The President of the Philippines has come under fire from his nation’s press after it was revealed he purchased a used Porsche.
President Benigno Aquino won the Philippines election in a landslide in May last year on pledges of clean government, anti-corruption and an end to wasteful spending.
The local media has condemned the President’s purchase, but if government officials are to be believed, he has been judged harshly.
Presidental spokesman Edwin Lacierda explained the white 2007 Porsche (model unnamed) was purchased for 4.5 million pesos ($102,000) with the President’s own money.
“According to the President, it’s probably third hand. It’s depreciated. The private purchase came from his own funds. The proceeds were from another asset that he acquired through a personal loan,” Mr Lacierda said.
“He loves cars. Everyone has his own favourite thing to do. He loves cars, and he loves shooting too.”
President Aquino reportedly sold his old BMW and took out a loan to afford the Porsche. He told the Philippine Daily Inquirer he did not believe people would object that “once in a while” he could escape to the Porsche and “smile in the face of the many problems left for me to deal with”.
President Aquino said driving helped him relax and make better decisions. He also admitted he did not want to wait six years until the end of his presidency, when he said his reflexes may no longer be up to driving a Porsche.
The 50-year-old bachelor said he was disappointed the media was focusing him rather than more pressing issues like the aftermath of recent floods in Luzon and Mindanao.