MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday, April 17, apologized for her much-criticized photo at the Holocaust memorial in Germany and said she took “full responsibility” for it.
Robredo made the apology in a chance interview on the sidelines of the Asian Forum on Enterprise for Society in Pasay City, in response to criticism that the photo-taking activity of Liberal Party (LP) members at the memorial was “disrespectful” to the Jews who lost their lives in the Holocaust.
“There was no excuse. So I would like to apologize for whatever offense to the sensitivities of the people it caused,” said Robredo, who is LP chairperson.
“While there was no malice in it, still, I take full responsibility,” added the Vice President.
Robredo agreed that those who called out LP members over the photo – which showed a few of them smiling and sitting on the memorial designers’ rendition of tombs, including the Vice President – “have a point.”
Netizens slammed Robredo and other LP officials after their party mate, Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat Jr, who was with the group, posted their photo on Twitter.
Baguilat was the first to apologize, saying that the picture-taking was not intended “to demean the place” but he took down the photo immediately anyway “so as not to hurt sensibilities.”
Baguilat said in another apology that as human rights advocates, they “fully understand the plight experience by Jews under the Nazis and would be the last to disrespect their memory.”
While taking photos for personal use at the monument is not illegal, visitors of the site are expected to avoid behavior deemed disrespectful, such as taking lighthearted photos and selfies.
Robredo and other LP membere were in Berlin, Germany, for a study visit program, upon the invitation of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF). – Rappler.com