A number of Liberal Party members, including Vice President Leni Robredo, posing and smiling at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, Germany.
Attributed to Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr.
Ifugao rep tweets, deletes LP officials' Berlin Holocaust Memorial photo
Rosette Adel (philstar.com) - April 16, 2018 - 6:02pm

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker from the Liberal Party took down a picture with party members at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, Germany after receiving criticism online for the inappropriate photo.

Rep. Teddy Baguilat Jr. (Ifugao) recently posted a photo of him and a number of Liberal Party officials, including Vice President Leni Robredo posing and smiling at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin Germany.

Other Philippine officials seen in the photo were Sen. Francis Pangilinan, Rep. Jose Christopher Belmonte (Quezon City, 6th District), Rep. Miro Quimbo (Marikina City), Rep. Jorge Banal (Quezon City, 3rd District), Rep. Kaka Bag-ao (Dinagat), and former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.

The photo, however, drew flak from the public for being inappropriate. The legislators were also called out for being “insensitive,” “disrespectful,” and “stupid” by posing in the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

Baguilat said deleted the photo from his Twitter account but did not apologize for it.

“We posed at the Holocaust Memorial not to demean the place. But I took down the tweet immediately so as not to hurt sensibilities,” Baguilat tweeted.

“Our German trip was paid for by a German Foundation and in the study trip, we discussed shared democratic values,” he added.

Despite the takedown of the photo, social media users were able to save the photo and have since circulated it online.

Robredo’s camp has yet to comment on the photo.

On Sunday, the vice president also denied the accusations that she spent taxpayers’ money for her trip to Germany last week. She clarified that the trip was “fully financed” by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.

Robredo, who chairs the LP, and her fellow officials visited Germany to meet with the members of the German government and civil society organizations. They discussed governance, finding sustainable solutions for poverty elimination and social justice.

Although the Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe's Rules of Conduct for the Field of Stelae do not prohibit taking pictures at the site, the memorial "[honors and remembers] the up to six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust."

Jewish artist Shahak Shapira created a project called Yolocaust in 2017 to highlight the inappropriateness of taking frivolous photos at the memorial.

The project, which combined selfies at the memorial with historical photos of Nazi extermination camps, was seen by at least 2.5 million people, Shapira says on the project's website.

"The crazy thing is that the project actually reached all 12 people whose selfies were presented. Almost all of them understood the message, apologized and decided to remove their selfies from their personal Facebook and Instagram profiles," Shapira also said.

The foundation prohibits the following at the Field of Stelae:

  • Loud noise of any kind,
  • Jumping from one stele to the next
  • Bringing dogs and other pets onto the grounds
  • Bringing and parking bicycles or similar equipment
  • Smoking and consumption of alcoholic beverages 

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