Bayan slams Marcos' 'insensitive' Singapore trip for F1 race

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 13) — Progressive alliance Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan) criticized President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. over his plan to watch the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix 2023 when Filipinos continue to reel from economic challenges.

"Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos attending another F1 race in Singapore, in a time when his country faces an economic crisis and crushing debt, and as the Filipino people commemorate the 51st anniversary of Marcos Sr.'s Martial Law, is truly the apex of insensitivity and callousness," Renato Reyes, Jr., president of Bayan, said in a statement on Wednesday.

Reyes said even if Marcos was invited by Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, he should have politely rejected it.

"Living it up as if it was 1972 sends the wrong message to Filipinos who up to now are struggling to find the so-called ₱41 peso rice in local markets," he added.

Malacañang earlier said Marcos would fly to Singapore on Sept. 13 – which also marks his 66th birthday – to attend the Asia Summit 2023, as well as meet with business leaders. 

It added that Marcos will also watch the finals of the F1 race.

The president also drew flak for attending the event in 2022, but the Palace defended the trip, stressing it was "productive" as Marcos strengthened investment talks with Singapore.

READ: Palace: Marcos’ trip to Singapore on F1 weekend ‘productive’