Palace denies Aquino partied despite disaster

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12:17 PM December 19th, 2011

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By: Christine O. Avendaño, December 19th, 2011 12:17 PM

MANILA, Philippines—President Aquino dropped in on the Christmas party of the Presidential Security Group Sunday night but stayed only a few minutes, Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang said Monday.

President Benigno Aquino III. INQUIRER file photo

“The President left early because he did not feel it appropriate to stay long. He dropped by to support the PSG officers and their families,” Carandang said in a phone interview.

He denied the President was singing or dancing in the party and dismissed as “exaggerated” and “taken out of context” the Chief Executive’s presence there.

Since Sunday night, social media networking sites were flooded with critical comments against Mr. Aquino for attending the PSG party amid the tragedy in Mindanao, which was devastated by Tropical Storm “Sendong” over

the weekend.

The criticisms against Mr. Aquino came after actress Valerie Concepcion said in her Twitter account that she had performed in the PSG party and that the President was there.

Carandang said the PSG had considered earlier to cancel its Christmas party but it was too late to do so because families of the officers had already flown in from the provinces.

He said that as early as Sunday afternoon, the President had canceled the annual Christmas party for his Cabinet given the extent of destruction caused by the floods that struck Mindanao over the weekend.

Mr. Aquino is due to visit storm-ravaged Cagayan de Oro and Diliman cities on Tuesday.

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