THE camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay on Saturday scored the Malacañang for choosing to be “petty” by raising the issue that he is the only vice president with own official residence.

Joey Salgado, head of the Office of the Vice President’s media affairs division, said the Vice President has raise “substantive issues” but the administration of Presdient Benigno Aquino III seemed to have lack of “complete of facts.”

“Vice President Jejomar C. Binay has raised substantive issues but Malacañang chose to petty instead by raising the issue of the Coconut Palace. Sadly, they don’t have the complete facts,” Salgado said.

Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda slammed on Friday the Vice President for portraying himself as an “underdog” even though he is given “all the respect due the second highest official.”

Lacierda said Binay is the “only Vice President in the Philippine history who was given an official residence by a sitting President.”

Salgado, however, stressed that the Vice President is a “mere tenant” at the Coconut Palace, which is still owned by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

He said the Vice President has to pay a monthly rental of P440,000 a month, cheaper compared to P1 million in rent when he was occupying not even one floor of the Philippine National Bank in Pasay City.

Salgado said the Vice President is grateful to the President for allowing him to use the Coconut Palace even as a tenant but clarified that Binay did not beg for favors or alms.

“It seems that the Palace is now doing an accounting of the supposed favors extended by the President to the Vice President, treating public funds as personal monies given to officials and agencies who, in turn, are expected to be eternally grateful,” Salgado said. (Ruth Abbey Gita/Sunnex)