No Christmas party in Malacañang, says Lacierda

MANILA, Philippines - There won't be any Christmas party for certain Malacañang officials and staff, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said on Monday, December 10.

Lacierda said that the Office of the President and some of its attached offices have decided not to host their Christmas parties this year in support of the victims of typhoon Pablo.

"Instead of pouring our resources to a party, we’d like to use those resources for our assistance to the typhoon victims," Lacierda said.

Among those that have cancelled their Christmas parties are the Presidential Communication Operations Office (PCOO), the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO),and the Office of the Press Secretary (OPS).

Typhoon Pablo, which hit the country last week, has left 647 dead and 780 missing as of the latest count.

"How does one celebrate when you know that there is misery when people are missing? How can one celebrate and fully enjoy knowing that there are fellow brethren who have family members that cannot be found, cannot be accounted for?," he said.

Lacierda, however, clarified that their plans were not a result of an order from the President.

"It's not an order, but we’re taking our cue from the President. I think it's important for the public to know that that the national government is one with our fellowmen who are affected by the typhoon," he said.

Meanwhile, Lacierda said that the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is leading the investigation on what caused the massive destruction in Davao Oriental and Compostela Valley.

"We have seen a number of illegal logs there and a number of people are blaming small-scale mining and illegal logging. That is something that we have to investigate further. And if anybody is found to be culpable, we will file the necessary complaints," Lacierda said. - Rappler.com