Businessman Antonio Tiu to sue Trillanes for 'defamation'

MANILA, Philippines – The businessman alleged to be Vice President Jejomar Binay's "dummy" will file a civil case against Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for "defamation." 

Czarina Quintanilla, lawyer of Businessman Antonio Tiu for the civil suit, told reporters on Wednesday, October 22, that they will file the case before the office of the clerk of court in Quezon City. 

Tiu owns Sunchamp Real Estate Development Corporation, the registered owner of a 350-hectare farm in Batangas. One of the key whistleblowers against Binay, former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado, had alleged before the Senate panel that the property, which he calls "Hacienda Binay," is owned by the Vice President.

In the course of 9 hearings, Binay's former allies and foes have accused Binay, a former Makati mayor, and members of his family of profiting from the city by fixing bids and receiving kickbacks. 

Trillanes had earlier told media he would prove that Tiu is Binay's "dummy," and that he would produce supporting documents. In response, the Vice President challenged Trillanes to a debate outside the Senate which the senator has accepted.

Tiu also claimed in media interviews that he was being pressured by Trillanes, through emissaries, to turn against the Vice President. 

Binay, for his part, has dismissed the probe as merely politically motivated. He has been invited to explain the allegations against him, but has declined to appear so far. –