After being bashed by critics online, Vice-President Leni Robredo on Wednesday explained the circumstances behind the picture showing her standing beside a small plane at the airport in Naga City.
The vice-president said the trip was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Naga, which invited her to an event in the province. She said they found it difficult to book a bus ride to Naga since the bus that they usually board was involved in an accident.
"Yung pagsakay ko sa private plane yung Rotary Club of Naga yung nag-rent nun. Dahil hindi ko sana... Hindi na kami nakahanap ng tickets. Nag-aano sana kami, nagre-regrets na sa imbitasyon dahil mahirap, pati bus," she said.
Robredo said that it was fortunate she was not on the bus since she had to take a flight to Naga because of a scheduling conflict.
The vice-president said riding a private plane is unavoidable in her line of work.
"I think hindi maiiwasan, hindi maiiwasan in the course of our work na talagang gagamit ng private plane, whether kami yung magbabayad ng rent, whether may magbabayad for us. Kasi marami talagang mga okasyon na kailangan mo nandito at this particular place. Tapos hapon kailangan mo dito na wala namang flights. At tingin ko, wala namang masama, mangyayari at mangyayari yun. Basta hindi lang siya yung regular mong ginagawa," she said.
She also said it was unfair for some people to compare her use of a private plane to President Rodrigo Duterte's use of commercial flights.
"Ako, bus nga ako eh. Ako, bus ako, alam nyo naman. Nakakasabay ko kayo. 90% of the time, I take the bus. Nagco-commercial plane lang ako pag alanganin sa oras," she said.
Robredo said a person with an axe to grind against their family is behind the circulation of the photo.
"Nakita nyo naman kung sino yung nagtutuligsa at talagang may axe to grind against our family. Buhay pa yung asawa ko talagang paborito na niya," she said. Robredo, however, did not name the person.