By Raymund F. Antonio
Vice President and opposition leader Leni Robredo set the record straight when she said that her trip to Sydney, Australia last week was “private” and was undertaken “at no cost to the government.”
Robredo said her office did not spend taxpayers’ money and that she was granted an authority to travel by the Office of the President.
“[I] am attaching my Authority to Travel issued by the Office of the President which clearly indicates that the trip was private in nature and at no cost to the government,” she said in her Facebook page.
“Baka gusto i-research kung nagcharge na ako ng pamasahe at gastos ng foreign travel sa gobyerno,” she added. (Maybe they should research whether I have ever charged my expenses in foreign trips to the government.)
A letter dated October 1 and signed by Senior Deputy Executive Secretary Michael Ong showed Robredo was authorized to travel to Australia.
The Vice President belied insinuations by a certain Benjie Daisy Contreras and her other bashers online that the government paid for her foreign trip.
“Is her travel, personal or official? Did she spend private or public fund on her travel?” Contreras asked on Facebook.
The netizen also questioned the real purpose of her trip to Australia.
“She said she was a guest speaker at the Australia Philippines Business Council, but the truth is that Leni Robredo was in Sydney, Australia to be a sponsor at a wedding,” Contreras said in Filipino.
“Did Robredo get any pledges and investments from the APBC in order to help the Philippine economy?” he asked.
While she was in Australia, the Vice President confirmed she stood as godmother at the wedding of two Filipinos on October 11, but emphasized that the main purpose of her visit was her keynote address before the APBC.
“It was an invitation from many months ago. In fact, APBC President Ed Alcordo personally visited me at the office to relay the invitation,” she said in a post.
Before the event, she also met with business leaders and representatives of various Australian companies who have invested in the Philippines.
These companies were RAMCAR, DTSI Group, Dell Australia and New Zealand, Austal Limited, Telstra, AIMS Financial Group, Lane Moving & Storage, ACCRU Felsers Sydney, Produxts & Portfolio, AGL, CSG Limited, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank, Warczak Group, Macquarie Bank, URBIS, Vliew, Salesforce, Hunter Careers, Bankwest, EFIC, Wengeo, World Vision, Alcatel Bell Shanghai, and NBN, among others.
Robredo said these companies were in the “process of studying whether or not to put some investments in the Philippines.”
The lady official has been calling out authors of Facebook posts and tweets containing false information against her to debunk and correct them.