Boy Scouts: No Alphaland deal anomaly

by Rose Carmelle Lacuata, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Jan 22 2015 08:44 PM | Updated as of Jan 23 2015 05:10 AM

Avisado: Binay didn't sign deal

MANILA -- Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) Secretary-General Atty. Wendel Avisado on Thursday said there is no anomaly in the group's agreement with Alphaland.

This, after former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado accused Vice President Jejomar Binay of receiving P189 million in kickbacks from a deal between the BSP and Alphaland Corp. and using the money for his campaign in the 2010 elections.

"There's this allegation that Vice President Binay profited from the transaction, but this is something, really, to us, this is nothing but an allegation," Avisado said in an interview on ANC.

According to Avisado, the agreement that BSP had with Alphaland was legal, and that it went through the required procedure. He said the BSP entered into the deal to make the property earn for the group.

"There's nothing that will point out to the vice president that he was directly involved because he did not even sign the agreement," Avisado said.

He added that was Mercado, who was senior vice president of the BSP at that time, who signed the agreement.

Under the deal, Alphaland would develop the BSP's prime property in Makati City, located at the corner of Ayala Avenue Extension and Malugay Street. The property is now known as The City Club.

The land where the club stands was originally 60 percent owned by the BSP while the balance belonged to Sime Darby. The property had an original value of P1 billion.

In 2009, Sime Darby sold its shares for P400 million. When the BSP contributed its 60 percent ownership to the project, Alphaland valued it on the same basis.

Based on the deal, Alphaland said the BSP would earn a fully carried interest of 15 percent from the project. This means the original contribution of the BSP would be worth more than P3 billion or more than five times its original investment value.

BSP EXECS WILLING TO ATTEND SENATE PROBE

Avisado said BSP officials are willing to attend the Senate investigation to explain their side and to protect the integrity of members, who are mostly students.

"We welcome the subpoena of the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee and we assure them that we will all go there, because the BSP has nothing to hide in this transaction," he said.

"If there's anything more that former vice Mayor Mercado's going to allege, then it is for him to prove by competent evidence and not just to allege," Avisado added.

Avisado said the BSP, as a group, would have collapsed if its officers are corrupt.

"Alam niyo po kung totoong may ganung pangyayari po, siguro po matagal nang nabuwag itong Boy Scout of the Philippines. Siguro po nasira na ang Boy Scouts of the Philippines, siguro po hindi na nadagdagan ang members ng Boy Scouts of the Philippines kung talagang may katiwaliang nangyayari dito," he said.

ALL BSP TRANSACTIONS AUDITED

He also noted that all financial transactions of the BSP, even before becoming a government owned and controlled corporation (GOCC), have always been audited.

"(As a) matter of fact, from the time na naging GOCC na po kami, pumasok na po ang Commission on Audit, in-audit po lahat ng transcaction namin, at kahit naman po noong wala pa ang COA, ang SGV po ang nag-aaudit ng transactions and all the other financial reports being prepared on a yearly basis, at so far wala naman pong lumalabas na audit observation memorandum, kung saan napunta ang perang ito, at kung papaano ginastos," Avisado said.

"Open naman po, and we're happy that we are being summoned, then we can say everything before the subcommittee, and to tell the whole Filipino nation, lalo pa 93% ng mga members ay kabataan, and to show to them na wala naman pong ganoong pangyayari na nagaganap sa Boy Scouts of the Philippines," he added.