No Christmas party for military amid typhoon disaster

Posted at 12/11/2012 7:11 PM | Updated as of 12/11/2012 7:11 PM

MANILA, Philippines - No Christmas party will be held at the Armed Forces' general headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City this year because of the disaster caused by Typhoon Pablo, the military said Monday.

This, after President Benigno Aquino called for less festive Christmas celebrations, according to Armed Forces spokesman Col. Arnulfo Marcelo Burgos.

The typhoon has so far left 714 dead, and 890 others missing. It affected at least 5.4 million people, with more than 116,000 individuals forced to seek shelter in evacuation sites.

"In line with the presidential guidance on the subdued Christmas celebrations and in light with the devastation brought by typhoon Pablo, the AFP is cancelling (Camp Aguinaldo) Christmas parties," Burgos said.

"This (cancellation of Christmas parties) is in solidarity with the victims, their families and our troops who are involved in the search, rescue and relief operations in Mindanao," he added.

The Department of National Defense (DND) won't also hold a Christmas party, DND spokesman Peter Paul Galvez said Monday.

"Following suit with what Malacañang has announced, [Defense Secretary Voltaire] Gazmin has also cancelled the DND Christmas party on December 21, which the employees gladly accepted. We are concentrating on the distribution of relief (goods)," he said.