MANILA (Mabuhay) – Businessman Antonio Tiu on Wednesday claimed that he was being blackmailed by some personalities from the government if he would not cooperate in the Senate investigation on various allegations against Vice President Jejomar Binay.
“While abroad, I received several text messages warning me to cooperate if I wanted a green pass. Otherwise, various government agencies would start running after me,” Tiu said in a press conference in Quezon City.
“To my mind, these text messages contitute real threat and blackmail,” he added.
Asked who he thinks may be behind the said text threats, Tiu said he was “just a businessman” and has no capacity to investigate the dealings of the government.
“Hindi ko po masagot sa inyo dahil ako po ay isang simpleng mamamayan, simpleng negosyante. Wala sa kakayahan kong malaman kung ano, sino ang nasa likod nito,” he said.
He, however, said that he has now hired additional security personnel for his family who is based abroad.
“Basta ang maliwanag ay mayroong threat. Mas nagiging exposed tayo sa karagdagang security risks,” Tiu said.
Tiu also maintained that he was not a dummy of Binay.
“I am not a dummy. I am not a money-launderer. I am not guilty of any crime. I am a legitimate businessman. I have built my companies through years of hard work,” he said.
Tiu is the owner of Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corp., which supposedly has real and enforceable rights over the 145-hectare property in Rosario, Batangas being linked to Binay.
Tiu, in previous hearings of the Senate Blue Ribbon Sub-committee, claimed that he bought the property from a certain Laureano Gregorio. Some senators, however, suspect that Tiu and his company are just acting as dummy for Binay after former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado testified that it is the Binay family who really owns the Batangas property. (MNS)