Police, military cancel Christmas parties in deference to ‘Pablo’ victims
The military and police have canceled their traditional Christmas parties in the wake of the devastation wrought by Typhoon “Pablo” in Mindanao where relief efforts are ongoing to help thousands of victims displaced by the killer typhoon.
President Aquino has earlier directed all government agencies to have subdued celebrations of the holidays in the light of the devastation, particularly in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Department of National Defense (DND) have canceled their Christmas parties in Camp Aguinaldo.
“Following suit with Malacañang’s announcement, Secretary Voltaire Gazmin has also canceled our Christmas party which the employees gladly accepted. We are concentrating on the distribution of relief efforts,” said Defense spokesperson Peter Galvez.
The DND Christmas party for over 800 of its employees was scheduled for Dec. 21.
The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday also ordered all police units nationwide to forego their traditional Christmas parties.
In a separate statement, military spokesperson Col. Arnulfo Burgos said that foregoing the annual party of the AFP is an expression of solidarity, not only with the victims and their families, but also with the troops involved in the search, rescue and relief operations in all the provinces affected by Pablo.
The AFP was supposed to have its Christmas party on Dec. 22.
In a statement, PNP chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome said his decision to cancel the Christmas party of all PNP units was “a gesture of sympathy to thousands of (typhoon) victims.”
“All savings that will be generated from the canceled Christmas parties will be donated instead to charity, particularly to alleviate the suffering of victims of the (typhoon) in Southern Mindanao,” Bartolome said.
“There are many ways of celebrating this traditional event sans the extravagance and lavish preparations usually associated with Christmas parties,” he added.
Instead of holding parties, Bartolome said PNP units may sponsor a Mass and a “simple get-together of personnel over a modest meal.”
“The PNP chief went to the affected areas in Davao region and personally witnessed the grief and misery of our countrymen in that area,” PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr. said.
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