ALPHALAND Corp., a private property developer led by businessman Roberto V. Ongpin, sued Makati’s former Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado for the third time on Wednesday for allegedly making “malicious statements” regarding a kickback arrangement between Vice President Jejomar Binay and the Boy Scouts of the Philippines.
Ongpin, Alphaland’s chairman and chief executive officer, and President Mario Oreta filed a criminal complaint before the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office against Mercado for filing plunder complaint against Binay and the members of Boy Scouts last October 6.
“As we have said time and again, the Alphaland-Boy Scouts deal is one of the best, if not the best deal that the Boy Scouts ever made,” Ongpin said.
This is the third time Alphaland officials filed cases against Mercado. Ongpin and Oreta filed separate criminal libel complaints in February as Mercado hurled supposedly malicious statements against them when he testified before the Senate.
“These complaints as well as a P100-million civil damage suit filed by Alphaland itself against Mercado are all pending before the appropriate legal authorities,” the company said.
After the first suit, Alphaland filed a P50-million civil damage case against Mercado at the Makati Regional Trial Court for blurting out baseless accusations against the property firm and its executives.
“The deal between Alphaland and Boy Scouts is above board and transparent,” Oreta said.
“Definitely, no plunder was committed by anyone. From a P600-million value in 2008, the asset of the Boy Scouts is now worth some P3 billion. It is a great mystery why Mercado is now attacking his own deal which he successfully negotiated,” he added.
Oreta was referring to Mercado as a former Boy Scouts senior vice president, who was the main signatory to the deal on behalf of the organization.
“As we have repeatedly said and which we will have to continuously belabor – the Alphaland Makati Place joint venture between Alphaland and Boy Scouts is one of the best deals the Boy Scouts, courtesy of Vice Mayor Mercado, ever made,” he added.
The former vice mayor accused Binay, who was then the Makati mayor and the president of the Boy Scouts for the longest time, of cashing out more than P200 million from Alphaland by simply giving his approval to the joint venture that will develop a 1-hectare lot at the corner of Ayala Avenue Extension an Malugay Street.
A condominium tower, Alphaland Makati Place, is now nearly complete in the property.