MANILA, Philippines — The activist group Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) has joined various sectors demanding to know who financed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s weekend trip to Singapore to watch the Formula 1 (F1) Grand Prix race.
On Wednesday, Bayan secretary general Renato Reyes Jr. slammed the assertion of Malacañang’s newly sworn-in executive secretary, Lucas Bersamin, who said that it is “irrelevant” whether Marcos’ trip to Singapore was paid for with private or government money.
“The President’s activities, when funded by public funds, require proper disclosure. Since when have transparency and accountability become irrelevant? They are public officials, they are not the monarchy,” Reyes said in a statement.
He then pointed out that Marcos was also joined by his family members, some of them are also government officials, who, Reyes said, “are subject to inquiry by the public.”
“How much did they spend? Where did they stay? How many guests were paid for? Was the spending prudent considering the government’s fiscal situation? All these deserve answers from the government,” he asked.
To recall, the President was accompanied by First Lady Louise Araneta-Marcos, his son Ilocos Norte 1st District Rep. Sandro Marcos, and his cousin House Speaker Martin Romualdez, who was with his wife Tingog Rep. Yedda Romualdez. The entire group was spotted at the exclusive F1 Paddock Club.
Reyes further stressed: “They want to make the Singapore weekend getaway part of the President’s official functions and not a mere lavish vacation, but they refuse to disclose how public funds were spent. Is this the new normal under the Marcos 2.0 regime? To call transparency and accountability irrelevant?”
Marcos’ recent trip to Singapore infuriated lawmakers and progressive groups claiming that the escapade came only days after Super Typhoon Karding battered parts of Luzon. – Kristelle Anne Razon, IINQUIRER.net trainee