PHNO HEADLINE NEWS EARLY THIS PAST WEEK

BINAY: I'LL SUE THOSE WHO CALLED ME THIEF 

NOV 18 --PHOTO: Vice President Jejomar Binay speaks to barangay officials and residents during the inauguration of Barangay Waste Management System in Barangay Sto. Nino, Paombong, Bulacan on Monday. INQUIRER PHOTO / NINO JESUS ORBETA - CEBU CITY, Philippines—Vice President Jejomar Binay will not take name-calling against him lightly as he vows to file charges against those who branded him a “thief (magnanakaw).”  He, however, didn’t name names during a news conference on Tuesday night here that capped the first of a three-day sortie in Cebu City. “Hindi ko po matatanggap yan (I cannot accept that),” he said in response to the question of a radio commentator on how he was taking some people calling him a “magnanakaw.” Binay said this was the reason why he decided against attending the Senate hearing that looked into charges of corruption against him. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Mercado bares more properties, dummies allegedly linked to Binay 

NOV 18 --PHOTO: MERCADO --SCREENGRAB FROM SENATE HEARING VIDEO --MANILA, Philippines—Former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado bared six more properties in Makati City that were allegedly linked to Vice President Jejomar Binay and his family. Testifying before the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee, Mercado showed a slide presentation of the six properties with the names of the dummies allegedly used by the Vice President. The six were the following: 1. Unit 2801 of The Peak Condominium. The 150-square meter unit was under the name of certain Ariel Olivar, surveyor at the so called “Hacienda Binay” in Rosario town, Batangas province. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: Mercado ‘real owner’ of condominium unit-- Binay camp  

NOV 18 --The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday pointed to former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado as the real owner of a condominium unit at the Peak Tower in Makati City. “On contrary, what we know is Ernesto Mercado is the real owner of the Peak Tower condo unit,” Binay’s spokesman, Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla, said in a text message sent to reporters by the Vice President’s head of media affairs, Joey Salgado. Remulla was reacting to reports that a certain Ariel Olivar would come out and testify at the Senate that he was used as a dummy for a 105-square meter unit at The Peak Tower, which supposedly belongs to the Vice President. “Dito dating nakatira ang live-in partner n’yang si Racquel Ambrosio, na anak ng yumaong comedian na si Babalu. Dito rin nangyari ang shooting incident where Mercado was considered by police as prime suspect,” Remulla added. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: ‘Accuser’s resorts cover 800 hectares’ 

NOV 19 --The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday turned the tables on former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado, revealing that he owns several undeclared properties covering at least 800 hectares. UNA interim president and Navotas City Rep. Toby Tiangco enumerated some of the properties allegedly owned by Mercado. These include the 100-hectare Underwater Garden Hotel and Resort in La Jala, Coron, Palawan; the multimillion-peso resort Villa Juanita in Coron; the one-hectare Grand Villa Pateros in Barangay Aguho, Pateros; and the JMK Professional Manpower Solution Inc., registered in the names of Juanita Mercado and Karla Pascual Mercado. READ FULL REPORT.

ALSO: ‘Ariel Olivar is Mercado’s dummy’  

NOV 19 ---COLLAGE OF CORRUPTION? The Binay camp releases a photo collage showing formerMakati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado at the center and properties worth over P1 billion he allegedly owns. MANILA, Philippines–Is Ariel Olivar a dummy of Vice President Jejomar Binay or former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado? The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) is claiming that Olivar is a relative and longtime employee of Mercado, the main whistle-blower against Binay. UNA said Olivar was one of Mercado’s fronts in companies he used to corner P1 billion in government contracts and amass businesses and sprawling real estate, including an entire island in Palawan province, but showed no documentary evidence, apart from a document showing ownership by the former vice mayor of one firm, Twinleaf Group. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: UNA wants Senate to probe ex-vice mayor’s vast assets 

NOV 20 ---Former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado may have bitten off more than he can chew, with him earlier acting the part of a hunter, but now becoming the hunted. United Nationalist Alliance interim president, Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, dared the three-man Senate blue ribbon subcommittee to investigate the unexplained wealth of its star witness Mercado and for the Senate panel to recommend the seizure of the assets of the former vice mayor’s alleged dummy, Ariel Olivar, whom UNA charged as having lied under oath during a hearing, and who tried to mislead the Senate panel and the public by claiming that he is a dummy of Vice President Jejomar Binay. Tiangco, speaking for UNA, dared the Senate subcommitte’s troika, composed of Senators Koko Pimentel, Alan Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes, along with the concerned government agencies to seize all assets in the name of Olivar, as proof that these assets are not the Vice President’s. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO MALAYA OPINION:  VOICES ON THE GROUND ON BINAY IN 2016 

