MANILA — Vice President Jejomar Binay wanted a hotel for the scouts in Mt. Makiling. And in half an hour, funds from prominent businessmen in the city came pouring.
This is what former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Maceda claimed on Thursday.
He said that he was requested by Binay to construct a hotel at the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) camp in Laguna in preparation for the 26th Asia-Pacific Regional Scouts Jamboree held from Dec. 28, 2009 to Jan. 3, 2010.
“Ako po ang nautusan noon ng aming dating mayor, na ngayon ay Vice President na si Vice President Jejomar Binay. Ang sabi po n’ya sa akin ay ganito: ‘Pare, gusto ko naman ang Boy Scouts ay makapagmalaki. Dito sa Pilipinas gagawin ang Regional Jamboree, gusto kong sa Makiling may nakatayong hotel na tutuluyan ng mga adult scouts’…” he said during the ongoing investigation of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee on the allegedly anomalous deals committed by the past and present officials of Makati City.
(I was ordered by former mayor and now Vice President Jejomar Binay. He told me, “I want the Boy Scouts to have something to be proud of. The Regional Jamboree will be held in the Philippines. I want to build a hotel in Makiling which adult scouts can use.)
Mercado added that he sent the letters with Mr. JR Pangilinan and Enrique Lagdameo.
“Masunurin po akong tao. Noong panahon pong ‘yun, ang Boy Scouts po ay walang pera para matayo ang gusali. Kasama ko ho si Mr. JR Pangilinan, ang aming national treasurer Enrique Lagdameo, kinapalan ko ang akigng mukha sa pagpapadala ng sulat ng panghihingi ng pera sa malalaking kompanyasa Makati.”
(I am an obedient person. During that time, the Boy Scouts didn’t have the money for the building’s construction. I was with Mr. JR Pangilinan and our national treasurer Enrique Lagdameo when I sent solicitation letters to the big companies in Makati.)
“At ipagmamamalki ko po sa loob ng 30 minuto nang ipatawag ko po at hingan ng tulong ang mga prominenteng negosyante sa Makati, sila po ay tumugon na sa loob po ng 30 minuto nakalikom kami ng P30 milyong. At yun pong P30 milyon ang pinagsimulan kugng paano pong napatayo ang hotel ng Boy Scouts sa Makiling,” Mercado added.
(And I am proud that in a matter of 30 minutes, prominent businessmen responded to my request and I was able to collect P30 million. We used that money to have the Boy Scouts hotel in Makiling built.)
Mercado reiterated that contrary to earlier claims, the construction of the hotel was made possible with the use of “legitimate funds.”