THE PARTY


IT’S OFFICIAL.

It started with a Twitter message that fanned a social media debate about the merits of partying while 20,000 families scrambled to find missing kin, food, water and shelter.

Journalist Marlon Ramos tweets about @v_concepcion's glee at Malacanang party Dec 18

After hours of confusion and indignation, denials and deleted tweets, actress Valerie Concepcion has come out with a new message. She confirms performing at a Malacanang party in the presence of President Benigno Aquino III.

Concepcion also appeals to Filipinos not to judge the President.

“I just want to clarify that I was invited to perform at Malacañang’s Christmas Party for their employees with their husbands/wives and kids. Yes, the president attended the gathering. I do not see anything wrong with that since its his obligation and responsibility being the head of Malacañang to be present and show his support for his hardworking employees and their respective families. But I believe that it doesn’t mean that the president is not thinking of ways to help our kababayan(s) in Mindanao. It doesn’t mean that the president is disregarding the plight of our fellow Filipinos. Let’s not be too quick to judge”

The second part of her message apologized for sounding “insensitive”. Concepcion said:

“But if I, in any way, offended you guys and sounded insensitive, I am very sorry. It wasn’t my intention to do either. I can’t imagine how difficult life is for the people affected in Mindanao and how difficult it is to be the president of the Philippines at this moment. Once again, I am very sorry for all those people I have offended. May God bless us all.” (Itals mine)

Here is a screenshot of that part of her message:

Screenshot of Valerie Concepcion's apology

The thing is, Concepcion doesn’t need to apologize. She is an entertainer. She was earning her living. Any performer would be darn pleased to have the President of the Republic chortling at her wit. Concepcion wasn’t the only performer. The singer, Jessa, was with her.

The debate icentered on two things: First, was it right for President Aquino to party on a day of collective keening and wailing and gnashing of teeth?

By the time the party was underway, the Philippine Red Cross had reported that close to 600 had died from Typhoon Sendong.

Photo by Mark Angelo Nambatac of Iligan City

Majority of casualties come from the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan. A large swathe of Negros Oriental’s area display damage that could take years to repair: a ship had slammed into land; farmlands and orchards were ruined; bridges were cut in half and roads were tipping into gorges.

Half of Cagayan de Oro looked like an inland sea. Iligan City had run out of coffins. The supply of potable water in the these two cities was 80% less than their residents’ needs. People milled on the streets begging for food, for something to quench their parched throats, for money.

Sendong was a typhoon of monstrous proportions, though its fury came from rains and not from heavy winds. By afternoon, the casualty and missing count had surpassed that of Ondoy, the 2009 storm that swamped a big part of Metro Manila.

Ondoy, which occured in November September, almost did in former President Gloria Arroyo. Many of Mr. Aquino’s followers, stunned by the setback after seeming improvements in weather forecasting and disaster management, believe cancellation of the party would not have helped the victims of Sendong.

They may have a point. Caterers and suppliers for any major party usually collect most, if not all, of what they’re owed before an event.

Critics, however,  say that the party hosts should have asked for a refund and donated the cash to agencies helping the displaced families. Indeed, many parties being held across the country last night became aid sessions where cash was collected for Sendong’s victims. RockEd’s Gang Badoy tweeted of an actress who raised funds for badly needed drinking water.

Those who believe in Mr. Aquino, or who could not bear one more piece of bad news on a day full of despair, pointed out that there was no need for the President to do “photo-ops”.  Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman was already orchestrating relief operations and the military and police were working heroically to rescue and retrieve typhoon victims.

That line of thought contrasts the incumbent Chief Executive with his much-maligned predecessor. Former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, now under hospital arrest on charges of electoral fraud, liked to be photographed presiding over disaster management conferences and distributing relief goods. Besides, Vice President Jejomar Binay was already doing the rounds of CDO and Iligan.

There is grandstanding. And then there is a genuine need for leadership gestures.

When 20,000 families are left homeless, when just about everyone in two provinces has lost a family member, classmate or friend, and homes and schools have been washed away, is it enough for the President to delegate the task of giving reassurance to subordinates?

Undersecretaries Manuel Quezon III and Abigail Valte are among the more likeable of Mr. Aquino’s communications staff. Quezon was on Twitter the whole day, calmly deflecting charges that Pag-asa (the weather forecaster) and the national disaster coordinating body had been sleeping on the job.

