TO prove himself as a credible witness against Vice President Jejomar Binay, former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado should come out clean by declaring how much kickbacks he got from past onerous contracts and immediately return them to the government, Rep. Abigail Binay said on Wednesday.
The Makati City legislator, also a daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay, argued that Mercado should follow the rule of restitution, given that he earlier admitted to pocketing kickbacks himself during his term as Makati vice mayor.
At present, Mercado is under the government’s Witness Protection Program.
“By his own admission, Mercado profited from his anomalous transactions with contractors of the city government. He should then quantify how much he had earned and return everything to the government coffers,” Binay said.
She noted that Mercado has repeatedly failed to present any hard evidence to prove all his allegations against the Vice President since he appeared and testified at ongoing Senate blue ribbon sub-committee investigation.
“We vehemently deny his accusations against the Vice President, none of which he has been able to prove true so far. His continued failure to present any evidence that would stand up in a court of law has been incredible and mere hearsay all of his testimonies at the Senate hearings,” said Binay, a lawyer.
The lawmaker earlier released a list of alleged pieces of property owned by Mercado, including two in California, specifically on Saffron County, Rancho Cucamonga and Green Street in Pasadena.
According to her, the information was easy to access through the Internet since the pieces of property are either under the name of the wife or the children of Mercado.
Also on the list are the 100-hectare Coron Underwater Garden Hotel and Resort in Palawan; 500-hectare Hunter Valley Plantation and Resort in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija; Grand Villa Pateros; Grand Villa and Butterfly Center in Bay, Laguna; Nitz Face and Body Center in Pateros, Metro Manila; Lawndale Finance in Cabanatuan City; Saint Therese Multi-Specialty Services Hospital and Clinic in Pembo, Makati; and JMK Manpower Solutions in West Rembo, Makati.