- VP Leni Robredo defended her use of private plane during her travel to Bicol
- She said what happened was unavoidable because of the difficulty in catching a bus that time
- Robredo also said it will have to happen from time to time due to her string of commitments as the vice president of the country
MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo has defended herself from criticisms after she was photographed supposedly using a private plane to travel to Bicol recently.
Robredo said she was compelled to use the chartered plane after the Rotary Club of Naga invited her to an event but had some difficulty with taking the bus that day.
The vice president explained the bus she normally takes going to her hometown had an accident and the Rotary paid for the trip anyway.
“Yung pagsakay ko sa private plane ‘yung Rotary Club of Naga ‘yung nag-rent nun. Dahil hindi ko sana… Hindi na kami nakahanap ng tickets. Nag-aano sana kami, nagre-regrets na sa imbitasyon dahil mahirap, pati bus,” she told ABS-CBN News in an interview.
[The Rotary Club of Naga paid for that private plane. We were unable to buy tickets. We already had some regrets about accepting the invitation because it was difficult, even in taking a bus.]
Robredo came under fire from critics after De La Salle University Professor Antonio P. Contreras shared a photo of her beside a small plane she supposedly used to travel.
Netizens accused Robredo of being a hypocrite for failing to keep her earlier promise to live a simple lifestyle even if she becomes the vice president of the republic.
Others also compared her to President Rodrigo Duterte who vowed to use commercial flights only even on official trips.
But Robredo said what happened recently could not be avoided due to her string of commitments as the second highest official of the land even as the Vice President assured she will try to limit her use of private planes.
“I think hindi maiiwasan, hindi maiiwasan in the course of our work na talagang gagamit ng private plane, whether kami ‘yung magbabayad ng rent, whether may magbabayad for us. Kasi marami talagang mga okasyon na kailangan mo nandito at this particular place,” Robredo explained.
[I think the use of private plane cannot be avoided in the course of our work, whether we ourselves have to pay for the rent, or someone will pay for us. Because there really are many occasions that you have to be at this particular place.]
“Tapos hapon kailangan mo dito na wala namang flights. At tingin ko, wala namang masama, mangyayari at mangyayari ‘yun. Basta hindi lang siya ‘yung regular mong ginagawa,” she added.
[And in the afternoon you have to be here but there are no flights available. And as far as I can see, there is nothing wrong with it, it will eventually happen. Although that shouldn’t happen regularly.]
She also accused a certain individual who had an “axe to grind” against her and her family as the one responsible for circulating the photo, but declined to name the person.