But Quezon and Valte are not the President. They are conduits of information. The vague replies to appeals for a presidential visit to ground zero disappointed many Filipinos who had spent two days whipping up a climate of sympathy and compassion for their southern brethren. It was late in the day when Malacaang announced the President would visit CDO and Iligan on Tuesday. As abs-cbnnews.com reports:

“In an interview with radio dzRB, Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte only said the President “wants to make sure that national agencies and those on the ground have a concerted plan” in response to the crisis.

Aquino has been criticized in the past for not making his presence felt in provinces badly hit by typhoons.”

Charges of a cover-up were also hurled when Quezon replied to initial queries by saying the party of the Presidential Security Group (PSG) — the alleged party host — had been held Dec. 10.

Here’s a screen shot of Quezon’s initial replies though latter tweets show him agreeing to double check the date.

Screenshot of Manuel L Quezon's tweets re PSG party date
Quezon is not known for dishing out lies, so the possibility is he got confused — Filipinos take their prolonged Christmas season seriously and parties do start early in December — or he was fed wrong information. And maybe it wasn’t the PSG having a party Sunday night.
It is a mystery, however, that a simple fact of the President attending a party in his own backyard would result in hours of silence. Surely someone heard the music, the laughter?
Whether or not disaster officials had flopped with their tasks is an issue that will unravel in the next few days (and is the topic for the next blog).
With the President having singled out Pag-asa in his state of the nation address, and having repeatedly crowed of huge steps in disaster mitigation, it must have been galling to hear demands for the head of  (the normally efficient) Undersecretary Yumol.
As critics love pointing out, Sendong showcased exactly the same woes that led to the peremptory firing of the former head of Pag-asa, Nilo Prisco. Prisco Nilo.
But that, perhaps, was not even on the minds of Sendong’s victims. What they needed was a personal reassurance from the country’s most powerful man — that things would get better, that they government would help them move on with their interrupted lives.
The President can be eloquent on occasion. Journalists have noticed — with some amount of chagrin — that when he speaks in pure Tagalog, he shoves aside the need for any filtering of his message.
The problem perhaps, is that Malacanang may not have realized that communication is a human need, not a weapon to be used in calibrated, calculated bites. Communication is part of a leader’s contract with his people. Communication can ease troubled waters — or churn them up like a hurricane.
That in a time of genuine crisis, the President did not reach out, is a major fumble. Not just because he failed to respond to a real need, but because he IS his own best spokesman.

(Many thanks to Kay Posadas and Jun Verzola for their quick eyes)

108 thoughts on “THE PARTY

  1. My take on this and I’ll take this on a personal note having been a cagayanon for decades, is that the President has very little sympathy with people in need, either a result of disaster or otherwise. He’s good dissing out speeches but not so much on real work. “Kayo ang boss ko” is just rhetoric that happened to be broadcasted simultaneously all over the Philippines by virtue of him elected as President but it does not really means anything. When body counts of his dead “bosses” is inching towards 600, he still had the gall to party? There’s no point blaming pagasa, local officials, or gma or corona (for a good measure) but his presence alone would have mean a lot to survivors, it means he cares for dropping everything to be with his “bosses”.

    In contrast, GMA is perceived as the most corrupt but when it come to moments where she is needed most, she’s there in boots and what else. I did not vote for her at anytime (I migrated when she was VP) but she would personally show empathy to friend and foe alike. That’s all I had to say!

    Nestor S. Baang
    U of A, Edmonton

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    • Partying doesn’t mean that you don’t care!… I believe that in his heart he does care!… For sure, kung may patay kayo sa pamilya nyo, you can still find a moment to smile or even have a laugh over something… Don’t be a hypocrite… I believe in you Mr. President! And also I trust you… Magtulungan na lang tayo instead of blaming the President… Kasalanan ba nya na bumagyo?…

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    • okay…. GMA is there in her boots….you are impressed with appearances…thats what you see…….when there is a tragedy… YOU WANT everything to stop !! have you done that in your everyday life….stop for anyone?

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      • Mmmmm, given that I wrote “Do the Math” during Ondoy (it’s still there on google), you’re barking up the wrong tree🙂 As for the last question, opo, lots of times. But that’s not heroic po, just something expected of all of us, di ba?

