VICE PRESIDENT of the Philippines Leni Robredo has apologised for a photo posted to social media depicting her and other Filipino lawmakers posing happily at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, Germany.
“While there was no malice in it, I take full responsibility, so I would like to apologise for whatever offence to the sensitivities of the people it caused,” said Robredo as quoted by the Philippine Star newspaper, after receiving widespread criticism online.
Robredo is a member of the opposition Liberal Party and has been a prominent critic of President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs. The photo was taken during a trip financed by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation to promote democratic values and engagement with German lawmakers.
“You do not take pictures here and smile like you’re in a fashion shoot. The place deserves solemnity and reverence and yes, mourning,” said a Facebook page which posted the photo.
“Your party and sympathisers consider pro-Duterte people rude and uncouth. But you… you are plainly disrespectful and ignorant.”
Leni Robredo & her team displayed cluelessness (& idiocy) by sitting on top of Holocaust Memorial. Simply brilliant. pic.twitter.com/qiUZnPutfv
— 陳飛李寧 (@ihateposh) April 14, 2018
“Behold, here’s the Fake Vice President of the Philippines Leni Robredo having her pictorial in the The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe also known as the Holocaust Memorial,” said another Twitter user. “How insensitive right? Pretty common in the Liberal Party of the Philippines.”
Liberal lawmaker Teddy Baguilat Jr, whose account originally posted the photo, apologised via Twitter for any “disrespect” to the memory of the six million European Jews who were murdered by the Nazi regime.
We, as human rights advocates, fully understand the plight experienced by Jews under the Nazis and we would be the last to disrespect their memory, in the same way that we condemn injustice anywhere in the world, including our own country. I apologize for this lapse in my post.
— Teddy B. Baguilat (@TeddyBaguilatJr) April 16, 2018
“We are appreciative of the countless advocates of human rights for sharing their thoughts,” added Baguilat.
Duterte has previously drawn criticism for comparing the murders of drug dealers and users in his drug war to Hitler’s genocide against Jews.