Gordon to do a Cory, plans not to live in Malacañang
Bagumbayan standard bearer Richard Gordon on Friday said he might not reside in Malacañang Palace should he win the presidency in May—the same thing that the late President Corazon Aquino did more than 20 years ago.
Instead, Gordon said he has been thinking of moving the seat of power "somewhere in Central Luzon"—most probably in Clark Field in Pampanga province, one of the country’s free ports that is being promoted as "hub for the Asian operations of various medium-sized and larger companies."
"I probably would not want to stay in Malacañang Palace," he said at a forum held in St. Paul University in Manila. "I don’t like it. I do not like to live there."
Central Luzon is the third biggest region in the country in terms of registered voters, after Calabarzon and Metro Manila.
Bagumbayan presidential bet Richard Gordon, shown here on the first day of his campaign sortie, says he is not interested in living in Malacañang if he gets elected. Aie Balagtas See
Gordon said the Palace, located in Manila’s exclusive San Miguel district along the Pasig river, was not a "very good place" as an official residence of the president as it was not very accessible to the public.
He added that the Office of the President should be near the people, and vowed to be an “accessible president" if elected into office.
Gordon’s proposal was reminiscent of what Mrs. Aquino did during her stint as president from 1986 to 1992.
Saying she and her family were mere “guests" in Malacañang, Aquino had refused to live in the Palace, and instead chose an old house in the neighborhood—what has come to be known as the Arlegui guest house, where windows were not even bullet-proof.
Aquino was catapulted into power through a people's uprising against the Marcos administration. She is considered an icon of democracy and the country's most loved president, according to a recent survey by Pulse Asia.
However, it was also during Aquino's term that Gordon, who was then mayor of Olongapo, was removed from office. A year later, he joined the campaign against the 1987 Constitution by framed by the Aquino-appointed constitutional convention.
There has been several proposals to relocate the seat of government in neighboring provinces.
Late last year, then acting Public Works and Highways Secretary Victor Domingo said there were suggestions to move the seat of government to Pampanga, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's home province, after cyclone Ondoy caused heavy flooding in Metro Manila last September.—JV, GMANews.TV