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    • I so agree with you. I just don’t know why others cannot see it. His “kayo ang boss ko” is only for show, and not meant to be taken by heart. Please be reminded he’s a haciendero and looks after their own capitalist welfare. He’s surrounded by his KKK- the Atenistas mostly, who are also wallowing in their privileged lives. So do you expect him to be really for the masa? The Hacienda Luisita massacre is only an example how callous he is for the poor. In his TV appearance again while visiting the affected areas, he even had the temerity to say again, for the nth time ‘MINANA” namin ang lahat ng problemang ito. Sheesssh……up to this time, he chooses to pass on the blame and responsibility to the past? Come on!

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  2. My sentiments exactly!! The President’s PR men should be fired! First the bus massacre of Hong Kong tourists and now this?!

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    • Thanks, Manny! But PR people are not miracle workers. The client’s character is the key. And in-house PR people (as opposed to outside, ‘independent’ consultants would have a harder time)

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  3. I have relatives in Mindanao, and they are saying that they don’t have electricity for two days now. What’s even harder is the fact that the bridge going to Iligan is about to break apart. So it’s going to be difficult for rescuers to come… And deaths are rising up to 600😦

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    • Wow, what was it that you found repulsive in what she wrote that you have to just blurt out that nonsensical, but infuriating retort? She is not our president, but at least she is doing something directly. Not like your obviously adored P-Noy. You’re being close-minded, not because you liked him before he was president, which made you vote for him, means that you should stick up for him no matter what. I partly liked the guy at first, but then his incompetence was brought up, and all my initial thoughts of him went down the drain when I gave the time to fully know him and his capabilities. Now he is showing his incompetence to the whole world, almost constantly, and yet you have the gall to call down someone who is voicing out a valid concern? shame on you…

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  4. Ondoy which occurred in NOVEMBER?? Last time I checked it was September 25-26, 2009. I remember that day because it was my colleague’s birthday on that Saturday.

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  5. Asked for a refund? Last minute? Are you kidding? If you were the caterer and have purchased all the foods, hired the waiters, rented the tables, will you give a refund?

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  6. gosh only in the philippines talaga. I will have your piece of mind since nagmamagaling kayo dahil akala nya pag magaling kayong sumulat kayo na ang magagaling. Eto ang tanong ko sa inyo.

    WHEN JAPAN HAD THE WORST DEVASTATION DID THEY BLAME ANY ONE, ANYBODY ON PONITED A FINGER ON A PARTICULAR PERSON.

    Sorry to say this. Go get alife. okey?

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    • Thank you Rafael. The tsunami happened March 11, right? Here’s Nikkei.com http://e.nikkei.com/e/fr/tnks/Nni20110311D11JF296.htm Same day. Friday, March 11, 2011
      Govt Takes Emergency Steps, Kan Asks People To Stay Calm
      TOKYO (Kyodo)–Prime Minister Naoto Kan set up emergency headquarters on Friday at his office immediately after a devastating earthquake struck northeastern Japan and decided to send the Self-Defense Forces and other rescue teams as soon as possible to hard-hit areas.

      ”Our government will make all-out efforts to minimize the damage caused by the earthquake,” Kan told an emergency news conference.

      Kan asked the public to stay calm and keep themselves abreast of the latest information concerning the earthquake with a magnitude of 8.8 that occurred at 2:46 p.m.

      The hard-hit areas have many nuclear plants. But Kan said so far there have been no reports of radiation leaks or other major problems.

      Kan called on all political parties and the private sector to cooperate with the government to address the emergency situation.

      During his meeting with party leaders, they agreed on the need for a supplementary budget for the current fiscal year through March 31.

      ”This earthquake is unprecedented in size…the party will take every possible step,” said Katsuya Okada, secretary general of Kan’s Democratic Party of Japan.

      Sadakazu Tanigaki, leader of the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party, and other political leaders said they will provide full support to the government to help as many people as possible. (Salamat uli)

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    • Exactly! Only in the Philippines lang talaga… Kung may disasters na nangyayari sa bayan natin; they all blame the President…

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  7. so… what were you doing while the president was “partying”? were you successful in slashing to half the death toll?

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    • Hi Ain. Sorry, no po. If only nga sana, ano? The kids in our clan and their parents were sorting stuff Saturday, which was immediately brought to Sagip. And I was coordinating with Bayan Patrollers for reports, calls for help, telling them where they could go for aid po. Salamat po.

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    • Hindi naman unique ang ginawa ko, Ain. Trabaho naman kasi namin yun. Pag-disaster, kahit naka leave (naka leave na po ako since Saturday), you will work saan lupalop ka man naroroon. Lagi nga nagdadasal mga journalists tuwing sapit ng Pasko kasi ang daming disasters and calamities happening during this season. Rizal Day bombing, Ormoc at marami pang iba. Salamat uli!

