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Marcos taking family vacation in Australia, spox confirms

Kristine Joy Patag - Philstar.com
Marcos taking family vacation in Australia, spox confirms
This photo taken at the BBM Headquarters on May 9 shows Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., presumptive president-elect, and his family: Wife Liza, and sons Simon and Vinny.
Philstar.com / Kristine Joy Patag

MANILA, Philippines (Updated, May 8, 9:57 a.m.) — Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., presumptive president-elect, and his family are in Australia for a much-needed trip, his spokesperson Vic Rodriguez confirmed as the transition team continues its work at home, including completing their Cabinet.

Rodriguez, in a streamed press conference on Tuesday, said Marcos and his family would be away for three and a half days and return on Thursday, as they went on a vacation, their last days as “private citizens.”

Marcos’ family trip to Australia came after rumors swirled over the weekend that the presumptive president-elect had booked the exclusive island of Amanpulo for a victory party. But the Marcos campaign refuted the allegations and dared those spreading it to show receipts or documentations instead.

Australian media first reported the “secret trip” of Marcos, but The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the vacation was uncovered as Filipino communities in Melbourne gathered to protest Marcos’ presence in Australia.

Rodriguez did not hold back and said the Filipino community who merely “stood outside an apartment complex” in the city and bore small posters “rejecting” Marcos are a source of embarrassment.

The spokesperson said it is not a Filipino value to embarrass another in a foreign country. “I think the best person or authority to say whether he is welcome or not are the Australian government and not fellow Filipinos,” Rodriguez said, although Marcos, as president-in-waiting, would also have to serve Filipinos residing in foreign countries once he becomes chief executive.

Rodriguez also said Marcos met with Australian Prime Minister Scott John Morrison who extended his congratulations to Marcos and to the Philippines for the “integrity of the conduct of our elections last Monday.”

Morrison supposedly also affirmed Australia’s ties and continued cooperation with the Philippines.

Meanwhile at home, the Marcos team has so far named two Cabinet secretaries: Sara Duterte, presumptive vice president-elect, as next chief of the Department of Education and former campaign manager Benhur Abalos as next Interior chief.

Investors, however, are getting antsy will the slow pace of the creation of the Marcos' Cabinet. Nicholas Mapa, senior economist at ING Bank in Manila, told Philstar.com: "Investors will stay in holding pattern until then as they await the overall strategy and direction the new administration will take as we face headwinds early on in the lone six-year term.”

Legal challenges against Marcos' candidacy have also moved forward as petiitioners on Monday elevated their plea to cancel his Certificate of Candidacy to the Supreme Court.

BAYAN Australia hits back

While Rodriguez lambasted the group of protestors, BAYAN Australia rebutted that “stealing from the government, telling lies and cheating in the elections are far more embarrassing” than staging a protest.

“The protest is not against Marcos Jr.’s travel to Australia. The protest is a denunciation of what he stands for,” they said.

Listing down how Marcos represents the continuation of the “most corrupt and reactionary regimes” of the Estradas, Arroyos and Duterte—all whose clans united under the UniTeam.

“The Marcoses represent a life of luxury and abundance in the midst of poverty and misery they themselves brought to the Filipino people,” they added.

“Thieves, plunderers and tyrants human rights violators should not be welcomed in Australia!” they added.

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