First Lady defends Marcos presence at F1 race

Helen Flores - The Philippine Star
First Lady defends Marcos presence at F1 race
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on August 28, 2023.
(PPA Pool photos by KJ Rosales / The Philippine STAR)

MANILA, Philippines — First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos defended yesterday President Marcos’ presence at the Formula One race in Singapore amid criticisms of his frequent foreign trips.

In a post on Instagram, the First Lady said: “Formula 1 is a global sport that provides opportunities for networking with a diverse range of people – including political figures, celebrities, and business leaders.”

The President, meanwhile, said yesterday the Philippines and Singapore would embark on “enhanced collaboration” to address common global challenges.

Marcos said he had the chance to discuss “important matters” with Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong over dinner in Singapore on Sunday.

“The discussions with Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy PM Lawrence Wong have been promising. Our countries can expect enhanced collaboration on multiple fronts to address common global challenges,” Marcos said in a post on his official social media accounts. He did not elaborate.

“Later in the evening, we watched Ferrari clinch the podium at the F1 Grand Prix,” added the Chief Executive.

He was accompanied in Singapore by the First Lady and his cousin, Speaker Martin Romualdez.

According to the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), the attendance of Marcos at the F1 Grand Prix in Singapore was upon Lee’s invitation.

In October last year, Marcos drew flak when he made an unannounced trip to Singapore to watch Formula One Grand Prix as several provinces were still grappling with the aftermath of Typhoon Karding.

Malacañang did not issue a confirmation of the trip until after a Singaporean official posted pictures of Marcos in the city-state on Facebook.

Marcos was also invited by the Milken Institute to Singapore to speak at the 10th Asia Summit on Sept. 13. He met with several businessmen there.

He received an P11-billion investment pledge from Singapore-based multinational technology company Dyson which, according to the PCO, eyes to invest in the country by 2024.

Malaysian retail specialist Valiram Group is also looking at expanding its operations in the Philippines by developing airport outlets for duty-free retail tourism, the PCO earlier said.

Marcos met with the Valiram Group officials on Saturday.

On Sunday, Marcos visited Filipino workers at the Lucky Plaza Mall in Singapore.

The President arrived in Manila early yesterday, the PCO said.

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