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  8. Nice piece, Inday.

    Actually, I see the whole incident not as merely a fumble that we want Pnoy to realize and correct, but more of a glimpse into how Pnoy’s mind works. Take note that almost exactly the same “delayed visit, missing President” happened in Pedring’s aftermath. Now that he does it again, in a much terrible disaster, something clicks in your mind. “Ah, ganun pa siya mag-isip…”

    Btw, that’s Dr. Prisco Nilo. Binaliktad mo, but that’s a usual mistake even among journalists.

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    • What can the President do if he will leave for CDO while the storms is still ongoing?… The concentration of the locals will no longer be on the rescuing issues but they have to secure the areas for the safety of the President din… Besides, anong ginagawa ng mga local constituents ng CDO?…

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      • Anong ginawa ng constituents ng CDO — ng Sunday po? They were all busy trying to find missing kin, retrieving bodies, cleaning up, bringing children to safety, trying to find drinking water… at wala yatang panawagan sa artikulo na dapat kasama sya sa rescue efforts🙂 Thanks for your interest!

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    • One of the concept of leadership is directive leadership with the ability to be decisive and expect the followers to act according to his decision. And I believe that the President is a kind of leader who has concern for his people as his priority and he will always strive hard for the betterment of his country and its people… You cannot be an effective leader if you do not delegate your work to your followers… That’s for the LGU’s of CDO… Don’t just settle down at pointing fingers to the President!… Help one another! That’s the least you can do!…

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  9. you summed up my (and i’m sure a lot of others) frustrations with this post, it’s not so much on the action but on the inaction.

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  10. Ito ang mali sa mga Filipino. Napaka mali ang isip sa iba. Akala mo kung sinong makasimpatiya. Hindi naman nag party si PNoy dahil sa natuwa sya sa trahedya.
    Ginawa nya to dahil meron din syang responsibilidad na dapat gawin. Ano ba ginawa nung mga taong nagkukundena kay PNoy. Nag Novena ba sila, tumulong na ba sila sa mga nasalanta? MAraming Filipino na ipokrita at ipokrito. Kaya hindi tayo umuunlad. Lagi lang tayong nakatingin sa iisang taong sisisihin.
    Tingnan nyo muna yung mga ginagawa ng mga Barangay, Munisipyo at Kapitolyo bago kayo manisi sa itaas.

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    • I agree with you Michael Caguiwa…kung lahat na lang ng kilos at salita ng Pangulo ay pupunahin higit na wala tayong magagawa kaya pati pagasenso ng ating bansa ay apektado. I pray people will be more careful with their comments and judgments…GOD BLESS!

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    • tama a diyan michael, tuwing may kalamidad at kung ano pa man na masama nangyayari sa atin bansa, palagi ang pres ang nakikita nila, halos di numero ang tuttok nila sa pres, tapos ayon ipalabas na sa buong medya, tapos big issue na kaagad,lalo na itong mga newscaster parang sila pa ang nagpapalaki ng issue. kung sabagy likas na talaga sa kultura natin ang ugaling magsisi ng kapwa kapag may nangyari di maganda.sinabi na nga na gusto sana ng pres na pupunta doon kaso lang di siya pinayagan dahil sa masama nga ang panahon, dapat sana magsitigil na sila itikom ang bibig huwag na palakihin ang issue.kaya mahirap tayo makabangon dahil sa ugali ng iba natin kababayan.na utak talangka.

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  11. It’s not about blaming PNoy. It’s about his insensitivity. Some people are missing the point here.

    Hindi po bini-blame si PNoy, sinusumbatan po sya ng mga tao. People have the right para sumbatan sya. 15M (probably including the hundreds who died) people had put their trust on PNoy last elections.

    Blaming? No. Nanunumbat? Yes.

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  12. The problem with VIP people being in the scene of a calamity is that rescue efforts and security issues for the VIP will just hamper efforts to rescue people.

