Lawyer Jesus Falcis took to Facebook to respond to correct several things written about Vice President Leni Robredo in a Manila Standard column published on February 7.
The column was written by Victor Avecilla.
In his post, Falcis agreed with what Avecilla said, about how the Philippine Vice President does not have any VP duties, except to become a successor if anything happens to the President. However, he disagreed with the columnist when he said that Robredo was “given a mansion” and was wasting taxpayers’ money.
First, Falcis pointed out how Robredo holds office at the Quezon City Reception House, not live in it.
The QC Reception House is formerly called the “Boracay Mansion,” which used to be owned by former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada.
“The truth is the Vice Presidents of our Republic have never had a permanent office. There is no permanent office under the budget law or in practice that has been the residence of the Vice President. This is unfortunate and no fault of the Vice Presidents,” Falcis said.
“Before VP Leni, Vice President Jejomar Binay was holding office in Coconut Palace in Manila (near Sofitel). The ability of Vice Presidents to have an office is based on how much the VP is willing to pay, using part of the Office of the Vice President’s budget, as rental for that space,” he added.
Falcis said that Robredo used part of the Office of the Vice President’s budget to pay for the QC Reception House instead of the Cococunut Palace, where former VP Jejomar Binay used to hold office.
He also pointed out how the columnist even challenged Robredo to “vacate the ‘vice presidential mansion’ and live in her own house, like other elected officials (other than the President) do,” which Falcis pointed out as another wrong notion.
“VP Leni DOES NOT LIVE in the QC Reception House. She only holds office there,” Falcis said.
Then Falcis issued his own challenge to columnist Avecilla – to prove that Robredo actually lives in the QC Reception House. If not, he should submit his resignation to the Manila Standard and stop his propaganda.
The second point Falcis pointed out is how Robredo’s choice of office saved the government money.
Binay rented the Coconut Palace P484,000 to the GSIS every month. On the other hand, Robredo only pays P280,000 to the Quezon City government monthly, almost cutting the rental cost for the OVP in half.
“By changing offices, VP Leni is saving P204,000 a month, or P2.4 MILLION A YEAR!” Falcis said.
Falcis pushed his third point, being that the Manila Standard published propaganda.
“Note that the Chairman of Manila Standard is Philip Romualdez, who is the first cousin of Bongbong Marcos. You connect the dots,” he said.
“An article published by Manila Standard owned and managed by people with ties to Bongbong Marcos – who has a pending electoral protest to unseat VP Leni. Who will benefit if Leni is delegitimized in the eyes of the people?” Falcis added.
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