PBBM irked by ‘lavish’ trip claim

ZURICH, Switzerland – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Friday summed up his participation in the World Economic Forum in Davos as a mission to seek investments and forge important alliances.

He said he and his delegation met with key economic leaders, including the chief executive officers of Fortune 100 companies.

The President took time out to answer allegations that his trip had been “lavish” during a press briefing at the Hyatt Hotel following his meet and greet with Filipinos in Zurich.

“When is the next chance we will get to speak to CEOs of top Fortune 100 companies in the period of two days? So whoever we get to talk to, kailangan nandoon ‘yung [Cabinet] secretary na pwede niyang sagutin, pwede niyang kausapin,” Marcos told members of the Philippine press.

He said the plane that brought in the Philippine delegation, including seven business tycoons, to Zurich, Switzerland was not even full.

Asked for comment about the inclusion of lawmakers like House Speaker Martin Romualdez and Senator Mark Villar, the chief executive stressed that legislation is “an important part of what we are doing.”

“Let’s say you talk to a.potential investor, sasabihin niya ‘yung batas ninyo hindi maganda eh. Kami naiipit. And it’s not a good law, et cetera, et cetera. So at least we have the legislators here who can say: ‘Well, we can do something about it;’ or ‘No, that is important to us that we maintain it, et cetera, et cetera,'” the President explained.

“Because legislation is an important part of what we are doing. So there’s always a legislator. And in the case of former president GMA (Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo), we’re lucky to have her onboard,” Marcos pointed out.

President Marcos told the Philippines'” success story” and encouraged investors to come to the country, Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual said.

Pascual added the President’s WEF attendance piqued investors’ interest in mineral processing, logistics and transport, among other fields.

Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan added that key decision-makers abroad wanted to hear where the Philippines stands on issues as global trade.

Romualdez seconded the President by saying the legislative branch of government should always support the executive department as what he and Senator Villar have done.

The House under Romualdez passed the Maharlika Investment Fund measure last December after it was certified urgent by Mr. Marcos.

The MIF is pending in the Senate but Marcos went full throttle in promoting it in Davos.

During the meet and greet, Marcos said he wanted Filipinos who voted for him while in Europe to have a feel of how he conducted the campaign in 2022.

The event was attended by hundreds of OFWs who trolled the lobby afterwards to seek selfies from the President, First Lady Lisa Araneta-Marcos and Rep. Sandro Marcos.

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