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      • Yes, it could be a short as this: Mga Kababayan, and bagyong Sendong ay nagdala ng maraming pag-ulan at pagbaha sa CDO, Iligan, at Dumaguete. Dahil dito marami ang nasalanta at ,arami ang nangagailangan ng tulong natin. Magtulungan tayo sa mga oras na ito. Pinag-utos ko na ang mga puno ng iba’t ibang departamento para makipag-ugnay sa lokal na pamahalaan para sa madaling pag-abot ng tulong sa ating kapwa sa Mindanao. Tayo’y magtulungan. wang wang iwanan.🙂

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  13. Is it right for Pnoy to party after the flood? WRONG! I mean the chose of words here should be read..( Is it insensitive for Pnoy to party after the flood? ). It is really a coin-tossed call for him, he should be the mourner in chief,lifting the morale of the afflicted. I really dont know what transcribed in that party, the PSG party and family out there, the catering, I guess it would not hurt Pnoy if he goes there quick and leave for a very good reasons.. as long as the typhoon relief goes smoothly and well coordinated and all the need has been been made met, Pnoy is alright..

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  14. Alam ko nagtatrabaho ang presidente ng mga oras na yun. Coordinating the concern agencies. HIndi naman talaga siya kailangan magpunta doon sa time na yun. Ayaw lang niyang magpa-pogi. At saka kailangan ba na may media sa tapat niya para malaman kung ano ginawa niya sa time na yun? Totoo nakiparty siya, ngunit alam ba natin ang nasa kalooban niya?

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    • Salamat cdoboy. Hindi yata naman sinabi na siya’y dapat nandun kasama ng rescuers. Totoong di natin alam ang kalooban nya. Sa panahon ng ganito, kailangan malaman ng tao ang kalooban ng Presidente🙂

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    • correct ka diyan cdoboy,yan kasi ang mahirap sa ating mga kababayan madali tayo mag jugde at magpuna, kung ano man ang ginawa ng pres, sige nga subukan nyo kaya mag pres kung ano naman kaya ang magagwa nyo. ganyan naman talaga ang tao eh mahilig magpuna pero sarili nila ano kaya ang nagagawa nilana tulong sa bayan.

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  15. There are two typos of pr people. Those that can lie and those that cant typo.

    Am surprised m quezon didnt say that he made a typo with the date.
    Oh wait.. They have already just used that excuse re p-noy trip to cdo.
    Was 27th
    Public disgust and…
    Sorry – typo – 20th

    These guys are not exactly pr gurus. Their contradictory stories just keep making the hole bigger. And resorting to the sisters!! Amateur night.

    Oh well. Only 11 days until 2012. Jiminez. Dot new campaign launch?? Must have been another typo. Maybe he meant 2012, not 2011.

    “i’m not upset you lied to me, i’m upset that from now on i can’t believe you”
    Friedrich Nietzsche

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      • mlq at first denied the party and said in tweet that vconc was referring to party on 10th.
        so many parties, very confusing!

        latest from lacierda now. p-noy desperately wanted to go to cdo on sunday but was advised not to due to weather.

        3 comms secs – 4 stories

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  16. tama ka benz, it’s the inaction, the silence as inday puts it, that bugs me. at the end of the day, the sympathetic presence of the leader of a nation is what leaves an imprint in the hearts and minds of those affected by disasters such as this.

    now let’s see if they are as fast in going after the mining and logging companies that have effected massive deforestation in the area, which is the major cause of this Sendong disaster, as they did going after gma and corona. and lest I be accused of defending them, I am not a fan of gma or corona — i also know the past admin’s flaws as I did work for government a few years back. my dissatisfaction stems from the lack of a development agenda from this current government. all I hear is vindictiveness and impeachment complaints. I guess they aren’t that familiar with the word “multi-tasking”. =(