LAST week, in the barber shop/beauty parlor I go to, I overheard a man telling his barber that Vice President Jejomar Binay is worse than Ferdinand Marcos, whose ill-gotten wealth the Philippine government has been trying to get back (it has succeeded in reclaiming a portion) is estimated at $10 billion. The man said, “Si Marcos, nagnakaw siya nang president na siya. Itong si Binay, mayor pa lang, marami na siyang ninakaw. Ano pa kaya ang matitira sa Pilipinas kapag siya ang magiging susunod na president. (At least with Marcos, he started stealing when he was president. With Binay, he has stolen already lot when he was mayor. What would be left of the Philippines if he becomes president?)” Then he started discussing the case of the Boys Scouts of the Philippines property in Mt Makiling and the danger that it would it up as another Binay estate if the latter gets to Malacañang. READ ENTIRE COLUMN BY ELLEN TORDESILLAS...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Binay to sue those who called him thief


Vice President Jejomar Binay speaks to barangay officials and residents during the inauguration of Barangay Waste Management System in Barangay Sto. Nino, Paombong, Bulacan on Monday. INQUIRER PHOTO / NINO JESUS ORBETA

MANILA, NOVEMBER 24, 2014 (INQUIRER) Carmel Loise Matus @inquirerdotnet Inquirer Visayas - CEBU CITY, Philippines—Vice President Jejomar Binay will not take name-calling against him lightly as he vows to file charges against those who branded him a “thief (magnanakaw).”

He, however, didn’t name names during a news conference on Tuesday night here that capped the first of a three-day sortie in Cebu City.

“Hindi ko po matatanggap yan (I cannot accept that),” he said in response to the question of a radio commentator on how he was taking some people calling him a “magnanakaw.”

Binay said this was the reason why he decided against attending the Senate hearing that looked into charges of corruption against him.

The Vice President stressed that a person invited to a Senate hearing should be seen as a resource person and not a respondent to a case.

“Yung inquiry is tungkol sa dalawang Makati building. Napunta na sa property ko. Nagnanakaw na raw ako. Dummy ako. Anong in aid of legislation? (The inquiry was about the two buildings in Makati. It later led to my property. I allegedly stole money from government. I allegedly had dummies. What is the aid of legislation in that)?” he asked.

Binay also denied allegations that he owned several condominium units that were under the name of dummies.

He said he did not know the alleged dummy owner, Ariel Olivar, who was named by Binay’s erstwhile ally, Ernesto Mercado, the former vice mayor of Makati City.

Binay warned Mercado on the charges he raised against him in the Senate.

“May pasasabugin po kami tungkol sa kanya. Magugulat kayo kung anong isisiwalat namin tungkol kay Mercado (We have an exposé on him. You will be surprised with what we are going to reveal about Mercado),” he said.

Binay was in Cebu for a three-day sortie. He went around the public markets and met with local officials on Tuesday.

He told reporters that he was not thinking of withdrawing from the presidential race despite the issues thrown at him.

He expressed his continuing support of the Aquino administration and said he has not thought of quitting the Cabinet.

“Dapat magsama ang vice president at president. Ito po ay tinatawag na bagong politika (The vice president and the President should work together. This is what is called new politics),” he said.

While he has been supportive of the programs of the government, he vowed that he would continue to criticize any wrongdoing by the Aquino administration.


FROM THE INQUIRER

Mercado bares more properties, dummies allegedly linked to Binay Maila Ager @inquirerdotnet NOVEMBER 18, 2014


MERCADO --SCREENGRAB FROM SENATE HEARING VIDEO

MANILA, Philippines—Former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado bared six more properties in Makati City that were allegedly linked to Vice President Jejomar Binay and his family.

Testifying before the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee, Mercado showed a slide presentation of the six properties with the names of the dummies allegedly used by the Vice President.

The six were the following:

1. Unit 2801 of The Peak Condominium. The 150-square meter unit was under the name of certain Ariel Olivar, surveyor at the so called “Hacienda Binay” in Rosario town, Batangas province.

2. Unit 2801 of the Le Triomphe Condo. The unit owner was one Celso Santiago. Mercado said Santiago is the uncle of Binay’s wife and former Makati Mayor Elenita Binay.

3. Unit 906 at the Makati Sunrise Hotel now Berjaya Hotel. Celso Santiago was also the listed owner of the said unit, said the former vice mayor.

