Former Binay aide denies being bagman of VP’s dummy firm
Former aide and financial officer of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Thursday denied claims of Senate witnesses that he was the bagman for the Vice President’s “dummy” firm.
Businessman Gerry Limlingan said his name as well as that of Binay was not in the articles of incorporation of OMNI Security Investigation and General Services.
Last year, former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado said Binay sent Limlingan to work for OMNI. OMNI, according to Mercado was one of the dummy firms of Binay that won contracts while he was mayor of Makati.
Limlingan said he only became involved in running OMNI after he bought its shares from Mercado who lost the mayoral bid in Makati.
However, he said such facts were not mentioned during the Senate or the Ombudsman investigation.
“Consequently, none of the foregoing matters, too, either through negligence, or with deliberate intent, were ever raised in the Senate, the Office of the Ombudsman, this Honorable Court, nor told by Mercado,” Limlingan said.
Earlier, he said in his motion before the Court of Appeals that Mercado was the original owner of two “dummy” corporations that won anomalous contracts with the Makati city government when the Vice President was still its mayor.
Aside from OMNI, he said Mercado also owned Meriras Realty & Development Corporation where his partner was a former city engineer of Makati.
OMNI was incorporated in December 1999. Its president, according to Limlingan was Mercado’s long-time friend.
Shares in the company were eventually transferred to Limlingan’s nominees to slowly equitize a loan that Mercado had borrowed from him. “Even as respondent already became a shareholder of OMNI, the business of the company remained under the control of Mercado,” read the motion.
As for Meriras, Limlingan said the company was incorporated on December 13, 1990 under the ownership of Mercado and a former Makati city engineer.
Limlingan said it was only in 1997, seven years after the company’s incorporation, that he acquired 10 shares in Meriras.
It was in the same motion that Limlingan asked the Court of Appeals to lift a freeze order it had issued against his supposed 170 bank and other financial accounts.
Limlingan insisted before the appeals court that he is engaged in legitimate businesses in commodities, food, electronic, bar, shuttle bus, movie outfit and a Thai restaurant. RAM
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