When a chef posted the menu of the dinner in honor of Vice President-elect Leni Robredo, some netizens were quick to pick it up and criticize Robredo for it.
According to this post by Facebook user Eric Clark Su, Robredo’s honorary dinner at Diamond Hotel cost P8,000 per head, even sarcastically saying that the incoming vice president would make up for it because she takes the bus to and from Naga anyway.
He also noted how different the menu for the dinner was compared to President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s menu of mung beans and bananas, crackers, 3-in-1 coffee, and mineral water.
Reading the comments below his post, the Facebook user was alluding to how Robredo could have financed the dinner using the excess Typhoon Yolanda funds. Others also commented on how taxpayer’s money was once again wasted on such an expensive dinner.
Asked how he got the P8,000 price for the menu, Su replied that they asked the “main chef” of Diamond Hotel, who told them that the “costing of the items” is around P8,000, excluding the wine and hotel margins.
Digging through social media has led us to the following discoveries:
1. The chef
A Facebook user pointed out that since Diamond Hotel is a five-star hotel, they would have likely called the head chef as the “Executive Chef.”
To find that chef, we’ve tracked down all the Facebook users who’ve posted the menu and found this:
So, the Executive Chef of the five-star hotel who prepared the dinner in question was Salvatore de Vincentis.
Based on his LinkedIn profile, he is indeed the Executive Chef at Diamond Hotel.
2. The event
So we know it was an honorary dinner for Robredo, but who did she dine with?
If you look at the photos on de Vincentis’ Facebook account, he uploaded them on June 4, Saturday, so the dinner could have taken place on the same day.
Although Robredo’s official Facebook account posted the photos of the event a little later on June 5, it seemed like the dinner with the Diplomatic Corps. Based on the post, the vice president “discussed common advocacies” with the other attendees. The post also confirmed that the dinner did happen on June 4.
“Last night, Vice President-elect Leni Robredo had dinner with the members of the Diplomatic Corps where they discussed common advocacies. VP Leni looks forward to partnering with them in the future.”
3. The menu
Yes, the menu for the dinner is genuine. At least we’ve made things clear on this front, seeing as how many times netizens have been fooled by memes and false information spread on the Internet.
4. The bill
When some netizens claimed that Robredo paid for the dinner with Yolanda funds, it does seem like a stretch mainly because no reliable source has confirmed who paid for the dinner. But many of the netizens who commented on the post were quick to conclude that Robredo has used taxpayers’ money to foot the bill.
As a few netizens have argued, even Duterte himself could have also come to expensive dinners like this during his time in politics, dinners that he did not pay for using the people’s money.
Until then, it is not right to smear Robredo’s name. Someone else could have paid for the dinner.
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