MANILA — Former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado told the Senate blue ribbon committee that VP Binay made money from the projects of the city government when he was still the Makati mayor.
The former Vice Mayor, who was a longtime ally of the Binays, explicitly said that VP Binay benefited from the projects because he also did.
Mercado confirmed the involvement of the vice president in the allegedly overpriced P2.3-billion Makati parking building while admitting that he personally made money from phases 1 and 2 of the car park project.
The phases, according to Mercado, had an initial estimate costing of a total of P1.2 billion.
Though he did not present any proof of his claims, Mercado blatantly answered the questions of Sen. Antonio Trillanes during the inquiry.
“Vice mayor, let’s be honest. Did you profit from this?” Trillanes asked.
“Ako ho, aaminin ko sa inyo, doon sa phase 1 at phase 2, nakinabang po ako. (I will admit to you that in phase 1 and in phase 2, I earned from them),” Mercado said.
Hearing this, Trillanes then asked if Vice President Jejomar Binay — who was the mayor that time — also benefited from the project.
“Alam po ninyo, tayo namang politiko, alam natin ang sagot doon. Kung ang vice mayor nakinabang, siguro higit na nakinabang ang mayor dito. Kasi ako naman hindi pumipirma ng kontrata (We politicians know the answer to that. If the vice mayor earned from it, probably the mayor even more so because I do not sign contracts),” he said.
“Kung ako ho eh nakinabang, imposible ho naman na hindi din nakinabang ang aking mayor (If I benefited from it, it’s impossible that the mayor did not.),” Mercado added.