Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin said President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s trip to Singapore to watch the opening of the F1 Grand Prix was “relevant”.
The official said Mr. Marcos “met there with many people who were very relevant to our business activities or the running of our government here.”
“He was still performing his job as president when he was abroad. Although that is not an official state visit,” Bersamin said.
The official also said it is “irrelevant” to ask who paid for the Chief Executive’s trip. “We don’t have direct knowledge of how it was funded,” he said.
Bersamin also said, “the welfare of the first family is of concern to the state, so if the President is entitled to his private time, let’s assume that it was his private time, he chose to go there for a specific purpose to watch, that was his primary.”
“He could go there also for other purposes. You may not call that a state visit nonetheless it is not any less covered by that law which accords great importance and value to the welfare of the first family,” the official added.
The official also that the unannounced trip to Singapore was due to “security reasons.” Bersamin dismissed critics, particularly those criticizing the timing of the President’s trip right after Super typhoon Karding (Noru) devastated parts of the country.
“I am not going to be defensive about it. You are entitled to your private time, private moments, etc., If you love to do something, you should not be moved or impacted by others who may not agree with you,” Bersamin said.
He said he doesn’t think President Marcos has bothered anyone in Singapore. “I don’t think he bothered anyone, but he might still be invited there because his presence might have added some suspense and some intrigue and some importance to that event,” Bersamin said.