Amid the "Sendong" (international name “Washi”) disaster which has so far left over 500 dead, President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III was apparently "partying" with members of the Presidential Security Group (PSG), an actress accidentally reveals.
Valerie Concepcion tweeted Sunday night that she was at the Palace and was set to perform three songs for the PSG party.
She also said in her Twitter account that Aquino laughed at her jokes and enjoyed her performance, but this tweet had been deleted after she and the President received a backlash.
However, Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang said Aquino just dropped by the PSG party.
"He briefly went there. The President felt he had to drop by the party, these are the people who guard him. He was there for less than 30 minutes," Carandang told Yahoo! Southeast Asia in a phone interview.
Carandang said the PSG party have already been earlier scheduled and the party was already paid for so it was impractical to cancel it.
And even if the president was at the party, Carandang said the President made sure all rescue and humanitarian efforts were in place.
"[The backlash] is understandable. But let us be reminded that agencies are still doing their jobs," Carandang added.
Media reports say over 650 have been confirmed dead while 800 are missing in Iligan and Cagayan de Oro and in other areas in Southern and Central Mindanao, as "Sendong' whipped the areas Saturday night.
Carandang said the President has also canceled the Christmas party for Cabinet members initially set Monday night and the funds will instead be sent for relief efforts.
He noted that members of the Cabinet will also be donating money from their own pockets.
Aquino is set to visit typhoon-hit areas on Tuesday, said Carandang.
Concepcion, meanwhile, has apologized for for her earlier tweets.
She clarified that she was invited to perform at the PSG party but she does not see anything wrong with Aquino dropping by the event.
"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 actress said.
Concepcion also issued an apology if she "offended" people 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," she said.