4. Unit 797 of The Perla Compania De Seguros Mansion Condotel. The registered owner was a certain Benjamin Zapanta, who was said to be linked with a contractor to various projects in Makati City.

5. Unit 2316 of The Prince Plaza Condotel, which was registered under the name of one Santos Panlilio, the alleged contractor of the Makati Pabahay Program and other projects.

6. Unit 5B of The Avignon Tower. Mercado said the alleged dummy used for the said property was a certain Aurora Panlilio, wife of Santos Panlilio.

To prove that Binay was using dummies to hide his properties, Mercado submitted to the subcommittee a copy of a sworn affidavit signed by Olivar. He said the affidavit was handed to him by somebody during the hearing.

In the one-page affidavit, which was later furnished to reporters, Olivar confirmed that he was the registered owner of Unit 2801 of the Peak Condominium located at Leviste Street, Makati.

“However, I am not the true and beneficial owner of the property—I am not the purchaser for value, nor have I at any time exercised any act of ownership over the property,” Olivar said.

“My name was registered as owner to conceal the identity of the true owner of the property. I know the true owner of the property to be Vice President Jejomar C. Binay,” he added.

The affidavit was signed this Tuesday, November 18, 2014.

“That’s the system of corruption in Makati, condo unit in exchange of tax and building permit…” Mercado said before his presentation.

He then detailed how Binay supposedly got all the said condo units.

Instead of paying taxes and enduring delays in the processing of building permits, Mercado said, property developers would rather give then Makati Mayor Binay one or two condo units to speed up the processing of their papers.

A developer applying for a building permit, he said, was often told that the evaluation of the building by a city engineer would take about three months but the work could speed up if the developer would give an overtime pay.

“Now who wouldn’t give an overtime pay in exchange for not waiting for three months?” Mercado asked.

When applying for an occupancy permit, on the other hand, a building would be assessed by the city accessors’ office based on the start of its payment for real property tax.

Instead of paying P40 million tax for a year, for instance, Mercado said a developer would rather give a condo or two worth P30 million.

“This was the system, that’s why it’s an open secret in Makati that Vice President Binay has a condo unit in each building during his term. But it’s not 100 percent,” he added.


FROM THE INQUIRER

Binay camp: Mercado ‘real owner’ of condominium unit Maila Ager @inquirerdotnet INQUIRER.net 9:29 AM | Tuesday, November 18th, 2014


MERCADO

MANILA, Philippines — The camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Tuesday pointed to former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado as the real owner of a condominium unit at the Peak Tower in Makati City.

“On contrary, what we know is Ernesto Mercado is the real owner of the Peak Tower condo unit,” Binay’s spokesman, Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla, said in a text message sent to reporters by the Vice President’s head of media affairs, Joey Salgado.

Remulla was reacting to reports that a certain Ariel Olivar would come out and testify at the Senate that he was used as a dummy for a 105-square meter unit at The Peak Tower, which supposedly belongs to the Vice President.

“Dito dating nakatira ang live-in partner n’yang si Racquel Ambrosio, na anak ng yumaong comedian na si Babalu. Dito rin nangyari ang shooting incident where Mercado was considered by police as prime suspect,” Remulla added.

(This was where his live-in partner Racquel Ambrosio, the daughter of deceased comedian Babalu, used to live. A shooting incident also happened here, wherein Mercado was considered by police as prime suspect.)

The spokesman said Ambrosio died on April 24, 2002 from a gunshot wound in the stomach.

“Gun used registered to Mercado. He surrendered the gun a day after and admitted cleaning the crime scene. The couple had (an) altercation before the incident,” Remulla said.

“Malinaw na ang agenda ni Mercado ay lokohin ang taumbayan at pagtakpan ang kanyang pagmamay-ari ng maraming properties,” the spokesman added.

(Mercado’s agenda is clear: fool the people and cover up his ownership of many properties.)


FROM PHILSTAR

‘Accuser’s resorts cover 800 hectares’ By Helen Flores (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 20, 2014 - 12:00am 1 0 googleplus0 0


TIANGCO

MANILA, Philippines - The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Vice President Jejomar Binay yesterday turned the tables on former Makati vice mayor Ernesto Mercado, revealing that he owns several undeclared properties covering at least 800 hectares.

UNA interim president and Navotas City Rep. Toby Tiangco enumerated some of the properties allegedly owned by Mercado.

