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VP Binay got 13% kickback from every Makati project –former vice mayor

(Updated 3:35 p.m.) Vice President Jejomar Binay received 13 percent kickback from every contract for projects entered into by the Makati City government during his incumbency as mayor, former Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado told the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee on Thursday.

During the hearing, Mercado said the 13 percent is divided into three portions — one for Mayor Junjun Binay, Binay's son who was then a councilor; another for a certain Ebeng, supposedly Binay’s assistant; and another for Gerry Limlingan, Binay’s finance officer.

He said he personally delivered the money to the three men.

Binay, a strong contender in the 2016 presidential elections, and his son have been named respondents in a plunder complaint in connection with the alleged overpricing in the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II.

Mercado said Binay received some P52 million, in Phase One alone.  The questioned building was built in five phases.
“Hindi po cash na buo yung P52 million kasi depende kung ilang beses naniningil ang contractor. Hindi naman po porke P400 million yung contract ng Hilmarc’s sa Phase 1 nakukuha na agad ang pera, hindi naman po masisingil ng Hilmarc’s nang buong P400 million. Maaring nasingil yan ng dalawa, tatlo, o apat na beses,” he said.
Mercado said he got a total of P80 million, which he received in tranches, for all the transactions he did for the Binays. He said Binay initially promised to give him P120 million which he could use for his mayoralty bid then.

The Vice President has yet to issue a statement regarding Mercado's latest accusation, although he has repeatedly denied involvement in any wrongdoing. Binay has described previous allegations as part of a demolition job against him.

In a text message to GMA News Online, the Vice President's spokesperson, Cavite Gov. Jonvic Remulla, said Mercado was already "contradicting himself."

"The first hearing was 'sa palagay ko.' This hearing was 'ito ang totoo.' This kind of testimony would have been junked by a real court of law. It is, however, acceptable in a kangaroo court," Remulla said.

In a previous hearing, Mercado said Binay received bribes from the construction of the Makati City Hall Building II, and admitted that he himself benefited from the project.

3 bags

At Thursday's hearing on the allegedly overpriced building, Mercado said the money was placed in three different bags. He said it was former city engineer Nelson Morales who gave him the bags.

“Hindi ko rin alam kung sino ang naghatid kasi  hindi ako nakaharap pag naghahatiran sila ng pera basta si Engr. Morales pag meron nang pera sa kanyang opisina, tatawag po sa akin, ang sabi niya sa akin, ‘sir, andito na po yung bag’ o kung minsan e ‘sir, andito na po yung goods, ipapadala ko o ipakukuha nyo ba?” Mercado said.
He said the portion for Junjun Binay was for the Binay family while the portion for Limlingan was for Binay's vice presidential bid. The bags have locks, the security number of which will be texted to him by Morales, to ensure that money will not be lost.
He said the amount of the money depended on the collections they got.
"Depende sa koleksyon, sa voucher na nakukolekta. P1.5 million to P2 million ang minimum. Minsan umaabot din sa P10 million ang isang bag," Mercado said.
Money was delivered two or three times a week, Mercado said, although there were months when they did not receive any.
"May panahon na madalang, wala. Merong sunod-sunod na dumadating katulad nung ginagawa 'yung Makati building, Makati Science High School. Pero hindi po sa lahat ng linggo. Merong isang buwan na wala," said Mercado.
He said even Binay’s wife, Dra. Elenita, got kickbacks from the projects of the city hall.
He said Mrs. Binay received P1.9 million to 2.4 million from the city’s garbage collection contract. Mercado said she also used to benefit from the alleged 900 ghost employees of the city hall but her husband ordered that it be reduced to 300.
“Ang unang order sa akin (ni Mayor Jejomar Binay noong 2001) ay bawasan yung ghost employees. Ang sabi niya ilan ba yan? Ang sabi ko 900. Sabi niya e di bawasan mo ng 300. Nung sumunod na quarter, bawas uli nang 300. Sinabi niya sa akin ‘Pare, pag hindi pumapalag ang ninang mo bawasan mo pa. So natira na lang 300',” he said. — KBK/KG/RSJ/NB GMA News