Malacanang defends Alvarez's 'very simple' birthday party
MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Saturday, January 13, defended what it called the "very simple" 60th birthday party of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque came to Alvarez's defense when he was asked to comment on observations that the politician's celebration on Friday, Januar 12, was extravagant.
"I was in the birthday party of the Speaker. It was in the city hall of Tagum. I don't think it can be described as magarbo (extravagant) because he only availed of the physical facilities of the Tagum City Hall. I can tell you, it was a very simple menu," Roque said.
Alvarez celebrated his 60th birthday in Tagum City, Davao del Norte, on Friday. It was attended by President Rodrigo Duterte, Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua, Russian Ambassador Igor Khovaev, and other top government officials. (IN PHOTOS: Duterte, China envoy, politicians attend Alvarez birthday)
Roque added that there were many attendees because Alvarez invited his constituents. (READ: Duterte’s birthday wish for Alvarez: 'I hope you're married for the last time’)
"On the contrary, there were quite a number of individuals invited given his stature. He had to invite colleagues in Congress. He had to invite people in government but more importantly, he had to invite constituents," he added.
Roque gave assurances that the Speaker's party was very simple. TV personality Boy Abunda conducted a one-on-one interview with Alvarez as part of the program.
"It was very simple in terms of program and in terms of menu. It was a very casual, laid-back affair," he said. – Rappler.com