These include the 100-hectare Underwater Garden Hotel and Resort in La Jala, Coron, Palawan; the multimillion-peso resort Villa Juanita in Coron; the one-hectare Grand Villa Pateros in Barangay Aguho, Pateros; and the JMK Professional Manpower Solution Inc., registered in the names of Juanita Mercado and Karla Pascual Mercado.

The other properties supposedly owned by the former Makati vice mayor are the 200-hectare Grand Villa and Butterfly Center in Los Baños, Laguna; the 500-hectare Hunter Valley Plantation and Resort in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija; the Nitz Face & Body Care Center in Barangay Aguho; the Lawndale Finance Co. (LFCI) in Cabanatuan City, and the St. Therese Multi-Specialty Services Inc. in Makati City.

Mercado, according to Tiangco, also owns properties in West Rembo, Makati and in Laur, Nueva Ecija and a poultry farm in Palayan, Nueva Ecija.

Tiangco challenged Mercado to surrender to the government all his properties if he is really sincere in his fight against corruption.

“If Mercado indeed wants to show sincerity, he should take it one step further and surrender to the government all his properties,” Tiangco stressed.

Tiangco called on the Senate Blue Ribbon subcommittee investigating Binay on corruption allegations to look into the companies and businesses of Mercado and his family here and abroad.

“He admitted getting kickbacks. His wealth is the fruit of his corrupt ways. If he will not do that, his land donation is just a gimmick. What is a (4.5-hectare) land compared to several hectares of land he owns in Nueva Ecija, Makati, Laguna and Palawan?” he said.

Tiangco was referring to the 4.5-hectare lot in Rosario, Batangas donated by Mercado to the Department of Agrarian Reform on Tuesday.

Mercado said that while the property was registered in his name, he was only a dummy for Binay.

Mercado said it was part of the 350-hectare farm allegedly owned by Binay in Batangas.

Tiangco said the Senate should also ask the Bureau of Internal Revenue to conduct a lifestyle check on Mercado.

Tiangco said the properties are registered under the names of Mercado’s children, wife, second wife, daughters- and sons-in-law and siblings.

“This is a proof of how he enriched himself while in office,” Tiangco said.

Tiangco also called on the Senate subcommittee to seize the assets of Ariel Olivar, whom Mercado claimed was Binay’s dummy in a 150-square meter unit at The Peak condominium in Makati.

“After discovering today the relationship of Olivar to Mercado, we are daring the Senate subcommittee and concerned government agencies to seize all assets in the name of Ariel Olivar. This is a proof that VP Binay is not the owner of the properties mentioned by Olivar. They should do this immediately,” Tiangco said.

Olivar, in a sworn affidavit submitted to the Senate and read by Mercado, denied that he was the owner of a unit in The Peak.

Olivar said he was the registered owner to conceal the real owner, which Mercado claimed was Vice President.

According to Tiangco, the condominium unit being linked to Binay is actually owned by Mercado.

Tiangco challenged the Senate panel to probe further the connection of Mercado and Olivar.

He said the Senate panel should invite Olivar to divulge all properties under his name, and recommend their confiscation in favor of the government.

“If Olivar claims to be a dummy of Binay, then let all properties under his name be surrendered to the government. Mercado is a liar to the bone. He is using Olivar as dummy to hide his illegal transactions,” Tiangco said.

“I wonder how a person who is always with Mercado becomes a dummy of the Vice President. He (Olivar), along with staff of Sen. (Alan Peter) Cayetano, was with Mercado in the helicopter that took video of Sunchamp last Oct. 2,” he said.

Tiangco claimed Olivar is an employee of Mercado.

“Ariel Olivar is a surveyor of Freeway Surveying, which holds office at Kristine Building in Makati. The firm is owned by Mercado,” Tiangco said.

“There is an Ariel Mercado Olivar listed as a board member of Twinleaf Group, Inc.,” Tiangco said, adding Mercado also owns the company.

Twinleaf is owned by Mercado and through this company, he cornered more than P1 billion in infrastructure and other projects in Makati when he was vice mayor, Tiangco said.

“Mercado used a dummy at that time so his ownership was kept hidden until after he lost to Junjun Binay in the 2010 elections. Now, Mercado and his children openly own these properties. In fact, he was even able to corner projects from the Department of Agriculture,” Tiangco revealed. – Richmond Mercurio


FROM THE INQUIRER

‘Ariel Olivar is Mercado’s dummy’ Gil C. Cabacungan, Nancy C. Carvajal | Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:39 AM | Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Binay camp launches counterattack vs former ally


COLLAGE OF CORRUPTION? The Binay camp releases a photo collage showing formerMakati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado at the center and properties worth over P1 billion he allegedly owns.

