Binay gained from overpricing, says ex-official

August 27, 2014 - 12:00:00 am

MANILA:  A former Makati City official claimed yesterday that Vice President Jejomar Binay benefited from the alleged overpriced construction of the Makati City Hall II parking building.

Ernesto Mercado, Binay’s former vice mayor from 2006 to 2010, admitted during the televised Senate Blue Ribbon sub-committee hearing that he benefited from the phase 1 and 2 of the project.

“We, politicians, know the answer.  If the vice mayor benefited (from a project), maybe the mayor gained even more,”

Mercado said at the televised Senate hearing.

“If I benefited, it is impossible for the mayor not to benefit from it,” he added.

With the latest allegation, the Blue Ribbon Committee should now invite the Vice President to the hearings, according to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, who called for the Senate investigation into the controversy.

“The vice mayor has directly mentioned the involvement of Vice President Jejomar Binay into the corruption and the anomaly that is the Makati carpark building,” Trillanes said.

Binay and his son, Makati City Mayor Jejomar Erwin “Junjun” Binay, are facing a plunder complaint over the alleged overpriced building.  

Three Vietnam activists jailed

HANOI:  A Vietnamese court has jailed three activists for up to three years after a one-day trial marked by strict security including the detention of scores of supporters.

Bui Thi Minh Hang, a high-profile anti-China activist, was given a three-year jail term by the court in the southern Mekong Delta province of Dong Thap.

She was found guilty of “causing public disorder,” her lawyer Tran Thu Nam said.

Hang, 50, was arrested alongside the two other activists in February when they were on their way to visit a former political prisoner who lives in Dong Thap province. Rights activist Nguyen Thi Thuy Quynh, 28, was jailed for two years. Nguyen Van Minh, 34, who is an independent Hoa Hao Buddhist practitioner, received a two-and a-half year jail term.