InterAksyon.com asks: “While nation mourns Sendong’s dead, Aquino partying with actresses in Palace?”
Remove the question mark. Noynoy WAS partying. Then, you have Manolo Quezon telling blogger Tonyo Cruz via Facebook that having the President visit Cagayan de Oro isn’t really a priority since they must first attend to the logistical requirements of relief operations. How can Noynoy directly supervise that when he is partying? How insensitive can you get?
The timeline of this story is solely based on Valerie Concepcion’s Twitter posts last night. At around 7PM, she wrote:
“I’m on my way to Malacañang..ü Will sing 2 songs there.. 🙂 Tapos didiretso na ako sa World Trade Center after.. See you there! Booth 814 ;)”
Two hours later, she confirmed her arrival in Malacañang:
“I’m here na sa Malacañang for the PSG Christmas Party..ü Ms. Jessa Zaragosa is here also.. 🙂 3 kanta pala ako dto.. Akala ko 2 lng.. Hehe..”
The next post (made an hour after) has since been deleted by Concepcion, but AksyonTV was able to get a screen grab of it here. It says:
“Done w/ work.. Tnx for having me.. 🙂 It was nice to see Pres. P-Noy laughing at my jokes & enjoying my performance..ü #Malacañang #PSGNight,”
From these posts, we can reconstruct this scenario: The Presidential Security Group had their Christmas party last night and they had Jessa Zaragosa and Valerie Concepcion as guest performers. The President, for his part, graced the event. In defense of herself and the President, Concepcion wrote this using TwitLonger:
I just want to clarify that I was invited to perform at Malacañang’s Christmas Party for their employees with their husbands/wives and kids. Yes, the president attended the gathering. I do not see anything wrong with that since its his obligation and responsibility being the head of Malacañang to be present and show his support for his hardworking employees and their respective families. But I believe that it doesn’t mean that the president is not thinking of ways to help our kababayan(s) in Mindanao. It doesn’t mean that the president is disregarding the plight of our fellow Filipinos. Let’s not be too quick to judge.
She added: “But if I, in any way, offended you guys and sounded insensitive, I am very sorry. It wasn’t my intention to do either. I can’t imagine how difficult life is for the people affected in Mindanao and how difficult it is to be the president of the Philippines at this moment. Once again, I am very sorry for all those people I have offended. May God bless us all.”
Early Sunday night (or an hour or two before the PSG Christmas party), the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) announced that the President will be visiting the affected communities in Cagayan de Oro and Lanao del Norte on December 27.
Later on, Edgardo J. Ollet, Chief of the NDRRMC Operations Center, claimed that December 27 is merely a typographical error, and that the President is indeed scheduled to visit tomorrow, December 20. Will we take NDRRMC’s word for it, or did the ensuing negative reactions from netizens forced them to set Aquino’s visit a week earlier?
Here’s what the President and the PSG should have done to show good taste: Cancel the party altogether, and instead forward the money set aside for it (including Valerie’s talent fee!) to the relief efforts done in Mindanao. Maybe they can ask the PSG and even Valerie herself to assist there for more PR value.
Read: Valerie draws flak for partying with PNoy from ABS-CBNNews.com