Why should President BS Aquino be angry at and complain against those who paint an unflattering picture of his administration’s inadequacies in addressing Typhoon Yolanda? Buhay pa rin siya, di ba?
In dealing with his subordinates, he demands results, not excuses. On his bungling and ineffective handling of relief operations after Yolanda, he could offer only excuses and point accusing fingers, not results.
Sadly, we have a president who’s good only in a fair weather. The next time a natural calamity hits the country, BS Aquino should make the sane decision to just play video games in Malacañang instead.
At a time when people need to be comforted and reassured, his tantrums and innate refusal to hear bad news merely increase tension and heighten emotion, confusion and demoralization.
The President’s characteristic blinders colored with roses and tantrums also explain the grand conspiracy against truth by his administration and the conscripted yellow press out to protect his image. No wonder, the executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council described the impact of Yolanda on Tacloban City as “a minor destruction.”
BS Aquino refuses to believe that some 10,000 could have perished from Typhoon Yolanda and pegged the casualty figure at 2,500.
Well, after saying that his administration was fully prepared for the onslaught of the monstrous typhoon, he would be all wet had he admitted that that many had died. He’d rather lie than admit error.
He’s so bent on sticking to his guesstimates that he even canned the military officer who said that casualties could reach 10,000.
Don’t be surprised if the NDRRMC would stop counting casualties after reaching 2,500, the same way PCOS machines stopped counting the votes of opposition candidates once they had reached 10 percent.
The President may give any casualty figure that comes off his mind or downplay the extent of the devastation and it won’t make any difference. Videos of the dead left unburied and interviews with the homeless, hungry and sick angry victims speak louder than his assertions.
His insistence on the 2,500 dead is as believable as his comment “I think so” when asked by reporters as he was leaving Tacloban City if the situation in the city was already under control. “Under control” when days after he had left, hundreds of bodies remain unburied and people are still without food, shelter and medicine? Again, that’s another instance where his mouth was faster than his brain.
For the first five days after Yolanda struck with all its ferocity, BS Aquino had refused to accept any responsibility for what CNN’s pre-eminent staffer Anderson Cooper had described as absence of leader, government and civil defense in the Philippines.
On the sixth day, when conditions had improved, he suddenly assumed full responsibility (read that “credit”) for government relief and rehabilitation work. Why, his men were even grabbing credit for what the US Marines and international organizations had accomplished! Didn’t I say we have a president who’s good only in fair weather?
CNN, BBC, Al Jazeerah, the New York Times. Washington Post, Bloomberg and other foreign press entities have credibility and reputation to protect in reporting what they see on the ground. They have no chips on their shoulder.
Unlike the conscripted yellow press, they are not out to protect the image of BS Aquino. The administration may have realized this for their reaction to their criticisms is less bellicose than those from the local press. This, however, didn’t stop Aquino apologists from doing their thing.
Some, like Senate President Franklin M. Drilon and DILG Sec Mar Roxas, said the administration has a system in place to address calamities but that the devastation was just so great to overcome. Huh! But the president had already gone on record as questioning the devastation wrought by Yolanda! Ano ba talaga kuya?
DSWD Sec. Dinky Soliman said it wasn’t true that the administration had no organization because she was meeting every day with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Roxas. That’s organization? She also declared in the interview last Wednesday that they had already distributed 125,000 food packs to typhoon victims. Each food pack contains 3 kgs. of rice and canned goods.
The distribution of only 125,000 for more than 4 million displaced persons after four days is not enough to change our view on the ineptness of the government.
The Department of Finance had also announced the opening of a one-stop shop for round-the-clock processing of relief goods and other aid-related equipment donated by the international community.
But, what’s this I read that the Bureau of Customs is preventing the release of much- needed trucks donated by Germany until customs duties have been paid? How about reports that the Bureau of Internal Revenue is requiring the payment of donor’s tax?