Military should be in charge


Officials of this bungling government don’t even know who’s in charge.

Asked in a press briefing the other day who is in charge of the gargantuan, urgent task of saving 500,000 Leyteños from starvation, disease, and deadly anarchy, Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras like a true sycophant said: “The one calling the shots is actually the President and the Cabinet members.”

Almendras should have been kept, as he had been during calmer periods, in the background. Does he mean that after the president, it is every Cabinet member on his own in this emergency? Or maybe after enjoying the briefings he’s been giving media, he in effect is saying that since he is Cabinet Secretary, he is in charge?

Then, at a recent press briefing of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council’s (NDRRMC)—its executive director Eduardo del Rosario was similarly asked who’s in charge.

“Not me,” Del Rosario said, in his case toadying up to his immediate superiors: “It’s the Executive Secretary (Paquito Ochoa), ably assisted by Secretary (to the Cabinet Rene) Almendras.” Almendras in fact in his lengthy press briefings referred to the NDRRMC as if he were the one calling the shots there.

Defense Secretary Gazmin, left: He’s in charge, or supposed to be; right, DND website totally oblivious to ‘Yolanda’ super-disaster.

Defense Secretary Gazmin, left: He’s in charge, or supposed to be; right, DND website totally oblivious to ‘Yolanda’ super-disaster.

But Interior Secretary Mar Roxas likely fumed at Almendras and del Rosario. Why, he is in charge, going by his recent briefings to media in Tacloban.

Please read the disaster-response law
Aquino’s officials don’t seem to have even bothered to read the law that created the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council and provided a detailed how-to for government’s to response to a disaster.

The law is Republic Act No. 10121 of May 27, 2010, the last law passed during the term of President Arroyo, who pushed for its enactment after the devastation of Typhoon Ondoy, so that her successors would have a detailed framework and procedures for confronting disaster and mitigating its impact on the population.

Aquino though has thrown that law into the dustbin.

Under the law, the NDRRMC consists not only of several department secretaries and ranking security officials but also key representatives of local governments, among them the presidents of the Union of Local Authorities, the League of Provinces, and the League of Municipalities. It even has one representative from the private sector, and included the Secretary General of the Philippine National Red Cross.

Who heads the NDRRMC, and therefore in charge of all operations for the Yolanda-created disaster? Under the law, the NDRMMC’s chair is somebody neither Almendras nor its executive director thought of as being in charge: the Secretary of National Defense, Voltaire Gazmin.

But we’ve not heard anything though from Gazmin before and after Yolanda struck, other than the report that he bunkered with Mar Roxas in a Tacloban airport building at the height of the typhoon.

There is an important reason why the law designated the defense secretary as the NDRRMC chair. Next after the president, he has command—through the Armed Forces Chief of Staff—of the only national organizations that have the resources and organizational discipline to deal with emergencies created by national disasters.

In countries all over the world, and under all previous administrations, it is the military that is the vanguard in rescue operations which secures a devastated area and orderly delivering food and water to victims.

If a military man were in charge of operations for Tacloban, his first instinct would be the security of the survivors. In our case, that looters and brigands emerged in Tacloban seemed to be a shock to whoever was in charge. Disaster relief is essentially a matter of logistics, which of course, next to combat, is the military’s expertise.

In disasters during past administrations, there were generals and colonels on the ground, assuring the stunned populace: “We are here. We are in control.” None of that in Tacloban. Instead you see only Mar Roxas, in a ruffled dirtied shirt, appearing as stunned as everyone else.

Where’s the military?
It had to take CNN reporter Anderson Cooper, to tell us that in Japan when the tsunamis hit, it was the Japanese military, the Japan Self Defense Forces that was swiftly at the airports nearest the devastated areas the day after, which set up feeding centers for the victims, and methodically divided the area into grids so that a systematic removal of the corpses was done. Nothing like that in Tacloban after five days, Cooper said. In the US after Katrina, Bush sent in the National Guards, instead of SWAT teams, which is in our case are the PNP Special Action Forces sent to secure Tacloban.

Trying to sound witty when asked by reporters why corpses lining up Tacloban streets weren’t being collected, Cabinet secretary Almendras replied: “Hands,” explaining that there weren’t enough people to collect the bodies.

Somebody please tell him that we have a 220,000 pairs of hands available, and they are in the armed forces, and another 270,000 in the reserve corps.

Where has our military been during this crisis? Commendable of course has been the Air Force with its two C-130s (the third is under repair) ferrying supplies, officials, and platoons of police and army personnel to Tacloban and bringing refugees to Manila. It has also deployed six scout helicopters in Leyte, providing officials—and media—a fantastic bird’s eye views of the disaster area.

