IF only President Benigno Simeon (BS) Aquino had been as quick in giving relief to victims of super typhoon Yolanda as in ordering the relief of the police officer who predicted that typhoon casualties would reach 10,000, the plight of the hungry, sick and dying victims would have been less severe.
IF only he had accepted the report that 95 percent of Tacloban City had been devastated instead of pointing to the relatively unscathed city jail as proof of a minor devastation, he would have acted with more urgency.
There is a saying “He who knows not and knows he knows not is simple. Teach him. He who knows not and knows not he knows not is a fool. Shun him.”
The president should allow himself to be fully briefed by those already on the ground instead of giving what he “knows” and speaking ex cathedra like the Pope at that, when he had just arrived on the scene. His personal views prevail over the truth, and woe to those who disagree with him. Buhay ka pa, di ba?
Where’s the claimed preparedness?
IF only BS Aquino had truly prepared for Yolanda as he so grandly announced earlier, then he would have negated any criticism of an administration incapable of responding effectively to a calamity; there would have been no need for him and his subalterns to give lame excuses that only the ever-faithful Yellows could accept.
A day before Yolanda struck land, he was reassuring the nation that 32 planes and helicopters from the Air Force along with Philippine Navy’s 20 ships are positioned in Cebu, Bicol, Cavite and Zamboanga. He said that relief goods are already prepositioned in areas expected to be affected by the super typhoon and that the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation Council, both local and national, had been activated to mitigate the effects of the typhoon. Where were the planes, helicopters, ships and relief goods in the crucial initial days of the calamity?
IF only BS Aquino could be like former Prime Minister Naoto Kan of Japan, he could prevent the disaster from defining his presidency.
Kan was prime minister when an earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, 2011, leaving behind according to the Japanese \o “National Police Agency (Japan)” \t “_blank” National Police Agency, 15,883 deaths. 6,150 injured and 2,651 people missing, as well as 129,225 buildings totally collapsed. The approval rating of Kan went on a freefall amid a perceived lack of leadership after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis and resigned as prime minister on August 26, 2011, or five months after the disaster.
President Aquino showed lack of leadership in the aftermath of Yolanda even if he has been claiming everything was already under control, even if he is saying that the local government unit of Tacloban was to blame for the high degree of death and destruction in the city. His approval rating is down despite claims of a survey firm. If only he’s like Kan, he should also resign.
More power makes the incompetent more incompetent
The late Rep Sonny Escudero of Sorsogon once predicted after the House approval of the Local Government Code: “Giving more power to competent officials will make them more competent but giving more power to the incompetent will make them more incompetent.” I’m reminded of this quote from Sonny because of the performance of BS Aquino. After 12 unremarkable years as a legislator, he was suddenly given more powers as president. His incompetence as lawmaker was magnified by his lack of performance in Malacanang.
If he were in a private corporation, his bosses would have fired him years ago. But as president, he could thumb his nose at his supposed bosses. In three years after the presidential election, he still prefers the yellow pin over the national flag pin. This shows that he considers himself the commander-in chief of the Yellow Army and the president only of the Yellows. In three years, he has failed to unite the people behind him, banging away at his political enemies and giving a cold shoulder even to well-meaning critics.
Incompetence and uselessness are not enough to exculpate the Aquino administration from its agonizingly slow, seemingly unsympathetic response to the tragedy spawned by Typhoon Yolanda. Neither will finger-pointing by the administration be accepted by the people. The blood of the typhoon victims is in the hand of the administration even if the President refuses to admit any responsibility.