MANILA, Philippines–Is Ariel Olivar a dummy of Vice President Jejomar Binay or former Makati City Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado?

The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) is claiming that Olivar is a relative and longtime employee of Mercado, the main whistle-blower against Binay.

UNA said Olivar was one of Mercado’s fronts in companies he used to corner P1 billion in government contracts and amass businesses and sprawling real estate, including an entire island in Palawan province, but showed no documentary evidence, apart from a document showing ownership by the former vice mayor of one firm, Twinleaf Group.

Navotas Rep. Tobias Tiangco, UNA’s interim president, dared Senators Aquilino Pimentel III, Alan Peter Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes IV that if they believe Mercado’s claim, they should compel Olivar to surrender to the government all properties under his name.

Pimentel is chair of the Senate blue ribbon subcommittee which is conducting an investigation on Binay’s alleged ill-gotten wealth. Cayetano and Trillanes are members of the panel.

“It is a mystery why the Vice President will use as a dummy the constant companion of Mercado who also once rode on a helicopter with the staff of Senator Cayetano which took the video of Sunchamp last Nov. 2,” Tiangco asked in a statement, referring to the vast estate in Rosario, Batangas province, purportedly owned by Binay.

“It’s really funny for VP Binay to take one person who is not only a longtime employee of Mercado but also most likely his relative,” he added.

In Tuesday’s hearing of the subcommittee, Mercado read an affidavit of Olivar who claimed that a 150-square meter unit in The Peak condominium in Makati under his name was owned by Binay.

Good friend, not dummy

Olivar, 44, a geodetic engineer like Mercado, said in an interview with the Inquirer on Wednesday said he was “a partner and a good friend of Mercado, not his dummy.”

“What I know also is my name was used as owner of a condominium unit supposedly belonging to Vice President Jejomar Binay more than 10 years ago,” Olivar said.

“Apart from this condominium unit, I have no knowledge of any property under my name on any property of Mercado,” Olivar said.

Tiangco said The Peak unit was actually used and owned by Mercado as his residence with his former live-in partner Racquel Ambrosio, the daughter of the late comedian Babalu.

“On April 24, 2002, Ambrosio died from a gunshot wound to the stomach when the couple had a violent domestic squabble. A day after the incident, Mercado, being the prime suspect in the murder, surrendered the gun that killed Ambrosio. Later on he admitted to the police that he cleaned the crime scene,” Tiangco said.

In an Inquirer report of the crime, Mercado claimed that Ambrosio, 24, could have killed herself because she was suffering from a postnatal syndrome after giving birth to their son three months earlier.

Tiangco claimed that aside from working as a surveyor of Mercado’s firm, Freeway Surveying, Olivar was also on the board of Twinleaf Group Inc. which cornered more than P1 billion in infrastructure and other projects in Makati during Mercado’s term as vice mayor.

“Mercado used a dummy at that time so his ownership was kept hidden until after he lost to Junjun Binay (the Vice President’s son) in the 2010 elections. But now, Mercado and his children have openly declared their ownership of the company (Twinleaf). In fact, he was even able to corner projects from the Department of Agriculture,” Tiangco revealed.

Miss Earth Pageant

Tiangco expressed surprise at how Mercado could have bought an entire island—the 100-hectare island property Underwater Garden Hotel and Resort in La Jala, Coron, Palawan, which would be the venue for this year’s Miss Earth International Pageant to be held next week.

Among the properties and businesses that Tiangco claimed were owned by Mercado were the multimillion-peso villa-resort Villa Juanita in Coron, Palawan;
the one-hectare Grand Villa Pateros in Barangay (village) Aguho, Pateros;
JMK Professional Manpower Solution Inc. under the name of Juanita Mercado and Karla Pascual Mercado;
the 200-hectare Grand Villa and Butterfly Center in Los Baños, Laguna province;
the 500-hectare Hunter Valley Plantation and Resort in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija province;
the Nitz Face & Body Care Center in Barangay Aguho, Pateros;
Lawndale Finance Company (LFCI) in Cabanatuan City;
St. Therese Multi-Specialty Services Inc. in Makati City;
a poultry farm in Palayan, Nueva Ecija; and
various properties in West Rembo, Makati City, and in Laur, Nueva Ecija.

“Where did these riches of Mercado come from? These are lodged in the names of his children, wife, second wife, in-laws and siblings. These are the evidence that he enriched himself in office,” Tiangco said.