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  17. thank you, inday espina-varona, a lot of us are thinking the same thing. it’s not about him partying per se, it’s christmas after all, but it’s the fact that he hasn’t come out to extend words of reassurance to the people of visayas and mindanao. i’m from dumaguete but i now work and live in singapore. i knew it was raining hard friday evening because i had talked to my parents. they told me that dumaguete was put under signal number 1. for dumaguete, signal number 1 means shutting your doors tight and waiting for the storm to die down inside the safety of your own home. in the morning, a friend, who hails from iligan, posted that his parents were on the roof of their house! i quickly called my parents and they were in the middle of carrying our furniture to the second floor of our house because the waters had reached waist-level. i checked the websites of abs-cbn, gma, inquirer and philippine star and found precious little news of what was currently happening in iligan, cdo, dumaguete and all the other areas hit by sendong. facebook was the most up-to-date source of information i had regarding the storm. it was there that i found out that dumaguetenos had formed a human chain on the beach to help the sailors on the ship. it was there that i found pictures of flood waters overflowing the dikes of banica river. if you think about it, it had been hours since sendong hit and caused havoc in cdo and iligan but we did not receive any news at all from malacanang, no message, no nothing! i went to the government website and tried to post about what was happening but there’s something funny with their comment box (it does not allow apostrophes or anything). frustrated, i went to facebook and searched for the official page of the president. you know what i found there? nothing! absolutely nothing and it was already late in the morning! there was nothing regarding sendong on their page. i posted a message to the president and the first post they had regarding sendong was after my post. about an hour or so later, i caught news on the net that he had convened the disaster management council. i had thought that he would say something compassionate after that meeting but there was nothing and the worse thing about it was that the undersecretary blamed the victims for what happened to them! complacency on the part of the people of cdo and iligan was the reason for the high death toll! what kind of a government, what kind of a leader would say something like that – the president should take command responsibility for whatever those under him say so it’s as good as if the words came from him as well. it was crass, it was arrogant, it was unsympathetic! during a time when the only thing your people wanted was some sort of support, a gesture from the leader of the nation that he truly cares for his constituents. and i don’t want to start on how amazed i am that they can still claim that they gave residents fair warning about this storm! i want to end it here! thank you for what you have written.

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  18. my question is, after partying last sunday, what time did Pnoy wake up on monday? how insensitive this president is. iisa pa nga lang ang na bibid out sa kaisa isang economic initiative ng presidenteng to, dadagdagan pa ng ganitong balita. hay. nagkamali na naman yata sa pagboto mga pinoy.

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      • the ratings maybe a function of the pantawid program. still waiting for big economic vision the like of Mahathir Mohammad’s Malaysia 2020 and SBY’s Indonesia 2025. Mr Pnoy couldn’t even ask his budget manager to please SPEND to arrest the deterioration in GDP growth. You’re right, maybe Pnoy should read more on the life of Winston Churchill. He is the best person to rally the people behind a cause.

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      • Actually, I’ve been impressed by a lot of PNOY’s speeches. Tumpak sya talaga. His own best spokesman nga. Kaya sayang at di natugunan itong napakahalagang pagkakataon. (Of course, I’m talking about the weekend… pumunta na sya sa CDO at Iligan at Dumaguete at ibang post na lang yun🙂

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  19. sure, gloria arroyo was there when she was needed, appearing to be helpful, but when people were not looking, she steals from those whom she helps!

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  20. there were updates from move.ph that i was seeing. can’t verify it now. you have aptly put what is lacking, GMA would hog the headlines for her benefit, what you stress; PRESENCE, SPIRIT, ACTION of the president at the time when it is needed most. Going live on TV is one, call for emergency meeting is another, and all that should come along the responsibility. the president does not realize it yet, THE POWER WITHIN, BESTOWED UPON THE OFFICE, THAT WHICH IS IN IT CAN BE UTILIZED for the welfare of the people.

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  21. The party, already a commited event by PNoy, wherein the PSG families and relatives from different parts of the country traveled to attend the party in the palace. But can PNoy send them back to where they came from saying ” sorry,the party is cancelled, instead let’s donate the money for the party to the victims of the calamity in CDO and Iligan, I have to go there NOW, IMPRONTO”. How impronto is impronto? He can’t fly to CDO and Iligan on the spot. What about the distress and the upsets he’s going to cause to these people? If he cancelled the party to go to CDO and ILigan, he would be lambasted. It’s a no win situation for him It’s a known fact that showbusiness people attending a committed event share laughter with the audience and crowd even though someone in the family died, the show must go on no matter what. The fact that while PNoy was attending the party he was on the telephone monitoring and coordinating with different agencies that would attend to the various needs of the flood victims. What else do you want him to do? And to that SILENCE which is so deafening, I would say behind the scene, the governmental machines of agencies which Pnoy is monitoring and coordinating are already mobilizing and crystallizing what the President has asked them to do. We have to read between the lines, where the SILENCE is. So Gloria Arroyo was always on the spot with the victims of floods, handing out donations to them while being photographed. This was hipocracy and manipulation. Playing to the emotions of the people, using their tragedies to enhance her profiles, portraying herself as the savior/ samaritan of the poor victims while on the other hand plundering the peoples money. What a two face she was.

