Roque: Weeklong birthday celebration of Alvarez not ‘extravagant’
CEBU CITY — Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Saturday downplayed claims that Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez had an “extravagant” weeklong birthday celebration.
“I was in the birthday party of the Speaker,” Roque told reporters in an interview at the Philippine Information Agency in Cebu City on Satutday. “It was in the City Hall of Tagum. I don’t think it can be described as ma-garbo because he only availed of the physical facilities of the City Hall of Tagum.”
“Yes, there were quite a number of individuals invited,” he added. “Given his stature, he had to invite his colleagues, people in government, and more importantly, his constituents. But it was very simple in terms of program and menu. It was a very simple meal.”
Alvarez, who prodded President Rodrigo Duterte to run for President in 2016, turned 60 last Jan. 10.
He was criticized for reportedly holding a weeklong birthday celebration that was highlighted by Friday’s birthday party which some people considered extravagant amid calls from Duterte for government officials to live modest lives.
Among those who graced the event were Duterte, who rendered a song, as well as several lawmakers and Cabinet members.
Also present were Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua and Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev. /atm
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