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Ex-Binay aide turns tables on Mercado

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Gerardo Limlingan, former aide and financial officer of Vice President Jejomar Binay, has turned the tables on former vice mayor Ernesto Mercado, claiming it was Mercado who originally owned OMNI Security Investigation and General Services and Meriras Realty & Development Corp., which were tagged as Binay’s “dummies” after winning anomalous contracts with the Makati city government.

He branded as “false accusations” Mercado’s claim in earlier Senate hearings that Binay used OMNI, which cornered most of the security and janitorial and maintenance services in Makati City, as dummy to hide ownership of his assets.

Limlingan said he was only able to acquire shares in the two firms as payment for Mercado’s loans to him.

“OMNI and Meriras were originally Mercado’s companies. It was Mercado who incorporated and managed the business and affairs (of) the foregoing companies until the year 2000 when he sold his shares to (me) as payment for the loan (I) extended to him,” he claimed.

Limlingan made the allegation in an 88-page motion he filed with the Court of Appeals (CA) last week to seek the lifting of a freeze order issued against 170 bank and other financial accounts.

He said Mercado borrowed from him after losing the mayoral bid in Makati City. To help, Limlingan offered to buy Mercado’s shares in OMNI. The transactions ended with Limlingan acquiring 80 percent of OMNI.

He also denied Mercado’s insinuation against him in relation to Meriras which, he said, is actually a company originally owned by Mercado and long-time friend, former Makati City engineer Nelson Irasga. Thus, the company’s name is a combination of the first syllable of their names: Mercado and Irasga.

“Consequently, none of the foregoing matters, too, either through negligence, or with deliberate intent, were ever raised in the Senate, the Office of the Ombudsman, this honorable court, nor told by Mercado,” Limlingan stressed. 

UNA denies smear campaign vs Poe

Meanwhile, United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) spokesman Mon Ilagan denied yesterday allegations that the party was behind the demolition campaign against independent presidential candidate Sen. Grace Poe.

Ilagan said it is not the character of their party to resort to dirty tactics just to improve their candidate’s ratings in surveys, adding that UNA has been advocating for fair and clean elections in 2016.

“This is what we have been pushing from the beginning, that different parties should exercise fair and clean campaign, especially those who pretend to be righteous but are focused on the 2016 polls,” Ilagan said in Filipino.

Nacionalista Party (NP) senatorial candidate Susan Ople also confirmed receiving and agreeing to UNA’s offer to become its guest candidate as the party aims to field a complete 12-member senatorial slate.

Only boxing champ Manny Pacquiao, broadcaster Rey Langit, former Philippine National Police Special Action Force chief Getulio Napeñas, actress Alma Moreno, labor leader Alan Montano and Sulu Princess Jacel Kiram were listed with the Comelec as UNA senatorial candidates.

“Kuya Greg (Honasan) gave me advice and I felt his sincerity all throughout our conversation. He also understands and appreciates my predicament because NP has not just one but three members vying for the vice presidency,” Ople said. – Edu Punay, Helen Flores, Mayen Jaymalin

ACIRC ALAN MONTANO AND SULU PRINCESS JACEL KIRAM ALMA MORENO BINAY COURT OF APPEALS DEVELOPMENT CORP EDU PUNAY ERNESTO MERCADO LIMLINGAN MAKATI CITY MERCADO
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