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    • Thanks, Leticia! Heaven forbid we praise GMA. I still remember Ondoy — wrote “Do the Math” in its wake. Management and leading are not quite the same thing. “All of the great leaders have had one characteristic in common: it was the willingness to confront unequivocally the major anxiety of their people in their time. This, and not much else, is the essence of leadership.” — John Kenneth Galbraith (On this score, GMA flops. Noy scores partially — high on anti-corruption, the other major anxiety of our time.)

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  22. Nka.cancel nga ni PNOY ang byahe sa ASEAN dhil aalis c PGMA, un pang party. All the people here only needs a visible leadership at the hours of need. A simple picture of a leader sitting on a conference table with officials. That picture cant prevent any losses further, but the people needs to see a working government, (not a PGMA fan, but i admire her wen u’ll see her in boots and raincoat wen a storm is battering a province, and she instantly cancels her scheduled trips). And today, he will be here in Iligan?!! for wat, scold d LGU’s or a calibrated-delayed photo-op? D needed national govs role of assurance was already filled up by the church, private volunteers, PNRC and the Police/military. Thank you nalang sa traffic na dadalhin d2. Security reason dw for not coming here last weekend? cno bang mg.attempt sa kanya d2, f nkapalibot sa kanya mga PSG??

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  23. With apologies to original dead parrot sketch by monty python

    BS Aquino

    ‘he’s not leading’!
    he’s partied out!
    This president is no more!
    he has ceased to be – honest!
    he’s exposed and wont answer his Boss!
    he’s a stiff! Bereft of more lies,
    his packet is empty, he has no more puff,
    his load is shot and his gun is firing blanks!
    He is driving on hot air in the slow lane!
    Knock, knock,
    who’s there?
    Nobody, thats bleeding who! The door is closed, the lights are off, and the pantry is bare.
    The bank has foreclosed
    His credit-bility has been withdrawn.
    Consumers want a refund
    A recycled wig has more life in it
    The vital signs have stopped. He cannot hear, see, or walk – in a straight path
    he’s up the river without a paddle!
    Wake up and smell the durian!
    he rests in promises – broken!
    It’s metabolic processes are now history!
    he’s off the gameboy!
    he’s kicked the weatherman,
    he’s wrecked the car
    he’s manure – for the flowers
    he’s shuffled off his moral coil,
    run down the flag and
    joined the bleedin’ karaoke choir
    Unholy!!
    The fat lady is singing – “it’s over”

    THIS IS A NONSENSE NON-PRESIDENT!!

    Hacienda luisita, baby

    Like

  24. Well put Inday. Sadly, more have not realized what is lacking in our system now. That LEADERSHIP has to come from the one who holds the most powerful position in the land. thanks again.

    Like

  25. pNoy always comes late( sometimes di talaga maski anino)
    …lalo na pag may namamatay..
    dami na mga events dito sa pinas na
    di mo makikita si alagad (tayo ang boss n’ya),….

    we are doomed…

    lights out sa “daan MATUWID”

    Like

  26. Yung pagtatakip nina Quezon and Corona on the true length of PNoy’s stay in the party should not be happening in the Day and Age of the Daang Matuwid.

    Sabi nung isa 2 hours….sabi nung isa 30 minutes.

    Halatang may pinagtatakpan.

    At the time when casualty figures were mounting horrendously, I really think it was unforgivable that the President of the country was laughing at jokes.

    Totally out of place!

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  27. Tama na yan. Ikaw ang dapat i-silence eh. Malay mo what went on at that party and what was going on in P-noy’s mind noong kasagsagan ng bagyo? Nasa Malacanang ka ba noong mga oras na yon?! Sinabi mo na na kayo nang pamilya mo ay nagsasagawa ng sarili ninyong relief efforts. Okay, may nagawa ka, thank you. Pero ano ba mapapala mo kapag pinahina mo kumpyansa ng mamamayan sa lideratong ito? Be careful how you wield your pen. If the people lose faith in the leadership of the country, ano mapapala natin? Gusto mo mag-aklas mga tao at magkaroon na naman ng “People Power?” For the record, di ko binoto si P-noy. But it irks me to no end that you Ms. Journalist, are fomenting dissent. Ikaw na mag-Presidente o gusto mo mag-apply ka na lang spokesperson ni P-noy.

    Like

    • Thanks, Jen. Sinabi ko lang dahil tinanong derecho. Sabi ko nga, nothing unique there at all. Also, I do not desire a revolution. Nanggaling na tayo dyan🙂 Salamat sa pagbasa at komento po!

