Marcos trip to watch Singapore F1 races sparks criticism

Oct 2, 2022, 7:49 PM | Updated: Oct 3, 2022, 9:16 pm

FILE - Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivers his first state of the nation address in ...

FILE - Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. delivers his first state of the nation address in Quezon city, Philippines on July 25, 2022. A trip by Marcos Jr. to Singapore over the weekend to watch Formula One races has come under attack from critics who described it as "utterly callous" while thousands of Filipinos remain displaced due to a recent typhoon. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila, Pool, File)

(AP Photo/Aaron Favila, Pool, File)

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — A trip by Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to Singapore over the weekend to watch Formula One races has come under attack from critics who described it as “utterly callous” while thousands of Filipinos remain displaced due to a recent typhoon.

Marcos Jr. confirmed his trip to Singapore for the Grand Prix event in a brief statement and pictures he posted on Facebook on Monday night after a flurry of online criticism.

“They say that playing golf is the best way to drum up business, but I say it’s Formula 1,” Marcos Jr. said. “What a productive weekend.”

He said without elaborating that he was invited with other dignitaries and met new business friends who were willing to invest in the Philippines, and added he would disclose more details later.

Over the weekend, reports circulated on social media about Marcos Jr.’s unannounced trip to Singapore. Marcos Jr.’s press secretary did not issue a confirmation until after a Singaporean official posted pictures of Marcos Jr. in the city-state on Facebook.

Singaporean Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng named Marcos Jr. among the foreign dignitaries he had met “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.”

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also posted pictures on Facebook showing him with others including Marcos Jr. and his wife, Liza Araneta-Marcos. “Happy to link up again with friends from both here and abroad, to watch the race and enjoy the good company,” the caption read.

Critics hit the secrecy that shrouded the president’s trip and demanded more details from the government about the trip, including if public funds and resources were used.

“We assert that the Singapore F1 weekend getaway was insensitive, unnecessary and irresponsible given the crisis that the nation is in,” Renato Reyes of the left-wing Bayan political alliance said in a statement. “Only the utterly callous and shamelessly entitled would not get this point.”

A Philippine official said Marcos Jr., his wife and two sons left Manila on Friday on a military plane for an overnight stay in Singapore to watch the Grand Prix races, adding it was his third trip to Singapore since winning the presidential election in May. The official, who had knowledge of the trip, spoke on condition of anonymity because of a lack of authority to discuss the issue publicly.

The Kilusang Mayo Uno labor movement said the trip was an insult to workers grappling with hyper-inflation and low wages and victims of a powerful typhoon which left at least 12 people dead and a trail of devastation in northern provinces a week ago. Thousands remained displaced following the onslaught, the government’s disaster response agency said.

Marcos Jr., the son of a dictator who was ousted by an army-backed “People Power” pro-democracy uprising in 1986, took office in June following a landslide electoral victory.

He inherited enormous problems, including a pandemic-battered economy, deeper poverty and unemployment, decades-old insurgencies and a potential food crisis sparked partly by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - A person shows their scan card for their personal selection numbers for a ticket for a Power...

L.B. Gilbert

$1.2 billion Powerball drawing nears after 11 weeks without a winner

A $1.2 billion Powerball jackpot will again be up for grabs Wednesday night after an 11-week stretch without a big winner

4 hours ago

FILE - A man walks through wildfire wreckage in Lahaina, Hawaii, Aug. 11, 2023. Federal authorities...

Associated Press

Cleanup from Maui fires complicated by island’s logistical challenges, cultural significance

Cleanup of areas destroyed in the Maui wildfires could end up being one of the most complex to date, federal officials said, given the island's significant cultural sites, its rich history including a royal residence and possibly remains of people who died in the disaster.

11 hours ago

Former President Donald Trump sits in the courtroom at New York Supreme Court, Monday, Oct. 2, 2023...


New York judge issues limited gag order after Trump makes disparaging post about court clerk

A New York judge imposed a limited gag order on defendant Donald Trump Tuesday after the former president disparaged a key court staffer during his civil business fraud trial.

1 day ago

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks during the introduction of the integration of Microsoft Bing sea...

Suman Naishadham, Associated Press

Microsoft CEO says unfair practices by Google led to its dominance as a search engine

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said Monday that unfair tactics used by Google led to its dominance as a search engine, tactics that in turn have thwarted his company’s rival program, Bing.

1 day ago

This undated photo provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Portland Field Office shows a ...

Associated Press

Man accused of kidnapping Seattle woman, kidnapping charges in separate case

A man accused of abducting a woman in Seattle, driving her hundreds of miles to his home in Oregon and locking her in a makeshift cinder block cell 

2 days ago

A person browses offerings in the Raven's Nest Treasure shop in Pike Place Market, Dec. 10, 2021, i...

Associated Press

Man who faked Native American heritage to sell his art in Seattle sentenced to probation

A Washington state man who falsely claimed Native American heritage to sell his artwork at downtown Seattle galleries was sentenced Wednesday to federal probation and community service.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Swedish Cyberknife...

September is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

September is a busy month on the sports calendar and also holds a very special designation: Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.

Ziply Fiber...

Dan Miller

The truth about Gigs, Gs and other internet marketing jargon

If you’re confused by internet technologies and marketing jargon, you’re not alone. Here's how you can make an informed decision.

Education families...

Education that meets the needs of students, families

Washington Virtual Academies (WAVA) is a program of Omak School District that is a full-time online public school for students in grades K-12.

Emergency preparedness...

Emergency planning for the worst-case scenario

What would you do if you woke up in the middle of the night and heard an intruder in your kitchen? West Coast Armory North can help.

Innovative Education...

The Power of an Innovative Education

Parents and students in Washington state have the power to reimagine the K-12 educational experience through Insight School of Washington.

Medicare fraud...

If you’re on Medicare, you can help stop fraud!

Fraud costs Medicare an estimated $60 billion each year and ultimately raises the cost of health care for everyone.

Marcos trip to watch Singapore F1 races sparks criticism