Noli declines Aquino offer for Cabinet post

Posted at 06/17/2010 9:50 PM | Updated as of 06/17/2010 11:30 PM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - Outgoing Vice-President Noli "Kabayan" de Castro on Thursday disclosed he was offered a post in the Cabinet of President-elect Benigno Aquino III.

De Castro, however, did not say what post was offered to him by the incoming president.

He declined the offer, saying he would like to go back to broadcasting.

De Castro was the anchor of ABS-CBN's TV Patrol from 1987 to 2001 and host of the weekly "Magandang Gabi, Bayan" before his successful foray into politics.

He topped the senatorial elections in 2001 running as an independent, and won the vice-presidential elections in 2004 as running mate of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Despite turning down Aquino's offer, he said he is not totally turning his back on politics.

De Castro also said that during the height of the "Hello, Garci" scandal in 2005, he was offered by the opposition to jump ship, after the so-called "Hyatt 10," composed of a handful of Cabinet members and senior government officials, resigned from their posts.

He said, however, that he declined the offer, saying he felt he would only be used to further other people's plans.

Last year, he also turned down an offer to be the standard-bearer of the Lakas-Kampi-CMD party, which eventually turned to former Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro.

Teodoro lost and came in a far fourth.

De Castro said that he does not regret passing up the two offers that could have landed him the presidency.

Meeting with Binay

De Castro met with vice president-elect Jejomar Binay on Thursday, offering some tips on the post the latter is about to assume.

De Castro personally toured Binay inside his office. He even showed off his collection of birds to Binay.

Binay was accompanied by his family and members of his transition team.

After the tour, Binay and De Castro's camps shared their meals together.

Then, De Castro and Binay headed for a closed-door meeting, where they had a more serious talk. After the meeting, the two men faced the media.

De Castro: Binay fit for DILG

When De Castro was asked what post fits Binay, he said it will be the Department of Interior and Local Government.

This was the post Binay had wanted, but president-elect Benigno Aquino III plans to give it to Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo, a Ramon Magsaysay awardee.

De Castro likened himself to Binay, saying that he had wanted to be secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, but his wish was not granted by President Arroyo.

Arroyo appointed Corazon "Dinky" Soliman to the DSWD.

De Castro also advised Binay to get used to dealing with diplomats.

Temporary office

Binay said he is ready to transfer to the Office of the Vice President in the Philippine National Bank (PNB) building in Pasay city.

He will temporarily hold his office there, while his office in the old Makati City Hall is being renovated.

As for the inauguration, Binay is set to attend the street party at the Quezon Memorial Circle.

If Aquino will present a surprise number, Binay is also ready to show off a few dance moves.

Vice-president elect Binay has earlier said that he will consult with past vice presidents, including former vice president Teofisto Guingona, Joseph Estrada and outgoing vice president De Castro. With reports from Henry Omaga-Diaz and Maricar Bautista, ABS-CBN News