MANILA (Mabuhay) – The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Wednesday said the latest plunder complaint filed by lawyer Renato Bondal was “just another nuisance suit” paid for by his critics.
In a statement, Binay’s spokesperson for political affairs lawyer Rico Quicho said the vice president had no transactions with Meriras Realty Development Corporation over the alleged illegal use of a property in Makati City.
Bondal, one of the witnesses testifying before the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee on the corruption allegations against Binay, claimed Binay used Meriras to hide the ownership of the property.
Meriras is a combination of the surnames “Mercado” and “Irasga” of former Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado and former Makati City Engineer Nelson Irasga.
Mercado used to be a close ally of Binay during the latter’s term as city mayor of Makati.
“We all know that Bondal and 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,” said Quicho.
Contrary to Bondal’s claims, Quicho said the Office of the Ombudsman and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 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 said.
In a Senate hearing last in July, the DENR said there was nothing wrong with the acquisition of the lot.
It was established that businesswoman Erlinda Chong paid P17.75 million for the 8,877-square-meter commercial property that is now valued more than P1 billion. Chong is one of the alleged dummies of Vice President Binay.
“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,” said Quicho. (MNS)