“He admitted getting kickbacks. His wealth is the fruit of his corrupt ways. If he does not surrender these assets, then his donation is just a gimmick. What is a few hectares compared to his lands in Nueva Ecija, Makati, Laguna and Palawan?” Tiangco said.

The Inquirer sought Mercado for comment, but aides said he was out of town.

‘Real owner’

In the interview with the Inquirer, Olivar dismissed Tiangco’s claim that Mercado owned an island in Coron worth P1 billion. “I have known him since the ’90s and I have not heard any island worth that much that he owned,” he said.

Referring to The Peak unit under his name, he said: “I will not claim something (that is) not mine. Besides, I know who the real owner of the unit, it’s Vice President Binay.”

He said it was only recently that he discovered the unit was still in his name. “I thought the ownership had already been transferred because they asked me to act as dummy more than 10 years ago,” he said.


FROM THE TRIBUNE

UNA wants Senate to probe ex-vice mayor’s vast assets; Seize Mercado dummy’s assets, troika dared Written by Tribune Wires Thursday, 20 November 2014 00:00 font size decrease font size increase font size Print 1 comment

MERCADO

Former Makati Vice Mayor Ernesto Mercado may have bitten off more than he can chew, with him earlier acting the part of a hunter, but now becoming the hunted.

United Nationalist Alliance interim president, Navotas Rep. Toby Tiangco, dared the three-man Senate blue ribbon subcommittee to investigate the unexplained wealth of its star witness Mercado and for the Senate panel to recommend the seizure of the assets of the former vice mayor’s alleged dummy, Ariel Olivar, whom UNA charged as having lied under oath during a hearing, and who tried to mislead the Senate panel and the public by claiming that he is a dummy of Vice President Jejomar Binay.

Tiangco, speaking for UNA, dared the Senate subcommitte’s troika, composed of Senators Koko Pimentel, Alan Cayetano and Antonio Trillanes, along with the concerned government agencies to seize all assets in the name of Olivar, as proof that these assets are not the Vice President’s.

“After discovering today the relationship of Olivar to Mercado, we are daring the Senate subcommittee and to concerned government agencies to seize all assets in the name of Ariel Olivar. This is to prove that these assets and properties do not belong to VP Binay that Olivar says belongs to the Vice President. The Senate and concerned agencies should do this immediately,” Tiangco said.

Mercado, in Tuesday’s subcommittee hearing, read a notarized document from Olivar claiming to be the dummy of Binay’s Peak Tower condominium unit.

Mercado also charged that the Vice President was given units in 60 to 70 percent of condominium buildings in the city in exchange for faster processing of permits, tax relief and other privileges for the developers.

He named only some six condomium units he claimed are under the names of the dummies of the Vice President.

Mercado claimed that the VP’s dummy for the Peak Tower unit is Ariel Olivar.

But the camp of the Vice President yielded the information that Olivar is one and the same person who was a passenger of the chartered flight to Antonio Tiu’s Batangas property, which the anti-Binay senators and their media continue to brand as the 350 hectare Hacienda Binay.

It will be recalled that it was also the people of Sen. Alan Cayetano and his wife, Lani, Mayor of Taguig, who was a passenger in the chartered helicopter and Olivar was pointed to as one of the passengers surveying the farm.

Olivar, in a sworn affidavit submitted to the Senate and read by Mercado, denied that he was the owner of the unit, a 150-square unit in The Peak Condominium in Makati.

“I am not the true and beneficial owner of the property — I am not the purchaser for value nor have I at any time exercised any act of ownership over the property.” he said.

Olivar also said that he was registered as the owner to conceal the real owner, which Mercado claimed is owned by the Vice President.

“My name was registered as owner to conceal the identity of the true owner of the property. I know the true owner of the property to be Vice President Jejomar Binay,” Olivar added in his affidavit.

But Tiangco shot back, saying: “If Olivar claims to be a dummy of Binay, then let all properties under his name be surrendered to the government. The trouble with them is that Mercado is a liar—to the bone. Mercado is using Olivar as his dummy in his many illegal transactions.”

He added that it is puzzling how Olivar, as claimed, became the dummy of the Vice President as he has been a constant companion of Mercado and at one time even rode in the chartered helicopter flight with the staff of Senator Cayetano and who even took the video of Sunchamp last Oct. 2.

Tiangco said Olivar is an employee of Mercado.

“Ariel Olivar is a surveyor of Freeway Surveying, which holds office at Kristine Building in Makati. The firm is owned by Mercado,” Tiangco said.

There is an Ariel Mercado Olivar listed as a Board Member of Twinleaf Group, Inc.

