A private complainant on Tuesday filed a plunder complaint against former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado for receiving bribes amounting to P80 million from the construction of the controversial Makati City Hall Building 2.
The complaint was filed by Louis Biraogo at the Office of the Ombudsman.
“Why is it that everyone of consequence in Makati City Hall at the time of the construction of the building is now facing charges while Vice Mayor Mercado remains free?” Biraogo asked.
When he appeared before the Senate blue ribbon committee that is investigating the allegedly questionable construction of the Makati building last year, Mercado admitted receiving P80 million in bribes when he was vice mayor.
He said Vice President Jejomar Binay, who was then the mayor of Makati City (Metro Manila), may have received a bigger amount.
“As I had said in the previous hearing, I obtained a benefit from the Makati Parking Building. And as I had said in that hearing, if the vice mayor obtained such a benefit, I believe that the mayor had a bigger benefit,” Biraogo quoted Mercado in the complaint.
“What sort of benefit did I derive? Mayor Jojo Binay and Engineer Morales promised to give me the amount of P120 million for the campaign of our entire political party.
But the actual amount I received, on a piecemeal series, reached a total of P80 million,” Mercado was further quoted.
Jojo is the nickname of the Vice President and Engineer Morales’ first name is Nelson.
Biraogo said he has no connections with Binay, against whom Mercado testified.
Mercado has been placed under the Witness Protection Program of the Department of Justice.
“Hindi po tayo namumulitika. May nakikita akong mali, may nagsabi na nagnakaw siya ni walang gumagalaw para iyang kamalian na ‘yan ay matuwid [We are not politicking. Somebody has admitted to stealing but nobody does something to make that person answerable to the crime],” Biraogo said.
The complainant also sought the forfeiture of the money in favor of the government.