Palace: Marcos trip to Singapore was private time, not immodest

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
Palace: Marcos trip to Singapore was private time, not immodest
This photo shared by Singapore Minister for Manpower Han See Leng shows President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. at the Singapore Grand Prix. Leng says he met with Marcos and other heads of States to "affirm our bilateral economic relationships and strengthen collaborations in energy cooperation as well as exchange views on manpower policies on the sidelines of the race."
Facebook / Han See Leng

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang on Tuesday defended President Ferdinand Marcos Jr's much-criticized weekend trip to Singapore to watch the Formula 1 Grand Prix, saying he still performed his function as chief executive and is entitled to his private time.

Speaking to reporters, Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin said Marcos met with "many people who were very relevant to our business activities or the running of our government."

He claimed that the funding source for the trip is "irrelevant."

"We do not have direct knowledge on how it was funded, but I am sure if that was the trip of the president, you don't need to be too particular about where the funds were sourced because he was still performing his job as President when he was abroad, although that is not an official state visit," Bersamin, a former chief justice, said.

Bersamin said the trip, which critics claimed was insensitive to the plight of people who were affected by super typhoon "Karding," was not immodest.

“It’s not immodest. It’s not contrary to morals, it's private time," the executive secretary said.

"Let's assume that it is his private time because he chose to go there for a specific purpose, to watch (the motor race), that was his primary (purpose). But he could go there also for other purposes, equally-important. You may not call that a state visit. Nonetheless, it's not any less covered by that law which holds great importance and value to the welfare of the First Family," he added.

Bersamin raised the possibility of Marcos getting free tickets for the event, which was also attended by foreign leaders, ministers and dignitaries. He also lashed at critics who chided Marcos for attending the international auto racing sport.

“We cannot be defensive about it. I am not going to be defensive about it. I would even dismiss yung criticism. Yun ang insensitive. You are entitled to your own private time, private moments. If you love to do something, you should not be moved or impacted by others who may not agree with you.”

Asked what concrete benefits have been reaped from the trip, Bersamin said it was too early to tell.




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