FORMER Makati City vice mayor Ernesto Mercado’s admission that he accepted a P80-million bribe from Vice President Jejomar Binay has earned him a graft and plunder complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman.
The complainant, one Louis Biraogo, a resident of Sta. Rosa, Laguna said he decided to file the charges against Mercado Tuesday since nobody else was taking the ex-politiko to task.
Moreover, Biraogo admitted that he has no other evidence against Mercado save for the transcript of a Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee hearing that the latter attended wherein he accused Binay of illegal and corrupt practices during his long tenure as Makati mayor.
Mercado—now under the government’s witness protection program (WPP)—claimed that he received the P80 million as a “reward” for all the transactions that he did for his former ally, Binay.
Pointing to the Binay whistle blower’s admission, Biraogo said: “That should be enough evidence to warrant the filing of a case of plunder against him.”
The complainant, however, was quick to point out that he was neither ordered nor acting on behalf of Binay.
According to him, he even filed a petition before the Supreme Court (SC) in the past ordering the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to halt members of so-called political dynasties—the foremost of which are the Binays—from vying for office in the 2013 elections.
Earlier, Mercado accused Binay, a presidential aspirant, of pocketing kickbacks from the overpriced Makati City Hall Building II, as well as rigging the bidding for lucrative construction projects in the city.
He also claimed that the Vice President was the true owner of the sprawling 350-hectare property in Rosario, Batangas, which has since been dubbed “Hacienda Binay”.