VICE President Jejomar Binay on Thursday filed separate libel cases against Ernesto Mercado and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for their alleged “false, malicious and defamatory accusations” against him.
In a statement, Joey Salgado, head of the Office of the Vice President’s media affairs, said that the libel cases were filed before the Makati City Regional Trial Court.
In February this year, Mercado, a former Makati Vice Mayor and Binay ally, testified before the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee hearing that then-Mayor Binay got P651 million from a land deal between the Boy Scouts of the Philippines and property developer Alphaland Corp. to develop a one-hectare land in Makati City.
Mercado alleged that Binay’s “kickback” from the deal would depend on how much Alphaland’s shares are valued now.
He also said that Binay defrauded the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) through the P600-million deal involving the joint property development venture.
Mercado explained that BSP should have received more from the deal because the value of the property in question already increased after having been reclassified
Binay denied these allegations.
On the other hand, the Vice President’s libel case against Trillanes was about the latter’s allegations regarding the anomalies in the Senior Citizens’ program in Makati, which started when the former was still the city mayor.
In August, Trillanes accused that 45 percent of the senior citizens in Makati City who receive birthday cakes and other benefits are “ghost” citizens or non-existent.
“The Vice President believes in our criminal justice system and is abiding by the rule of law in order to prove that his accusers are liars and political opportunists,” Salgado said.