House Deputy Minority Leader Rep. France Castro. Act Teachers Partylist Facebook Photo.
ON MY WATCH
By MANUEL L. CABALLERO
OPPOSITION LAWMAKERS IN PH CONGRESS VIEW STRING OF MARCOS JR. TRIPS ABROAD AS MORE FOR PERSONAL, THAN OFFICIAL REASONS
During the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte, there was the so-called extra judicial killings spree.
During the current Bongbong Marcos, Jr. presidency, there is international travel spree. Some of the trips can also be called junket spree.
In the past five-and-a-half months, Pres. Marcos, Jr. has been to Indonesia, Singapore (twice), United States, Cambodia, Thailand, Belgium, China and Switzerland. Presently, Mr. Marcos is in Japan.
During a media conference with TV news anchors in Manila, the president justified his frequent trips abroad saying he had to do the trips in order to invite investors to do business in the PH and to introduce himself being a "new kid on the block." On the whole, he said the trips are good because the trips pay off in terms of investments. He used the economics abbre viation "ROI" or Return on Investment.
But, after his 9 foreign trips from Sept. to Dec. 2022, only around $24 billion in pledges, repeat pledges, were reported to have been made by foreign business groups. That's only an average of $2.6 billion per country visited.
Again, those are merely pledges.
Opposition lawmakers in Congress describe Mr. Marcos' international trips as aimed at "rehabilitating and repackaging" the Marcos family negative reputation than to help uplift the lives of the Filipino people.
It maybe recalled that when Mr. Marcos was interviewed in Davos last month, his answer why he entered PH politics was to preserve the Marcos family.
It seems that "public interest" is nowhere in the bucket list of BBM.
Yesterday, the minority leader in PH Congress gave Pres. Marcos, Jr. a lecture after the President called on citizens to help the government rebuild the economy by paying taxes honestly and promptly. The congressional leader said Mr. Marcos should "walk the talk" by paying first what the Marcoses owe the government in taxes calculated at P203 billion. In fact, he was convicted earlier for non-payment of taxes.
How can BBM "walk the talk"? He is not CFC.
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