Perks and Privileges

Posted on July 8, 2010

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According to Section 6, Article VII of the 1987 Philippine Constitution, the President shall have an official residence. Although Malacañang Palace has been historically and traditionally recognized as the official residence of the Philippine head of state, it is not specifically mentioned in the constitution. Only two past Philippine presidents had not made Malacañang their official residence. The first one was Pres. Emilio Aguinaldo and the second one was Pres. Corazon Aquino. Pres. Aguinaldo actually had not had the chance to live in Malacañang because the Philippine Republic was still struggling to be born during that time. On the other hand, Pres. Cory was the first Philippine president who refused to live in the grandiose mansion along the Pasig River. Coincidentally, both Aguinaldo and Cory headed revolutionary governments.

Ever since Malacañang became the official residence of the Philippine head of state, no similar perks were accorded to the Vice-President. However, all of these may change. While President Noy would prefer to live in the smaller guest house, Vice-President Binay is coveting the Coconut Palace to be his official residence. Is there something wrong with this arrangement? VP-Binay is not even a ceremonial monarch to deserve such an honor. What right does he have to demand or request such privilege?

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