MANILA -- The Office of the Vice President on Wednesday defended Vice President Sara Duterte's supposed personal use of the Presidential chopper, saying the official only uses it when necessary.
Duterte's spokesperson also denied that the official uses the presidential chopper daily to go home to Davao City.
"Manila-based na po sa ngayon si VP Sara Duterte at ang family niya. Dito na din po nag-aaral ang mga anak niya. Land vehicles din po ang ginagamit nila araw-araw," Atty. Reynold Munsayac said.
(VP Sara Duterte and her family are now based in Manila. Her children are studying here. They use land transportation every day.)
"Ginagamit lang po ang chopper kapag kailangan sa official work and functions, based sa lugar na pupuntahan at urgency of schedule. Sa history po ng public service ni VP Sara, alam ng lahat ng mga nakasama niya sa trabaho na she is very efficient and she protects government resources at all times," he added.
(The chopper is only used for official work functions, based on the location and the urgency of the schedule. In VP Sara's history, everyone knows she is very efficient and protects government resources at all times.)
In her birthday message to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. Tuesday, Duterte thanked the chief executive for allowing her to use the aircraft so she can be with family in Davao City.
"Thank you [President Bongbong] and your 250th [Presidential Airlift Wing] for ensuring that wherever I may be found in the country during the day, I am home in time to tuck my children to bed," Duterte said in a post, with a picture of her in the Presidential aircraft.
Netizens were quick to call out Duterte, with some saying she should instead be thanking taxpayers for sponsoring her helicaopter trips. Others also slammed the move as a disgusting display of privilege as most Filipinos continue to deal with problems in the public transport sector.