Last Sunday, while Visayas and Mindanao were being heavily ravaged by what was eventually described as one of the deadliest typhoons to hit the Philippines in more than a decade, TV-Host Actress Valerie Concepcion casually posted this message on Twitter:
Apparently, Valerie was talking about spending fun times with P-Noy and the rest of his staff during the Christmas Party at Malacanang Palace that - a lot are saying - incidentally happened at the same time as Typhoon Sendong's disastrous landfall in our country.
According to NDRRMC, the death toll from tropical storm Sendong with international name 'Washi' has breached the 600 mark by Monday noon. Sendong had affected 26,928 families or 142,961 people in 24 towns and eight cities in a total of 13 provinces. As of writing, there are 82 missing people -- and counting.
Perhaps thinking that our President was slacking off, partying and having fun with celebrities at a time when he should be busy mobilizing local agencies and officials and preparing for Typhoon Sendong relief efforts, a lot of Pinoy Tweeps posted messages on the popular short messaging site criticizing P-Noy:
As a response to a deluge of borderline-disparaging tweets directed to her and the President, Valerie posted this statement on her Twitter account a few hours ago:
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. 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.
1. This sounds so simple and gasgas. But I think that, celebrity or not, we have be aware of what's happening in our country -- not just in terms of politics or showbiz, but even in terms of the weather.
2. Having such knowledge empowers us to make the right decisions not just in our everyday lives but also in our online existence. It's what makes it possible for us to properly 'think before we click.'
3. Everyone makes mistakes. But it takes a big person to apologize for his or her shortcomings. I salute Valerie for releasing that statement.
4. Everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt -- even the President. P-Noy may have laughed at Valerie's jokes but it doesn't necessarily mean that he's not doing anything for the victims of Sendong.
5. TP Friends, please donate to victims of Sendong via Red Cross, Sagip Kapamilya or Kapuso Foundation.