MANILA, Philippines — A week after the elections, Presumptive president Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. made a trip to Melbourne, Australia with his family for a “much-needed rest and vacation,” his spokesperson said on Tuesday, May 17.
The visit was kept under wraps by Marcos’ staff in Manila but was discovered by members of the Filipino community in Melbourne who gathered outside an apartment complex in the city on Tuesday to protest the presence of the presumptive president in Australia.
“It’s more of a private trip, a private visit for a much-needed rest and vacation for Bongbong Marcos, and I think he would just want to enjoy the remaining few days before he assumes his office officially as President of the Republic.”Marcos Spokesperson Atty. Vic Rodriguez
“Pinipilit na lang niya i-enjoy, momentarily, ‘yung kanyang pagiging Citizen Bongbong,” he added.
(He’s just trying to enjoy, momentarily, being a Citizen Bongbong.)
Rodriguez also mentioned that Marcos will be back in the Philippines on Thursday, May 19.
Filipino-Australians greeted the incoming president with a protest at 452 Elizabeth Street, saying he is not welcome in the country.
“The massive cheating in the Philippines has happened under the watch of President Rodrigo Duterte, a close ally of BBM. As Filipinos overseas, we feel very disappointed with the turn of events. There was so much hope that the last elections would bring forth a new dawn, that the so-called TRAPOS (traditional politicians) and dynasties that destroyed Philippine democracy will finally be voted out.”Melba Marginson organiser of the rally and convenor of the Maypagasa Network.
The Global Filipino Magazine
Marcos’ camp slammed protesters citing that it was “shameful,” as it is not the custom of Filipinos to ridicule their fellow countrymen in a foreign land.
“Nakakahiya. Nakakahiya bilang Pilipino nakakahiya. Hindi ugali ng Pilipino hiyain at pahiyain ang kapwa niya Pilipino sa isang bansa na hindi naman Pilipinas. I think the best authority or person to say whether he is welcome or not are the Australian government, not fellow Filipinos na nandun lang din punong-puno ng poot at pait ang puso,” Rodriguez said.
(It’s shameful. It is not the behavior of a Filipino to shame his fellow countryman in another country. I think the best authority or person to say whether he is welcome or not is the Australian government, not fellow Filipinos who are only there because they have full of hate and bitterness in their hearts.)
“Wala sa kaugalian nating mga Pilipino ang hiyain ang kapwa mo Pilipino sa ibang bansa. Ang Pilipino ay kilala na nagtutulungan, mababait tayo. Huwag niyo gawin ‘yan sa ibang bansa, sa ibang bayan. Wala kayong ibang agenda kundi palaganapin ang inyong poot at pait sa inyong puso,” he added.
(It is not in Filipino customs to embarrass our fellow Filipinos abroad. Filipinos are known for working together; we are kind. Don’t do that in other countries. You have no other agenda but to spread your hatred and bitterness in your heart.)
The son and namesake of the country’s late former dictator romped to victory in last week’s presidential election, returning the notorious family to power 36 years after they fled to exile in Hawaii.
The result will not be confirmed until Congress resumes in Manila next week and Marcos is not due to be sworn in and begin his six-year term until June 30.
Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison had already congratulated Marcos through a call according to Rodriguez.