BS Aquino should be declared a national calamity?

Efren Danao

Efren Danao

President BS Aquino 3rd has declared the Philippines in a state of national calamity. However, I know many who believe that the Philippines should declare him a national calamity instead. Considering how he has consistently acted so insensitively and thoughtlessly when the desperate times call for clear thinking and inspiring leadership that he has failed to provide, such a declaration merits deep consideration.

Early in his presidency, BS Aquino was scored for not spending even a second to visit a place devastated by national calamity. Now, I feel those critics were wrong and he was correct in not going to the calamity areas. Look what happened when he went against his natural instinct and visited places like Cebu and Bohol where he stayed for a few hours and was even shown laughing with the quake ruins as backdrop, and, most recently, Tacloban City where he again had his tantrums. He should have just stayed home in Malacañang and played video games for he hasn’t been of any help anyway. Those visits were meant to shore up his sagging image and credibility. Instead, they tarnished his image further.

One of the most sympathetic words I had heard about Typhoon Yolanda victims came from a foreigner leading an NGO concerned with the welfare of children. He said in an interview with CNN that about 95 percent of Tacloban City had been devastated by the typhoon and the ensuing storm surge, and that the city is lucky that many are still alive. Compare this to that caustic, unfeeling comment of BS Aquino to a Tacloban businessman seeking his help for their security: “Buhay ka pa rin, di ba?” (You are still alive, aren’t you?) Or when he found the calamity an occasion to lash at his political enemies whom he unjustly accused of failing to prepare adequately for the strongest typhoon in recorded history of the world.

Politics intrude into actuations
He had called for closer coordination of relief operations between local and national agencies, which is right and proper. Yet he refused to have the Tacloban mayor by his side, in the same manner that he picked his defeated candidate for mayor when he visited Cebu City after a temblor had hit that city. How can the appropriate coordination be effected when BS Aquino lets politics intrude in his actuations?

And how about his walkout from his own press briefing when he didn’t like what he was hearing? This was the same reason he had cited why he didn’t like to call Cabinet meetings— he didn’t like to hear bad news from his Cabinet members. I heard some say he threw a tantrum when he realized that he had to use the government’s entire “savings” for relief operations, thus leaving him nothing to give to lawmakers under the supposed Disbursement Acceleration Program.

BS Aquino’s blinders had initially prevented him from acknowledging the extent of destruction wrought by Yolanda. Why, the place became so miserable to stay in that the two Cabinet members he had sent to Tacloban went scampering away from the place. Inexplicably, he singled out the Tacloban City Jail as reason why he doubted estimates of how the typhoon had laid waste to most of the city. At that time, television stations, both foreign and local, had already shown videos of the merciless, relentless pummeling of Tacloban and other places by Yolanda. Why should his politics color his judgment? We don’t need a president whose tongue is faster than his brains or his eyesight.

Speaking of teevee coverage, one local reporter showed her ignorance of geography when she said “Iloilo and Panay” were hardest hit. Iloilo is in Panay Island. Another, a veteran at that, reported excitedly that the eye of the storm was already in Tacloban as he pictured the strong winds buffeting the city. As far as I know, the eye of the storm is very calm. It has neither strong winds nor rain and could even show clear skies.

Ah, but such errors in reporting could be easily glossed over, the same way that I was not horrified at the looting that took place in Tacloban. When there is a conflict between the right to live and the right to property, the former should always prevail. It’s not thievery or criminal bent that drove the typhoon victims to loot but sheer desperation for their survival. This, however, does not justify the looting of appliances as these could not be eaten. The victims’ survival would not be helped any by television sets they had looted.


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  1. Here in the Netherlands, seeing/listening to Aquino on TV interviewed by CNN journalists, Christian Amanpour and A. Cooper, made me feel so ashamed having such a president with no feeling at all for our compatriots in need of help….. I expected him to at least extend his sympathy and give them assurance that everything would be fine but instead he was playing his usual “blame-game” attitude… and worst of all he told that businessman ….”but you are still alive, right?”…. why, ..he expected all victims there to be dead!… what a tactless and heartless president the Filipino people have to bear!

  2. Let us just get together and help our needy brothers in each of our own little way . It is God’s will that he is our president and let us accept and respect that no matter what principle and political group we belong to.

  3. During my early days I recall that every time there is a surge of these typhoons he himself visits the places totally devastated by the typhoon and personally inspect everyone without the advice of anyone with his wife beside him and help all constituents to the full support they can give …. I know because I am one of the many victims of a strong typhoon and a recipient of the help support… by that past administration

  4. To my view of all the scenes and tragic history of yolanda it is a learning process for all of us to help one another as others would also help…. and with the present gov’t we got this leadership is not as we all expect it to be…. and to my recollections the present one has a vengeance from the past and the place were these rabbles happened is history to them… try to recall the past from the death of his root and what is now happening…. why are those support from other country comes so fast and easily reach the destination and why are our own support comes in so slow? we all got our resources we got lots of DAP and PDAP…. we got rich people and rich compay who could help… but all are controlled by this management…. why?…

  5. And how much can you compare him with the “empowered by youth” GMA? You are very, very keen to criticize but he is, if he can be actually called, a lesser evil (but in my opinion, only a transition president as he mentioned at least once or twice). The only thing that midget was good at was to put together weekends and holidays so we can have a long weekend.

  6. But then, who placed such a “national calamity” in power in the first place? Shouldn’t the people who voted for him be declared “national calamities” too?

  7. He’s a certified talkative but lack in performance. A bully to his non-allies. Always politicking even in the midst of tragedy or calamity. I swear I did not vote him. My conscience is clean to that aspect hehehe.

  8. Galit tayo sa looting nang mga nagugutom, hindi tayo galit sa looting nang mga kampon ni Aquino?

  9. I agree 1000% Yan ang dapat nilamon nang “storm surge” at pinalaot na nang tuluyan No return no exchange!

  10. From the onset and realization of the enormous magnitude of this TRAGEDY, I was expecting this sitting Prez to acknowledge and admit the enormity of meeting the challenges of extending assistance to the acffected/displaced VICTIMS… my HORRORS, this President even politicized the tragedy, downplay the massive casualties, and as expected, acted as the pampered-ruling-elite-class of the Philippine elite society – looking down the poor, hapless victims as mere collateral
    to the ruthless play of nature wreaking havoc upon us all…..PATHETIC PREZ INDEED.

  11. Voice from the Wilderness on

    Indeed, he is a national calamity starting from day one of his presidency as evidence by the first boo boo he committed – the Luneta Hostage fiasco which until now is hounding him and his administration and the country as well.

  12. Charlie Farrales on

    I couldn’t agree more. Just keep him away. He is a political predator feasting on whomever he feels is not impressed with his imperial posturing.

  13. King PNoy have been a calamity since day one of his administration. There is nothing good we can expect of him until 2016 other than the worse.