Twinleaf group is owned by Mercado and through this company, he cornered more than P1 billion in infrastructure and other projects in Makati when he was vice mayor.

“Mercado used a dummy at that time so his ownership was kept hidden until after he lost to Junjun Binay in the 2010 elections. Now, it’s open that Mercado and his children are in that company of the former Makati vice mayor.

“In fact, he was even able to corner projects from the Department of Agriculture,” Tiangco revealed.

“It is too funny for words that Olivar would be made the dummy of VP Binay as Olivar is a long time aide of Mercado. Not only that. Olivar is even Mercado’s relative,” Tiangco noted.

The former Binay ally during the Tuesday hearing, identified six different condo units allegedly owned by the vice president, naming them as The Peak Condominium Unit 2801 measuring 150 square meters, saying that Olivar is Binay’s dummy; Le Triomphe Condo, located at 375 HV de la Costa Street, Salcedo Village, with the unit having 129.52 square meters.

The claimed dummy is supposedly Celso Santiago, the uncle of Dra. Elenita Binay; Makati Sunrise Towers Hotel now Berjaya Hotel, Makati Avenue Corner Eduque Street in Bel-Air, with Unit 906 measured at 25.35 square meters which he claimed is also registered under Celso Santiago; Perla Compania de Seguros Mansion Condotel at 117 Carlos Palanca Street, Legazpi Village; Unit 707, with Mercado alleging that Benjamin Zapanta, a contractor of the Makati City government projects is listed as owner; Prince Plaza II Condotel Corner Legazpi dela Rosa and Gallardo Streets, Legaspi Village, Unit 2316, registered under the name of Santos F. Panlilio, also a contractor of Makati, Pabahay program and other projects and Avignon Tower 44 HV dela Costa Street, Corner San Agustin Sreet, Salcedo Village under Unit 5B, having 324 square meters, under Aurora Panlilio, wife of Santos Panlilio.

But Tiangco turned the tables on Mercado, with UNA stating the many properties and other assets of Mercado, with Tiangco challenging the Senate to ask the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) to conduct a lifestyle check on Mercado who apparently owns an entire island.

Tiangco expressed his surprise at how Mercado could have bought an island in Palawan.

“Just from where did this wealth of Mercado come? The property is listed in the name of his children, his wife, his second wife, with even in-laws and brothers and sisters.

This is the evidence on how he made lots of money and acquired illegal wealth from his position as Makati vice mayor.

“He has such nerve to destroy, to lie blatantly but presents no evidence on whether his allegations are substantiated and proved true,” Tiangco said.

The UNA president pointed out that the Senate and the BIR should investigate further into the companies and businesses of Mercado and his family who own prime properties here and abroad.

Among the properties reportedly owned by Mercado and his family are:

(a) The 100-hectare island property Underwater Garden Hotel and Resort in La Jala, Coron, Palawan;
(b) The multi-million villa-resort Villa Juanita in Coron, Palawan;
(c) The 1-hectare Grand Villa Pateros in Bgy. Aguho, Pateros;
(d) JMK Professional Manpower Solution Inc. under the name of Juanita Mercado and Karla Pascual Mercado;
(e) The 200-hectare Grand Villa and Butterfly Center in Los Banos, Laguna;
(f) The 500-hectare Hunter Valley Plantation and Resort in Cabanatuan, Nueva Ecija;
(g) Nitz Face & Body Care Center in Bgy. Aguho, Pateros;
(h) Lawndale Finance Company (LFCI) in Cabanatuan City;
(i) St. Therese Multi-Specialty Services Inc. in Makati City;
(j) Properties in West Rembo, Makati City and in Laur, Nueva Ecija; and,
(k) Poultry farm in Palayan, Nueva Ecija and many more.

Tiangco said this year’s Miss Earth International Pageant will be held on Nov. 23-25 in the 100-hectare island property Underwater Garden Hotel and Resort in La Jala, Coron, Palawan which is one of Mercado’s high-end resorts.

According to Tiangco, if Mercado indeed wants to show sincerity, he should take it one step further and surrender to the government all his properties.

“He admitted getting kickbacks. His wealth is the fruit of his corrupt ways. If he does not give up these properties and assets, this will prove that his donating his hectares in Batangas is all a gimmick. After all, what are a few hectares compared to the properties in Nueva Ecija, Makati, Laguna and Palawan?” he added.

He said that Mercado wants to fool the public by peddling lies against the Vice President and to hide his ill-gotten wealth.

According to Tiangco, the condominium unit being linked to Binay is actually owned by Mercado.

