MANILA (UPDATE) - The former vice-mayor of Makati on Thursday said he personally delivered millions of pesos in kickbacks to then Makati Mayor and now Vice-President Jejomar Binay. He also claimed Binay was trying to raise a P1 billion war chest for the 2010 vice-presidential election.
Speaking before the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee, former vice mayor Ernesto Mercado backed the earlier claim of engineer Mario Hechanova, former head of the Makati General Services Department, that building contracts in Makati were rigged to favor certain construction firms.
Mercado said at least 13 percent of building contract costs in Makati went to kickbacks. He said the kickbacks were received by then City Engineer Nelson Morales who would then tell him that the money was already there.
"Sir, nandito na po yung goods. Ipadadala ko ba," he recounted Morales as saying.
He said he personally delivered the money to Binay either in his office at Makati City Hall or in the mayor's own home.
"Maraming beses po at maraming pagkakataon lalo na po sa umaga. Nakasakay na po sa sasakyan ko yun at ako na po ang naghahatid sa kanilang bahay. Maraming beses po hindi isa o dalawa. Sa mahabang panahon, ito ang naging aking papel," he said.
Mercado even brought bags which he said were similar to the ones he used to carry the money with.
"Ang nagyayari po kasi diyan dun sa lumang bahay nila, pagdating ko po may guwardiya, may library sa kanan. E ako lang ho siguro yung taong dire-derechong nakakapasok don. At karaniwan non naabutan ko po si Mayor Binay nong panahong yon. Mahilig po kasing magbasa yun e. Nagbabasa ng diyaryo o ng libro. Sasabihin ko: 'Sir, eto na po yung ano.' Sasabihin naman niya: 'Itabi mo na lang diyan, pare, at kukunin na lang ni Junjun yan.'"
He said money was also delivered to Elenita Binay, the wife of Vice President Binay, and their daughter, Senator Nancy Binay.