NOY TO MANAGE RP FROM U.S.; BINAY HIS SOCIAL EVENTS REPRESENTATIVE

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 20, 2010
(STAR) President Aquino will remain the country’s head of state during his weeklong trip to the US this week, but Vice President Jejomar Binay was designated as his representative in social functions.

Mr. Aquino made this clear in a memorandum he issued to Executive Secretary Pacquito Ochoa Jr., who will preside over Cabinet meetings in his absence.

“The President shall continue to exercise his functions. He will do everything in the same manner na parang siya pa rin ang Pangulo (as if he was still the President),” Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda disclosed over government-run radio station dzRB yesterday.

“The President will continue to be president,” he reiterated.

Lacierda said the memorandum was addressed to Ochoa with copies furnished to all heads of agencies under the executive department, which means all members of the Cabinet, including second and third level officials.

As is the usual practice, Mr. Aquino stated in his directive that Ochoa will have to sign the papers that he usually signs, and that papers that will have to be signed by the President might have to wait for a little while.

Lacierda stressed that Aquino would still have to decide on “matters that require his approval,” as this will be done by the “fastest and most convenient” way available, citing available technology nowadays.

The President also designated Ochoa to preside over Cabinet meetings, and allowed him some leeway where he can decide on certain non-controversial cases, but in cases of non-unanimity among Cabinet members, the decision should be left for him to decide.

Lacierda said Binay’s main function is to represent Mr. Aquino during social functions while he is away, and the former Makati mayor would be “entitled to the full honors bestowed on the President.”

Lacierda said that the memorandum didn’t mention why Binay – being the second highest official of the country – has not been designated as caretaker or acting president while Mr. Aquino is abroad.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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