Robredo apologizes, 'takes full responsibility' for Holocaust memorial photo

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The photo, shared by Ifugao Representative Teddy Baguilat, Jr. has since been taken down.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 17) — Vice President Leni Robredo on Tuesday apologized for posing for a photograph with Liberal Party solons at a memorial for genocide victims in Berlin, Germany.

In a press release, Robredo issued an apology "for offending the sensitivities of others."

"There's no excuse. While there was no malice in it, I take full responsibility, kaya I would like to apologize for whatever offense to the sensitivities of the people it caused," she said.

Netizens earlier slammed the photo, which surfaced on Ifugao Rep. Teddy Baguilat's Twitter account, where the Vice President was seen at the Holocaust memorial with some Liberal Party lawmakers.

Robredo posed with LP president and Senator Francis Pangilinan, as well as LP lawmakers Quezon City Rep. Kit Belmonte, Marikina Rep. Miro Quimbo, at the Holocaust Memorial. Former Budget Chief Butch Abad and Dinagat Islands Rep. Kaka Bag-ao from Akbayan were also with the group.

Robredo and other party-mates took the photo in the middle of a study tour for poverty alleviation in Berlin, Germany last week. She had earlier said that Friedrich Neumann Foundation Philippines paid the expenses for their trip, and that no government money was used.

Baguilat has since taken down his post, and has apologized for the "lapse."

"We posed at the Holocaust Memorial not to demean the place. But I took down the tweet immediately so as not to hurt sensibilities," Baguilat said in a series of tweets.

Baguilat added that as human rights advocates, they understand the plight of Jews who died in Nazi Germany during World War II, and that they "would be the last to disrespect their memory."

The photo which circulated in social media drew flak from netizens, who called out the Vice President and the lawmakers.

But while the Ifugao solon accepts the criticisms, he said he hopes this would enlighten the critics on the spate of extrajudicial killings in the country.

"I hope this will make others express their outrage over the EJKs. The blood stains on the streets are their memorial," he said.