      Like

    • For your benefit, I’m just going to think that you, Ms. Jen, are misinterpreting the intentions of the author. As I see it, she is not “fomenting dissent”, she just stated what she thinks that any president should have done. P-noy’s immediate actions, or rather the lack thereof, is not becoming of a president of any country. You, yourself said it, we don’t know what he may have been thinking or what actually transpired during the party. But unlike most of us who are not expected to do something visible in times like these, P-noy, being the head of our country, is expected to at the earliest possible time. Now, you may argue, as many others have, that his going to ground zero may actually be counter-productive to the rescue/relief efforts being done there (I agree with this, mind you), a simple and short national appearance on the television urging the local leaders and organizations, assuring those victims that all efforts are being exerted to help them, and calling for everybody else to lend support is action enough. He could have excused himself from that party for a half hour to do just that, I’m sure everyone will understand that and most will see that as a gesture of a good president. He could have done many other things, but the bottom line is, he should have done something at the earliest possible time. That is a part of leading the nation, can you not see the logic in that? Anong mapapala niya sa pagsulat nito? Magagawa niyang pag-isipin ang presidente o ang mga taong nakapaligid sa kanya na, “Oo nga pala, next time.” So hopefully, the next time that something as unfortunate as this happens (God forbid), he will not be as silent as he was this last time.

      Like

  28. Hi Inday Varona,

    I came across a status update of a friend which goes like this:

    “September 26, 2009 (8 AM – 2 PM) – Typhoon Ondoy hits Metro Manila

    September 26, 2009 (5:30 PM) – News reports come out that GMA has declared a State of Calamity in MM and 23 other provinces

    December 17, 2011 (Around 2 AM) – Typhoon Sendong hits CDO and Iligan

    December 20, 2011 (10 AM – 11 AM) – News reports come out that Aquino has declared a State of National Calamity”

    Oh, and Noynoy apparently vetoed a 5B calamity fund that’s why there’s very little our country could use now…

    http://www.sunstar.com.ph/breaking-news/2011/10/05/aquino-vetoes-disaster-preparation-p5b-calamity-fund-183311

    Like

  29. Well Pnoy got caught partying while the poor were dying.he was too focused on being vindictive . Is this start of his karma???
    He should hire smart apologists-the current ones are arrogant obonoxious and dumb.soorrrry.

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  30. Irony

    Those politicians involved in and making vast sums of money from illegal logging giving a paltry donation to a disaster they either helped create, or did nothing to stop.

    This was not just an act of god, it was the inaction of congress.

    Rest in peace – those who perished

    Sleep in shame – those who closed their eyes

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  31. p(arty) -noy and others should remember
    that all the food, wine, and starlets were
    paid for by tax-payers , 1000 of whom were
    dying whilst he was spending their money
    on frivolity.
    maybe he personally should pay for the
    funerals since he used their money for
    what he considered as something more
    important.
    and someone should ask how much are
    spent on these ‘secret’ parties.
    And just what is happening at party central. Even ochoa had to be taken to st lukes on saturday for surgery – too much drink – liver/gallbladder.
    They have kept that quiet
    ah – no FoI
    Hypocrites
    Remember it is your money they are spending having a good time
    Merry xmas!

    Like

  32. With regards to the ASEAN trip (cancellation), the ASEAn trip and the PSG party are two separate entities, in substance and form. The ASEAN trip is political / diplomatic while the PSG party is executive / security. Although Pnoy was not able to give a televised speech on the predicaments of the vicitms of CDO and Iligan storm at the earliest possible time, he was already monitoring and coordinating with the movers and doers of the relief operations. He can’t be here, there, and everywhere at once. IIsa lang ang katawan nya .Remember, he was already doing something for the victims of CDO and Iligan storm at that time.

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  33. Can I just ask something, WHY CANT THE PRESIDENT GO in the midst of disaster? WHY? I don’t understand why he cannot and why he has to consider safety? When NGO volunteers, DSWD workers, the victims themselves are losing their limbs and risking their lives. Helping other, helping themselves. WHY CANT THE PRESIDENT DO THAT? Why can’t he go there when during elections, he was able to travel in the remotest area in the country?

    So pwedeng pahalagahan ang buhay nya pero yung mga taong nagbabayad ng buwis, yung mga taong nakiramay sa nanay nya, yung mga taong nakiisa sa pinaglalaban ng tatay nya at yung mga mismong tao na bumoto sa kanya sa pagka pangulo, he can’t do the same???

    SRSLY. I cant believe you people!

    Like

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