President Jejomar Binay and several other officials of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines are facing another plunder complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the allegedly anomalous sale of a BSP property in Makati City (Metro Manila).
Former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado, the complainant, on Tuesday said the so-called Malugay property was appraised at P1 billion in 2005.
“Until now the BSP has not received anything from the sale of this land. They sold it a very cheap price, at P600 million. But the BSP has not received even that P600 million,” Mercado told reporters in Filipino.
“I leave it to the Office of the Ombudsman to determine how much he [Binay] earned from this anomaly. But what I am saying here is that it was Vice President Binay, as President of the Boy Scouts of the Philippines, who led the sale of this land at a very low price,” he said.
The camp of the Vice President also on Tuesday said if anyone was to be charged over a land deal between the BSP and Alphaland Corporation, it should be Mercado.
“If there’s somebody who has to be indicted for the Alphaland deal, that should be ex-Vice Mayor Mercado. It’s clear that it was Mercado who dealt with Alphaland and even asked for a bribe. That information came from Alphaland official Mario Oreta,” Rico Quicho, the Vice President’s spokesman on political affairs, said.
Quicho added that it has been established in the Senate blue ribbon sub-committee hearings that Mercado sought personal benefit from Alphaland, and that the officers of the BSP and Alphaland have categorically denied Binay’s participation in the transaction.
Mercado’s complaint is the fifth complaint accusing the Vice President of plunder.
Lawyer Renato Bondal filed two plunder complaints before the office last year against Binays and his son Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay Jr. and several others–one in connection with the allegedly overpriced P1.3-billion Makati Science High School Building, and another in connection with the New Makati City Hall Parking Building, which was allegedly overpriced by P2 billion.
This year, Bondal also filed a plunder complaint against the two Binays and several other respondents for allegedly misappropriating P547.42 million funds meant for the University of Makati’s College of Nursing (now College of Applied Health Studies).
He also filed a plunder complaint against the elder Binay and several others over the alleged conversion of a public property in Barangay Comembo in Makati City to his private ownership.
Aside from Binay, the BSP national president, also named respondents in the 5th case were: Wendel Avisado, Marikina City (Metro Manila) Rep. Del de Guzman, Arturo Umbac Jr., Miguel de Jesus, Enrique Lagdameo, Pedro Destura, Dale Corvera, J. Rizal Pangilinan, Pepito Carpio, Maximino Edralin Jr., Jose Eduardo Delgado, Romulo Brillantes, Leyte Rep. Remedios Petilla, Henry Dy and Jose Ma. Gastardo.
All of the respondents are members of the BSP National Executive Board along with respondent and former Bulacan governor Roberto Pagdanganan, a member emeritus, according to the complaint.
The BSP became the owner of the property in 1975 by virtue of a donation by BF Goodrich Corp. subject to the latter’s right to lease the property for 25 years renewable for another 25 years, it said.
When the first 25-year lease was expiring, the BSP, which was then under former Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim, and BF Goodrich disagreed on the renewal.
The BSP said with BF Goodrich leaving the county, there was no need for it to continue leasing the property.
“The BSP lost the case and in the Court of Appeals in 2005 respondent Binay who in the meantime took the reins of power in BSP, proposed to Silvertown, which Silvertown accepted, to sell the Malugay property, splitting the proceeds at 60 percent [BSP] to 40 percent [Silvertown]. Appraisal of the property at around this time was P1 billion as earlier mentioned and the sharing scheme was thus P600 million (BSP) and P400 million (Silvertown). Presumably, this 40 percent was the value of Sime Darby’s remaining lease up to 2026 and its then dilapidated warehouses/equipment, which was/were really not worth much,” Mercado said.
BF Goodrich, which was renamed Sime Darby Philippines, incorporated Silvertown Property Developers Inc. in 1991 to which it assigned its rights and interests over the Malugay property, according to the complaint.
“But the Malugay property was not sold. On June 2, 2008, ADI [Alphaland Development, Inc.] bought Silvertown lock, stock and barrel for P400 million only. This sale was three years after the Malugay property was first appraised in 2005 to be valued at P1 billion and the appraisal used was still that first appraisal,” Mercado said.
Later that same month, ADI and the BSP entered into a joint venture agreement to develop the Malugay property with a sharing scheme of 85 percent for ADI and 15 percent for the BSP.
But Mercado further said, “Continuing with the use of this 2005 valuation of P1 billion allowed the undervaluation of ADI’s corporate guaranty. This meant that BSP will be paid only P600 million in the event the joint venture development is not completed as planned or the loan to finance the development is not paid.”
“Unfortunately, the guaranty is worth P600 million only. Never mind that the property has appreciated many times over — to repeat, just looking at the 2010 loan value of P1.750bBillion,” he added.
The complaint also cited Alphaland Makati Place Inc. (AMPI) President Mario Oreta, a lawyer, who testified during the Senate investigation that the BSP interest was already P3 billion representing 15 percent in the sharing scheme.
“This P3 billion value the respondents ignored to the continuing prejudice of the BSP. The respondents never even asked for the increase of its corporate guaranty which to this date is only P600 million,” it said.