“Not one of my foreign trips was ever charged to the government.”
This was the reply of former vice president Leni Robredo to a critic who is asking if taxpayers funded her recent trip to Egypt with her family.
Robredo on April 28 uploaded photos of her visit to the pyramids in Cairo, Egypt with her eldest daughter Aika.
In her post, the former vice president described the Arabian state as “spectacular” and “fascinating.”
“The pyramids were spectacular! But Egypt is so much more than the pyramids. It is historical, biblical, and fascinating and the 3 days we were there were definitely not enough,” she said.
“We only did Cairo and would have wanted to go to Luxor, Alexandria and all the other historical places. It was the exclamation point to our Holy Land Pilgrimage. The Holy Family stayed here for three years and only went back to Israel after King Herod died,” Robredo also added.
Her post had since garnered 43,000 reactions, 190 comments and 794 shares on the platform.
Most comments under it were also supportive of her Egypt tour.
A Facebook user, however, asked Robredo if she used the taxpayer’s money for this trip even if she no longer works in government.
“Are you in a government-working trip or just a fun travel paid for/by Filipino taxpayers?” the Filipino user asked in the comments section.
Robredo soon noticed this message.
In her reply, the former high-ranking government official said that “not one” of her foreign trips was charged to the government or paid by taxes even when she was in office.
Robredo also emphasized that she is no longer working in public service.
“I’m no longer in government, ma’am. Even when I was in government po, not one of my foreign trips was ever charged to the government. Kahit pa po official yung trip,” she said.
“You can check the records,” Robredo added.
This exchange was later picked up and reported by several media outlets on Facebook and Twitter.
During her six-year term as vice president, Robredo’s office only received less than a P1 billion budget per year.
Despite this relatively low allocation, the Office of the Vice President (OVP) was proactive in delivering nationwide services through its projects and initiatives.
Notable projects include the Angat Buhay, the OVP’s flagship poverty alleviation program that now became a non-government organization, and the Bayanihan e-Konsulta, a free teleconsultation program.
In a new post about their pilgrimage, meanwhile, Robredo and Aika uploaded photos of their visit to different places in the neighboring country of Jordan.
“Petra is beautiful beyond words. It’s even more spectacular when you’re right there,” Robredo said in the post.