Alphaland, Bobby Ongpin sue Ernesto Mercado
MANILA, Philippines – Former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado, the lead whistleblower in a Senate probe into allegations of corruption against Vice President Jejomar Binay, has been sued by Alphaland Corporation and its Chairman, Roberto “Bobby” Ongpin.
In a statement released to media Tuesday, January 27, Alphaland said it lodged a P100-million damage suit against Mercado before the Makati Regional Trial Court.
Mercado accused Binay and Alphaland of shortchanging the Boy Scouts of the Philippines (BSP) in a land development deal for a one-hectare property in Makati City.
Binay allegedly received close to P200 million in “kickbacks” from the deal, while the BSP got nothing in return.
The accusation was made before the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee’s hearing on corruption allegations against Binay. Binay has denied the accusation, instead pointing to Mercado as the possible beneficiary of the P200 million.
“Alphaland, a respectable private enterprise, is indignant that a disgruntled politician and self-confessed plunderer has the temerity to drag the company into this ‘political circus,’” the company said, referring to Mercado.
Alphaland said that contrary to Mercado’s exposé, the land development project (now referred to as the Alphaland Makati Place project) is “one of the best investment decisions of the Boy Scouts.”
“The project is now worth more than P21 billion. Thus, the 15% share of the Boy Scouts would be worth about P3 billion, or five times its original investment value of P600 million,” Alphaland said in the statement.
Ongpin is also set to sue Mercado for libel, a case which he will file once he returns to the country in two weeks’ time. The Alphaland chairman is currently in South America.
The company added it is “determined to ensure that Mercado will suffer the strongest penalties provided by law…for making these malicious and baseless accusations, without any evidence.” – Rappler.com