units from favored contractors.
In a libel complaint filed in the Makati prosecutors office, Binay said Mercado issued before a Senate blue ribbon sub-committee hearing libelous statements against him which were published in newspapers and online news sites and televised over radio and television.
Mercado alleged that Binay would get units in most of the condominiums in Makati in exchange for tax and permit concessionaires. He also said Binay used dummies to hide his ownership of the properties.
Mercado said Binay used Ariel Olivar as a front to hide his ownership of a unit at The Peak condominium. Among the other buildings where Binay allegedly owned units were the Le Triomphe condominium; the Makati Sunrise Tower, now the Berjaya Hotel; Perla Compania de Seguros Mansion Condotel; Prince Plaza II Condotel; and Avignon Tower.
In his complaint, Binay said Mercado gave out malicious statements which were publicized to dishonor or discredit his person.
“The afore-quoted libelous statement made by respondent Mercado, which were aired in several radio and television programs across the country and thereafter quoted and published in several newspapers such as the Philippine Daily Inquirer have likewise imputed on me vices and defects, which caused me dishonor, discredit and contempt,” Binay said.
Binay added that the property developers—SM Development Corp. (SMDC), Megaworld Corp., Robinsons Land Corp. (RLC), Rockwell Land Corp. and Eton Properties—had issued statements denying he received units in exchange for adjustments in their occupancy permits so they would be free from paying real property taxes for a year.
“Clear from the foregoing is that the damaging and ruinous claims spewed out by respondent Mercado are mere concoctions and fabrications with no other purpose than to malign, discredit, ruin my reputation and besmirch my good name as well as that of my family,” Binay said.
Binay said Mercado was only driven by political vendetta because Mercado lost to his son Junjun Binay for the mayoralty race in 2010. Mercado also incurred losses due to his failed election bid.
He added that he earned the ire of the former vice mayor when he did not endorse him for mayor in 2010.
Binay said Mercado was bent on smearing his reputation as an effective former mayor and vice president who enjoyed high survey ratings and ruining his chances of winning the 2016 presidential elections.
“In view of my high public trust and approval ratings, individuals motivated by their (i) political ambitions, (ii) disdain and personal animosity toward me, and/or (iii) insatiable greed for power and money, have individually and/or in conspiracy with other persons, decided to blatantly and publicly malign my good name and reputation, which I have worked so hard for, all in the hope that through their devious and conniving scheme and machinations, I will no longer run as president in the May 2016 elections, or, my name and reputation will be so blackened from the baseless and fabricated accusations against me that I will lose the trust and confidence of the voters in the next presidential elections,” Binay said.
Binay and his son Junjun face graft investigation by the Ombudsman over the alleged overpricing and rigged bidding of Makati City Hall Building II and Makati Science High School Building. Binay was also recommended to be charged for plunder by the Senate committee for alleged corruption when he was Makati mayor. Marc Jayson Cayabyab/RC
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.