Robredo likely to hold office at property formerly occupied by Boracay mansion

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Vice President-elect Leni Robredo will likely hold office at the QC Reception House.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Vice President-elect Leni Robredo will likely hold office just 10 minutes away from her Quezon City home — at the 5,000-square-meter property where the controversial "Boracay” mansion once stood.

Now called the QC Reception House, it will also be known as the Office of the Vice President (OVP) for the next six years — if the Commission on Audit (COA) approves the proposed memorandum of agreement to lease the property, Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte said Tuesday.

Belmonte said the move of the OVP to this new location is “85 percent sure,” now that the city government has obtained the necessary lease documents.

"Nagkataon dahil close ako kay VP Leni – naging active ako sa campaign – ay humingi ng tulong ang kanyang team para maghanap ng office para sa kanya dito sa QC,” Belmonte said.

[Translation: I happen to be close to VP Leni – I was active in her campaign – and her team asked for my help in looking for a place where she can hold office here in QC.]

“Leni considers QC her second home, and her children go to school here and also a lot of the NGOs (non-government organizations) that she works with hold office here in Quezon City,” Belmonte said.

Robredo has been scouting for a work place other than the Coconut Palace on Roxas Boulevard, where outgoing Vice President Jejomar Binay has been holding office. Robredo has said the Coconut Palace is “too expensive.” She said she wants a simple office, but formal enough for ceremonial functions.

If Robredo chooses the QC Reception House, Belmonte said the local government will charge the OVP less than half of the almost P500,000 monthly rental for the Coconut Palace.

No longer "Boracay mansion." Vice President-elect Leni Robredo is likely to hold office in this QC government property, where the controversial Boracay mansion formerly sits. The mansion had a pool surrounded by artificial white sand. Both were demolished.

Belmonte said she offered the place to Robredo’s staff and “they like it” and they invited the vice president-elect to have a look.

Si VP naman pagpasok pa lang niya, feeling at home na siya,” Belmonte narrated said. [As soon as the VP entered, she was already feeling at home.]

“Sabi niya parang maganda yung vibes, hindi ostentatious, wala siyang frills, 'di mo mahahambing sa Coconut Palace. Mas simple siya pero at the same time kagalang-galang siya at appropriate sa stature ng Vice president," Belmonte said quoting Robredo as saying.

[Translation: She said it had good vibes, it’s not ostentatious, it has no frills, and you cannot compare it to the Coconut Palace. It is more simple but at the same time respectable and appropriate for the stature of a vice president.]

Belmonte said Robredo is thinking about taking her oath of office at the reception house.

The property was linked to the secret Jose Velarde accounts that became public during the impeachment trial of former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada in 2001. The trial revealed that Jose Velarde was Estrada’s secret bank account name.

The property where Boracay mansion was located is now used for QC Reception House.

The “Boracay” mansion took its moniker from its swimming pool which was built to look like a beach with artificial white sand.

After sequestering the property the Quezon City government decided to demolish the mansion, and eventually constructed a new building used for receiving dignitaries and other special occasions.

Belmonte said she is finalizing the Memorandum of Agreement to be signed by the local government unit and the OVP. The OVP can occupy it as early as July 1, she said.

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