• ‘Just another nuisance suit’

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    The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay scoffed at the latest plunder complaint filed by Renato Bondal, calling it as “just another nuisance suit against the Vice President.”

    “We all know that Bondal and [Ernesto] Mercado are the indefatigable sources of trumped-up charges against the Vice President. This is but another charge that has been bought and paid for,” Binay’s spokesman on political affairs and lawyer Rico Quicho said on Wednesday.

    “This complaint pertains to the so-called ‘Meriras Property.’ Based on records, the lot is owned by the Chong family while the improvements thereon are owned by Meriras Corporation, which Ernesto Mercado admitted he partly owned,” he added.

    Contrary to Bondal’s claims, Quicho said, the Office of the Ombudsman and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources declared the acquisition of the Meriras lot valid and legal more than a decade ago.

    “Clearly, Mr. Bondal is merely fabricating this current charge,” he noted.

    Moreover, Quicho said, citing testimonies of the Chong family in the Senate blue ribbon sub-committee hearings, they exclusively dealt with Mercado regarding the Meriras Property, and that they never had any transaction with the Vice President in this regard.

    “Mercado himself acknowledged during the Senate investigation that the Chongs are legitimate businessmen. It is unfortunate that the Chongs are being dragged into the demolition job against the Vice President and are being portrayed as criminals when their only fault is dealing with Mercado,” the Binay spokesman said.

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