MANILA – Former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado on Saturday pledged to surrender his ill-gotten wealth and challenged Vice President Jejomar Binay to do the same.
In an interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Mercado said that he is willing to return all the money that Binay gave him.
“The money was spent when I ran for mayor in 2010, but I am willing to return the money or its equivalent in property plus my share of the kickbacks from the construction of [Makati City Hall Building II].
Mercado said he was given P80 million from 2007 to 2009 for his campaign when he ran as mayor of Makati City in the 2010 elections.
He added that he received the money from Nelson Morales, former Makati City engineer.
Morales, who was shot dead by still unidentified assailant in Albay province in 2012, was identified by Mecado as the “custodian” of kickbacks from overpriced infrastructure projects in Makati during Binay’s term.
Mercado challenged Binay to do the same and return P16 billion in bank deposits discovered by the the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC).
“The Binays received kickbacks not only from infrastructure projects but also from garbage collection contracts, ghost employees and local taxes and permits,” Mercado said.