BS Aquino’s claims belied by victims’ woes

Efren Danao

Efren Danao

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.

Rose-colored blinders

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?


Please follow our commenting guidelines.


  1. Shame on the Philippine President.

    He sullied not only the office of the President, but also his family name!

    Shame, shame, shame!!!

    If the has any back bone left, Mr. Aquino should simply resign!

  2. Mr. Danao,

    I would respectfully suggest you drop the “BS” quip in referencing the president. This is akin in America to conservatives quipping “Barack HUSSEIN Obama” just to rub in his purported foreignness.

    The Philppines urgently needs the type of analysis you have provided. It can — and should — stand on its own. Don’t detract from it by slipping in gratuitious name-calling that is beneath a writer of your stature.

  3. why not just pnoy admit that his government is a government of many failures? why ransacked the comment of military official that the estimate death toll would swell to 10,000? why so afraid of just admitting that his government failed to deliver even the basic delivery of relief and services to the victims? or maybe he will blame it to GMA? or maybe he will blame it to marcos? or worst of all, blame yolanda!

  4. Mr. Danao, are you telling us that there are only 3 members of the NDRRMC? Only Rojas, Soliman and Gazmin? Where is the name of my favorite Benigno Simeon Aquino III who Is supposed to be the head of the government. You might be mistaken Sir, so please on your notes. No wonder nothing was achieved in the first week of the calamity because cabinet and NDRRMC members are working like a headless duck. Funny but during the administration of the much hated Gloria Arroyo administration, she can be seen all over, providing leadership, hope, etc. and these 3, Aquino, Rojas and Soliman are some of those who downplay attacking those efforts I am no Arroyo fan but let us make an honest and fair analysis of comparison.

  5. Ray Hammond,Jr. on

    Great report ! Be safe as you will not be liked by the government for telling the truth ! God bless you

  6. remigio esguerra on

    Mr. Danao, I congratulate you on an excellent piece. I will also tell you that your thinly disguised reference to the Chief Executive as (BS) Bull shi**er Aquino took away from it and accomplished nothing.

    Shoulda taken the high road, my friend.

  7. Amos Saba Calda on

    We are not very particular about the image of the people in governance. We might as well forget we have a president or vice presiden, senators/ congressman, etc. We just would like the relief goods & medicines to be delivered to a number of municipalities in Leyte & Samar provinces by any means. Marami pa po ang di napupuntahan lalo na sa SAMAR. We have lost our loved ones, relatives & friends during the onslaught of Typhoon Yolanda, and it would seemed we will be losing some more friends due to hunger & diseases as a result of ineffeciency of some people in the governance. I pray that they maybe endowed with wisdom in the performance of their noble task, in this moment of crisis. God bless the Philippines.

  8. what the heck, this gov’t is clueless. they were voted to serve the people not the people to serve them. they are only good when peoples money is involved. God Bless the Philippines.

  9. Mr. Danao,

    Sana kayo po ang Presidente ng Pilipinas, matalino, magaling, maraming alam, tama ang gagawin sa lahat ng oras at pagkakataon. Sayang!

  10. Anderson Cooper is more credible than Korina Sanchez! Mr. Cooper does not have ulterior motives whatsover in reporting what he is seeing with his naked eye. He is just reporting what is the REAL SCORE of what’s going on in the calamity area. Whereas Korina Sanchez needless to say she is working for a Yellow Organization whose aim is always to UPLIFT the image of Aquino-Roxas administration. Roxas, right now is acting as the executive secretary, interior secretary, and virtually the vice-president of the Philippines. As we can see it Binay is always not with Aquino. Roxas has been aiming to be the next president of the Philippines, that’s why he is always there, be it, in the scene of an condominium fire, in earthquake-ravaged areas, or in any event or activities that normally belongs to a department other than interior & local gov’t. And for sure Korina Sanchez has been dreaming to be a First Lady some day.

  11. The video footages, pictures, thousands and thousands of graphically grim images can not HIDE the realistic truth of what really happened in the Yolanda Tragedy.

    The Stench of the disaster beneath the ruble, pile of mud and debris, the waters of the surrounding seas in the area – that came ashore at the height of the typhoon’s 315 kph battering winds – the typhoon-generated tsunami- like masked storm surge – would certainly overwhelm BS “Boy Sisi” claims of Bigtime, Primetime Lies, CNN stage, that is.

    Obama’s 7th Fleet humanitarian dash saved the day for Boy Sisi.
    And the rest of the global industrialized nations are coming in with their air assets, naval ships, medical missions, material donations, in kind and financial pledges – to keep the Aquino Admin’s utter inutile-ness sinking further down the stench of the tragedy….