MANILA, Philippines - Vice-President Jejomar Binay on Thursday said he is looking forward to transferring his office from the Philippine National Bank (PNB) Financial Center to the Coconut Palace in Pasay City.
In an interview, Binay said he could not transfer offices until President Benigno Aquino III appoints a new president and general manager of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).
Aquino recently appointed Robert Vergara as president and general manager of GSIS.
"Ngayong nandiyan na si Mr. Vergara, mag-uumpisa na yung proseso. Basta’t ito ay pinagpaalam namin kay Pangulo," he told reporters.
Binay earlier said he needs a bigger office to accommodate his guests, which sometimes include foreign dignitaries.
"When I have a reception, I have to go to a hotel to entertain the ambassadors. That place (Coconut Palace) is almost complete, it can be used as an office and official residence of the Vice-President," he said.
The Coconut Palace was built as a guest house of former President Ferdinand Marcos.
Binay earlier said President Aquino has already agreed to his plan to use the Coconut Palace.
The vice-president has shelved plans to hold office at the old Makati City Hall building, saying that traffic is worse in Makati than in Pasay City.
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Binay, meanwhile, downplayed Aquino's decision not to designate him as acting president while the President was in a working visit to the United States.
"We'll have to live with realities today. We have gadgets today where you can do teleconferencing, it's like your already beside the President...For me, there's no difference. I just continue to do my job," he said.
He refused to comment on news that Aquino's running-mate, Mar Roxas, had accompanied the President as an adviser in his working visit to the US.
The vice-president is currently in a legal battle with Roxas after the latter protested Binay's electoral victory in the May election.
“Pakitanong mo na lang sa kanya. Alam mo, baka makulayan pa kung ano ang sabihin ko dyan. May protesta pa. May ano pa. Let him decide for himself,” he said.
Binay said he is adopting a wait-and-see attitude towards Interior and Local Government Undersecretary Rico Puno's decision to submit his courtesy resignation after being accused of accepting jueteng payola.
The vice-president said he is open to a review of the proposal to legalize jueteng.
The vice-president also refused to answer questions about what he would have done about the problem with jueteng and the August 23 hostage crisis if he was designated DILG secretary.
Binay had said he is open to accepting the DILG portfolio but he was instead given the chairmanship of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council (HUDCC).
“Andyan na naman tayo sa speculation. Challenging na ang trabaho ko sa HUDCC,” Binay said.