Bare Truth by Rose de la Cruz
Bare Truth

Marcos’ frequent travels a question in ‘Jeopardy’

Feb 25, 2023, 1:02 AM
Rose De La Cruz

Rose De La Cruz

Writer/Columnist

Even a U.S. television game show ‘Jeopardy’ episode of February 21 used the frequent travels of President Marcos, somewhat jokingly, which only one of three contestants got correctly.

Under the Current World Leaders category, the question, read by the host, said “In office from 2022, the president of this country has taken so many foreign trips. A play on his name is Ferdinand Magellan Jr.” and the contestant with a correct answer wrote What is Philippines.

Marcos Jr. was the subject of a question on the popular American game show “Jeopardy” because of the foreign trips he made since winning the 2022 elections.

One contestant got the correct answer by mentioning Marcos. He will be playing in the next “Jeopardy” episode.

Over the past seven months, Marcos has already visited nine countries, namely: Indonesia, Singapore, the United States, Cambodia, Thailand, Belgium, China, Switzerland and Japan, reported Rappler.

Marcos has defended his frequent overseas trips, saying they’re vital in courting foreign investors. He also claimed that he will scale back on traveling abroad this year.

But bringing a plane load of contingent—most of which are paid for by our taxes—might not even sound like a profitable promotional roadshow. Not only that, whenever his plane leaves, the plane is escorted by Philippine Air Force choppers and planes, as if to attract the attention of people about a VIP hovering over their skies. His plane is escorted leaving and returning to the country, which means aviation gas is spent not just on the plane but by the contingent escorting him on Philippine skies.

In his travels, he brings his family (official and personal), occasionally a sibling, a celebrity and her husband, a big number of Cabinet members, businessmen (who are said to be paying for their own accommodations and plane fair), the Malacanang Press Corps., a big contingent of the Radio TV Malacanang, Protocol and PMS, and Presidential Security Group.

Just as soon as he promised to cut back on his foreign trips, the next week Marcos flew to Japan.

Marcos is set France, Indonesia, and the US in the coming months. And he has announced that he might be attending the coronation of King Charles of Britain on May 6.

At the midway point – during a trip to Phnom Penh for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit – Marcos himself said flying to Davos for the World Economic Forum would be “traveling too much.” He even confessed that his mom, the former First Lady, flamboyant Imelda R. Marcos, even asked him “kailan ka pa nagoopisina.”

Barely a month after his mom posed this question, he decided to fly to Switzerland.

While in Davos, accompanied by an entourage composed of his economic managers and close family and friends, Marcos’ communications arm went full-force in explaining/justifying the glitzy trip.

Marcos has argued for his frequent travels by telling the public to focus on the potential returns on investment from his numerous meetings with world and business leaders.

In a statement, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) said the Philippine government had secured nearly half of its full-year target for investment approvals just six weeks into the new year.

Following his official visit to Japan and a promise to account for all the pledges made since his first foreign visit to Indonesia in September 2022, officials of the DTI said the agency was likely to hit its P1 trillion investment approvals target for 2023. Yet, as of late February, those pledges remained promises.

So while he’s been poked fun at – by his own mother, and now by Jeopardy – and even as he said he’d scale down on his trips, Marcos is set to fly to France for a state visit before the first half of 2023 ends.

After that, he has confirmed trips to at least two more countries: Indonesia for the ASEAN Summit and the US for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in November 2023.

Marcos has promised to release the expense report for his trips, but, like the investment pledges, that promise remains nothing more than a promise, as of posting.

Malacañang has yet to issue a comment on the matter, but the chief executive previously defended his overseas trips, saying they would provide a return on investment.

The Place said Marcos' travels have already generated ₱3.48 trillion in investment pledges.


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