MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – The Philippines’ National Penitentiary (New Bilibid Prison) in Metro Manila has been in the headlines recently after the Justice Department uncovered luxury prison cells occupied by incarcerated drug lords. Among other things, VIP (Very Important Prisoners) inmates had jacuzzis, sleep number beds, airconditioners, life-sized inflatable sex toys, even a recording studio.
Many have proposed that the goverment transfer the prison to an island surrounded by water, much like San Francisco’s famed Alcatraz prison.
Vice President Jejomar Binay, who continues to be the frontrunner among potential candidates for president in 2016, likes the idea of an island prison. So what does he want to do with the existing New Bilibid Prison building? He wants to convert it to a presidential palace to replace the existing one, Malacañang Palace.
“If I become president, I will relocate the presidential palace from its current location by the Pasig River to this historic and landmark prison building,” Binay said. “We don’t need to spend millions of pesos dismantling the luxury rooms and amenities at the New Bilibid Prison. We’ll spend less by just refurbishing the building and converting it to the new Malacañang,” he added.
The Vice President believes that relocating the presidential palace to the penitentiary will “bring the government closer to the people.”
“Besides, look at the facade of the building. It really looks like a castle and a palace,” Binay told reporters.