MANILA – Vice President Jejomar “Jojo” Binay faced a fifth plunder complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB), failing to account P3 billion worth of investments from a joint venture agreement between the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) and private developer Alphaland Development, Inc. (ADI).
Binay lost P3 billion earnings from a P600-million sale of a one-hectare land at the corner of Ayala Avenue Extension and Malugay Street in Makati City. The property was owned by the BSP.
Aside from the Vice President, also linked to the complaint were BSP National Executive Board members Wendel Avisado, Romulo Brillantes, Pepito Carpio, Dale Corvera, Jose Eduardo Delgado, Pedro Destura, Del de Guzman, Miguel de Jesus, Henry Dy, Maximo Edralin, Jose Maria Gastardo, Enrique Lagdameo, Roberto Pagdanganan, Rizal Pangilinan, Remedios Petilla and Arturo Umbac.
Former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado, the complainant, claimed that Binay and the 16 BSP officers committed plunder by ‘acting in conspiracy’ when it entered into a joint venture with Alphaland. He also pointed out that Alphaland officials themselves admitted that the BSP’s 15 percent share from the joint venture was now worth P3 billion.
Questioning the soundness of the controversial deal, Mercado clarified that he was ‘not saying that the Vice President stole the BSP money, but could not account for P3 billion.’
“Hanggang ngayon ay wala pang natatanggap ang BSP mula sa pagbenta ng lupang ito. Napakamura nilang binenta, sa halagang P600 million. Pero kahit ‘yung P600 million ay hindi pa natatanggap ng BSP,” he said.
(Until now, the BSP has not yet received any payment from the sale of this land. They sold it very cheaply, in the amount of P600 million. But even the P600 million has not yet been received by the BSP.)
Not incurring any profit or income from the anomalous sale, the former Makati Vice Mayor also disclosed that Binay and the BSP officers caused injury and disadvantage to the government.
Binay’s camp, for their part, asserted that it was in fact Mercado who was liable for the P3 billion worth of investments as he was the one who negotiated and signed the deal with Alphaland allegedly on the Vice President’s behalf.
“Kung may kakasuhan sa Alpahaland deal, dapat si ex-Vice Mayor Mercado. Malinaw na si Mercado ang nag-ayos ng kasunduan at humingi ng lagay sa Alphaland. Ayon ‘yan mismo sa opisyal ng Alphaland na si Atty. Mario Oreta,” lawyer Rico Quicho said.
(If there will be anyone arraigned in the Alphaland deal, it should be ex-Vice Mayor Mercado. It’s clear that Mercado’s the one who transacted with the deal and asked for a commission from Alphaland. That’s from Alphaland official Atty. Mario Oreta’s statement.)