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Ex-ally says VP Binay used dummies to hide Fort Boni property, security agency

Belying the claims of the camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay that all his assets are on record, former Makati Vice Mayor Ernest o Mercado alleged Thursday that the former used dummies to hide his ownership of his other assets.
During the hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Sub-Committee on Thursday , Mercado said Binay owned a P 750-million worth property in Fort Bonifacio and the Omni Security Investigation and General Services, which cornered most of the security and janitorial and maintenance services in Makati City.
Mercado said the 5,000-square meter property located at the corner of J. P Rizal and Sampaguita Streets in Fort Bonifacio is under the name of a certain Erlinda Chong, who was allegedly a front fpr Binay.

He said it was Gerry Limlingan, Binay’s alleged finance officer, who faced those who planned to lease the land.
Mercado said land titles, though in Chong’s name, were in Limlingan’s hands.
“Siya (Chong) ang tumatayong front ng mga Binay, ang tunay na kaibigan ni Mayor Binay ay ang asawa nito na ka-badminton niya,” he said.  

Mercado said the Chongs were in the business of distributing canned goods in supermarkets.
Senator Aquilino Pimentel III, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Sub-Committee, seemed unconvinced of Mercado’s statement.
“Kailangan makumbinsi niyo kami sa link ni Chong kay Vice President Binay dahil malayo-layo po yun, ang sinasabi niyo dahil lang sa ka-badminton ni VP BInay ang asawa ni Chong?” Pimentel asked.
Mercado then said the Chong family was the supplier of the canteen at the eighth floor of Makati City Hall I and the canteen at the Ospital ng Makati. He said their names were also being used in the cake purchases of the city government.
He also presented to the committee Jose Orillaza, former president of Omni and allegedly a front of Binay.
Speaking before the committee. Orillaza said he was the president of  Omni when it was established in 1999 but Binay allegedly assigned Limlingan as hi co-signatory. He added that Binay was a part of the company but his name was not on its papers.
“Ang alam ko ay siya (Limlingan) ang pinadala ni Vice President Binay, internal agreement lang namin yun mula sa umpisa,” he said.
Orillaza said he was given a P50,000 to 70,000 salary per month and a dividend, the amount of which depended on the how much Limlingan decided to give him.
Asked if he was aware that he was Binay’s dummy in the company, Orillaza replied in the affirmative. He was, however, replaced in 2010.
“Simula noong natapos ang 2010 ay pinalitan na ang corporation dahil kasama ko si Vice Mayor Mercado,” he said.
Orillaza said he gave up his shares in the company because if he would not, the company would be unable to collect from the city hall, where it had a service contract.
In a press statement, Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla, Binay's spokesperson, belittled Mercado's documents.
"As to the latest allegations of Mr. Mercado, the supposed documents he presented are far from definitive proof as he alleged," he said.
"It is part of a fishing expedition that violates the constitutional rights of private individuals, and validates the position taken by Vice President Binay and Mayor Binay in his jurisdictional challenge that the hearings are not in aid of legislation but are meant to tarnish the reputation of the Vice President and his family," Remulla added. —NB, GMA News