Binay faces plunder rap over Boy Scouts-Alphaland deal

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 06 2015 12:33 PM | Updated as of Oct 07 2015 05:58 AM

MANILA - Former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado has filed plunder complaints against Vice President Jejomar Binay and 16 national executive board members of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) before the Office of the Ombudsman over the allegedly anomalous deal between Alphaland and BSP.

Mercado earlier said in a Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee hearing that Binay received kickbacks in exchange for the allegedly anomalous BSP-Alphaland venture for the development of a one-hectare property at Malugay corner Ayala Avenue in Makati City.

Mercado alleged that the kickback of around P200 million was used to fund Binay's election campaign in 2010. He said the kickback was coursed through Alphaland President Mario Oreta's Noble Care Corporation.

Mercado, BSP's former senior vice-president, said the Malugay property was appraised at P1 billion in 2005. Alphaland and BSP entered into the joint venture agreement in 2008 to develop the property on an 85-15 percent sharing scheme (15 pct for BSP).

The BSP national executive board then sold the property to Alphaland in 2011 for P600 million, an amount equal to the BSP's supposed share from the joint venture.

READ: Alphaland files P100M damage suit vs Mercado

Mercado insisted the property had been undervalued. A year before the sale, the Malugay property was mortgaged for P1 billion. But the BSP, under the leadership of Binay along with the national executive board, did not ask for the increase of the corporate guarantee of P600 million.

Also mentioned in Mercado's complaint was Oreta's statement before the Senate, where the latter said the BSP's 15% share already stood at P3 billion. He alleged that the real value was ignored to the prejudice of the BSP, and that the latter never received the payment.

READ: Oreta denies Binay owns stake in Alphaland-BSP deal

Mercado claimed Binay dictates what he wants in the BSP and the national executive board members accede to him.

READ: Mercado: Members of BSP Board afraid of Binay

Former BSP executives of the Makati council accompanied Mercado to the Office of the Ombudsman.

Former scout executive Armando Tecson said the money could have been used to subsidize the monthly expenses and activities of the BSP.

READ: Boy Scouts: No Alphaland deal anomaly

'MERCADO IS THE ONE WHO SHOULD BE SUED'

Binay's camp, Alphaland officials, and the BSP have all denied Mercado's allegations. The former makati vice-mayor was slapped with a P100 million damage suit by Alphaland.

In a statement, Binay's spokesperson for political affairs Rico Quicho said Mercado is the one who should be sued.

"Kung may kakasuhan sa Alphaland deal, dapat si ex-Vice Mayor Mercado. Malinaw na si Mercado ang nag-ayos ng kasunduan at humingi ng lagay sa Alphaland. Ayon yan mismo sa opisyal ng Alphaland na si Atty. Mario Oreta," Quicho said.

Quicho stressed that it has been established that Mercado was responsible for the deal, and it was Mercado who asked for money from Alphaland.

"Tulad ng iba pa nilang mga alegasyon, wala itong batayan at sa patas na pagdinig, ibabasura. Pero hindi kami umaasa ng magiging patas ang Ombudsman dahil sa naging aksyon nito sa iba pang alegasyon sa ating Vice President," Quicho said.