No Christmas parties at the Palace

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 10 2012 05:39 PM | Updated as of Dec 11 2012 01:39 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Malacanang has cancelled its Christmas merrymaking as a sign of solidarity to the thousands of victims of typhoon Pablo.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said offices under the auspices of Malacanang have cancelled their respective Christmas parties.

“I think mahalaga sa ating malaman na ang national government ay nakikiisa po sa ating mga [kababayan] na nasalanta,” he said.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council cancelled parties last week.

“Si Pangulong Aquino nagsabi po siya na ‘how does one celebrate?’ Pareho po ang aming paniniwala, ang paniniwala po ng buong Gabinete tungkol diyan. So we’re taking our cue from the President. Hindi naman ito utos pero we’re taking our cue from the President,” Lacierda noted.

The Palace said people can still celebrate Christmas but these should be simple celebrations.

“I think siguro mas subdued ang celebration ng (Pasko). Hindi po natin maiaalis lalo na iilan sa atin may (mga kamag-anak na) darating mula sa ibang bansa magpa-Pasko rito, magse-celebrate ng kapaskuhan. Pangalawa, hindi mo rin maiiwasan na magkaroon ng konting salu-salo pagdating ng Pasko at sa Bagong Taon. So ang idea lang dito siguro simpleng pagse-celebrate lang ng Pasko.”

The NDRRMC said more than 600 have perished due to typhoon Pablo.

It’s not clear, however, if the proceeds from the cancelled parties will be given to the Pablo victims. Nonetheless, Lacierda said: “Kami po—may plano po kaming mag-donate. So siguro magandang halimbawa rin po na [maipakita] sa ating sambayanan ang ating pakikibahagi sa ating mga kababayan na nasawi or nasalanta.”