PALO, Leyte: Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd said the Aquino administration never abandoned the victims of Typhoon Yolanda, which left at least 6,000 people dead and 1,900 people missing more than two years ago.
Roxas made the declaration in a campaign stop here amid persistent criticism of his’ efforts in delivering government aid in the aftermath of the super typhoon, the strongest recorded in the world for year 2013.
At the time, Roxas was the pointman of the government’s relief operations in his capacity as the secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG).
“Lahat po ng puedeng gawin, ikilos, ay nagawa. Wala pong pagpapabaya. Wala pong pagbabalewala [Everything that should have been done was done. There was never an abandonment. You were never ignored],” he pointed out.
“Matitignan ko po kayo, mata sa mata, na ginawa ko ang lahat para malutas ang problema [I can look at you in the eye and say to you that I did everything I could to fix the problem],” Roxas said.
According to him, the national government released P89 billion for rehabilitation efforts, and that another P6 billion will still be released to the typhoon-affected areas.
Roxas noted that the P4-billion funding under the DILG’s stewardship has been long disbursed to typhoon-hit areas for construction of municipal halls, civic centers, barangay (village) health centers and barangay halls, among others.
In addition, 90 percent of the projects funded by the P4 billion under the DILG stewardship were already completed.
“Yan po ang mare-report ko sa inyo. Kaya nakikiusap po ako, ‘wag po kayo maniwala sa paninira at kasinungalingan [That is what I can report to you. And so I appeal to you to kindly ignore the lies peddled by the critics],” Roxas said.
He earlier said in Calbayog, Sama, that he is confident of winning the votes in Yolanda-hit areas because the people there know the truth.
“I feel very good about my chances here because I am banking on the truth. I need not weave fiction because the people here know the truth,” Roxas added.
“Our rivals criticize me because they are not here. Some just delivered a few food packs, even with their pictures, only to leave in a few hours. What is the sense in that?” he said.