The unit at The Peak condominium is the same unit used by Mercado as the residence of his former live-in partner Racquel Ambrosio.

On April 24, 2002, Ambrosio died from a gunshot wound to the stomach when the couple had a violent domestic squabble.

A day after the incident, Mercado, being the prime suspect in the murder, surrendered the gun that killed Ambrosio. Later on he admitted to the police that he cleaned up the crime scene.

Ambrosio was the daughter of the late comedian Babalu.

Tiangco challenged the Senate panel to probe further the connection of Mercado and Olivar who fronts for Mercado.

He added that the Senate panel should invite Olivar for him to divulge all properties under his name, and recommend the confiscation in favor of the government.


MALAYA OPINION

VOICES ON THE GROUND ON BINAY IN 2016 By Ellen Tordesillas | November 19, 2014


By Ellen Tordesillas

LAST week, in the barber shop/beauty parlor I go to, I overheard a man telling his barber that Vice President Jejomar Binay is worse than Ferdinand Marcos, whose ill-gotten wealth the Philippine government has been trying to get back (it has succeeded in reclaiming a portion) is estimated at $10 billion.

The man said, “Si Marcos, nagnakaw siya nang president na siya. Itong si Binay, mayor pa lang, marami na siyang ninakaw. Ano pa kaya ang matitira sa Pilipinas kapag siya ang magiging susunod na president. (At least with Marcos, he started stealing when he was president. With Binay, he has stolen already lot when he was mayor. What would be left of the Philippines if he becomes president?)”

Then he started discussing the case of the Boys Scouts of the Philippines property in Mt Makiling and the danger that it would it up as another Binay estate if the latter gets to Malacañang.

Last Monday, I said in my column that impeachment has been ruled out due to apparent lack of numbers. House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. a known supporter of Binay in the 2010 elections, has said that the vice president cannot be impeached for his acts as mayor.

It is expected that Binay will invoke immunity from suits as regards plunder and other charges to be filed against him before the Ombudsman. This question will surely reach the Supreme Court.

Lawyers Katrina Legarda and Sarah Arriola mentioned their take on this in Facebook.

Legarda said: “Well the Constitution states that the VP can be removed from office in the same manner as the President. Hence, only by impeachment. So the plunder cases cannot or will not prosper while he is VP. Should he win (and the question really is who can beat him as other wannabes haven’t been to the places he has been to) those plunder cases will again not prosper.”

Arriola said: “ That’s what you call impunity in immunity. That’s precisely the reason why UNA wants the battle to be in the Ombudsman since they know under the Ombudsman Law, it cannot charge impeachable public officials. Very devious people!”

Fr. Eliseo Mercado said the Senate hearings on the unexplained wealth of Binay do not have much impact on the poor and the drop in the vice president’s ratings is a reflection of the sentiments of upper class. “C, D & E do NOT watch the hearings. Actually the hearings and the three senators have almost NIL impact on the C, D & E voters. The A & B are the ones often subjected to surveys... so the results. They have the phones, they read the dailies and they have cable connections but they do NOT elect the President of the Republic.”

Romy Cator called on the Commission on Elections to look into Binay’s provincial sorties which he sees as early campaigning for 2016: “VP Binay has a good IQ in politics. He has probably developed that kind of political talent through the years as a lawyer also as Mayor and now as the second highest public official of the Philippines as VP.

“He also has developed that kind of strength needed to play around with his detractors. However. knowing that he can throw an elbow of power here and there, his weakness is also very glaring. His weakness was shown by his backing out of the debate which he himself started when he challenged Senator Trillanes to a debate. Backing out from a debate which VP Binay created is a sure sign of weakness and in Pilipino. Walang palabra de honor or Walang paninindigan.

“The reason VP Binay gave proves that it came from a well- trained politician. That according to the VP apparently Senator Trillanes has been saying that VP Binay is a lawyer and he is a very good debater. Kaya ang sabi ni VP Binay ay ayaw na niyang makipagdebate kay Trillanes dahil ayaw naman daw niyanglumabas na mapangapi at mapagsamantala. He just don’t want to be oppressive and opportunistic.

“Who is playing politics now?

“But of course VP Binay is busy traveling to the provinces, delivering campaign speeches. Does the Comelec know about this? This is electioneering isn’t it.”

Cesar posted a comment in Yahoo: “If we vote for Binay in 2016 then we go back to the old days where graft and corruption are so rampant it feels normal and become part of our daily life. The present expose’ is a wake-up call for change.

The next election in 2016 is our last chance--don’t throw it away!”


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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