President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has arrived in Switzerland, where he will attend the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos.
According to a report by GMA Integrated News' JP Soriano on Super Radyo dzBB, Marcos arrived in Zurich at around 4:30 p.m. CET (11:30 p.m., Philippines time), then departed immediately for the Alpine town where the meeting of global business and political leaders is held annually.
Marcos had left for Switzerland early Sunday morning on Flight PR01, accompanied by First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos and the administration's economic team. The plane was escorted by fighter jets of the Armed Forces of the Philippines until it left Philippine airspace.
LOOK: As President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. flew to Zurich aboard Flight PR01, he was escorted by fighter jets of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Two FA-50 fighter jets stayed with the plane until it left Philippine airspace. ?@gmanews? ?@gmapinoytv? pic.twitter.com/51MPFTseCK— JP Soriano (@jpsoriano) January 15, 2023
In his speech prior to departure, Marcos said the event provides an "opportunity to promote the Philippines as leader and driver of growth and a gateway to the Asia-Pacific region."
“I will draw attention to our efforts at building resilient infrastructure that bolsters our effort to reinforce robust and resilient supply chains, ensure food security, including critical interlinkages with the health and nutrition, while furthering climate-friendly, clean and green energy to power the Philippine economy,” he added.
According to Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Carlos Sorreta, Marcos will also "introduce" the proposed Maharlika Investment Fund at the global event, a plan criticized by Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Pimentel III as a move "to tie the hands of Congress, particularly the Senate" on the measure.
The WEF officially opens on Monday and runs through January 20. Its last in-person Davos winter gathering was in 2020, just days before the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a global health emergency. The 2021 event was held virtually and last year's was shifted from January to May after a spike in infections.
It has been criticized by some as a talking shop for the jet set that merely adds to the world's carbon footprint, but the forum insists it has the power to bring decision-makers together in a world facing multiple crises.
Climate activists have begun protesting the presence of big oil firms at the event, saying multinationals like BP, Chevron and Saudi Aramco were hijacking the climate debate. — with a report by Reuters/BM, GMA Integrated News