The biggest Army contingent has been the engineering battalion that has been clearing roads together with their escorts. In short, our military in devastated Leyte consist of pilots and road works laborers.

How many soldiers deployed for disaster?
Our military has one of the biggest budgets of P80 billion, with over 220,000 soldiers and Marines in eleven divisions. How many have been deployed in the devastated areas of Leyte, including Tacloban?

According to Malacañang’s “Consolidated report on government actions on typhoon Yolanda, November 13, 2013 (12:00 p.m.)”: 1,447. The AFP reported that an engineering battalion and a Special Forces battalion to provide it security were deployed in Leyte. That means the military practically has had minimal presence in terms of securing the population and undertaking relief and rescue operations.

No wonder the website of the DND—the lead agency for disaster response—seems to be completely oblivious that a disaster has struck the country, its worst ever.

It was the PNP’s Special Action Force of 600 men that were ordered to secure Tacloban and three other devastated municipalities. A battalion of policemen to secure a population of at least 500,000 in a situation where death, hunger, and devastation made the area ripe for anarchy? No wonder looters and brigands have made the area a no-man’s land.

For this year, the DND had been even allocated nearly P1 billion of the Calamity Fund’s “Quick Response Fund”, making the agency with the biggest allocation of such emergency funds.

Have all these already been spent, which explains why Gazmin isn’t mobilizing the military to save 500,000 Leyteños?

Somebody should explain to Gazmin the concept of “civil defense”—defending the population from and securing their safety in major threats to their lives and property—is along with “external defense”, the most important tasks of the national defense department, here and in any country in the world.

No wonder CNN’s Cooper concluded from what he saw in Tacloban: “There is no leader, no government, no civil defense in the Philippines.” and


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  1. Under Article II Section 3 and 4 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution

    Section 3. Civilian authority is, at all times, supreme over the military. The Armed Forces of the Philippines is the protector of the people and the State. Its goal is to secure the sovereignty of the State and the integrity of the national territory.

    Section 4. The prime duty of the Government is to serve and protect the people.

    I am appealing to the brave men and women in service, when your Commander-in-Chief is no longer functioning effectively in his role — break away from the chain of command. You still have Generals, Lieutenants, Colonels, Captains, Majors whose loyalty lies firmly to and for this country only and not to any personality.

    As the PROTECTOR OF THE PEOPLE AND THE STATE, you are not puppets that has to be controlled by a man sitting behind a desk. You are not servants waiting to be told on what to do or not what to do. Leave the politics to the bastard politicians. Act on your own will as you have sworn to protect the people and this state.

    Now, the Filipino people needs your service in these trying times.

  2. Mr. Tiglao have you been there at ground zero? Are you in the cabinet of former Pres Arroyo? I bet you, whoever in power will have the same result. That is how inept government entities are and the people behind them. Kayo-kayo rin naman ang nagsisiraan. In the Philippines loyalty changes swiftly because it is embedded in the societies core values of public service. Saan ba merong mas marami pang irregularities kundi sa Barangay election o Saguniang Kabataan; where the foudations of potential government official will be hone and develop…So what do you expect. Sa Pilipinas lang naman “makikipagpatayan ka para makuha mo ang position at kakapit ka sa posisyon na yon hangang kamatayan…only in Phil.

  3. The Military and PNP must always lead the role in these kind of magnitude to mobilize troops and create secure peace and order. Imagine, logistics Airforce had planed, Navy have ships, Army has trucks and helicopters. Then the marines has the survival kit and rescue operation. Then relief must already pack ahead 2 days before Yolanda make a landfall and already Airlifted to nearby provinces. The PNP has the civilian experiences preventing looting and squabbling.Then the Government must evacuated all the Province. Just imagine your driving a car with the immense speed of 170kph how do you feel when you open your car window. Think then what will happen that’s a reality.

  4. All of this happens because Aquino and the yellowtards are monster liars. After decades of slandering the Armed forces of the Philippines because of its role in Martial Law, they can no longer use the military, especially in this case, because people will see the goodness of Martial Law regardless whether people will die or suffer.

  5. In the Philippines, one would inevitable think that, while majority do not like catastrophes, particularly of this magnitude to happen, these politicians are, deep in their conscience, actually celebrating. They can and will always find ways to grandstand, earn much needed pogi points for their dreamed positions in government in the future.

  6. remigio esguerra on

    I weep for the country I left as an eighteen year old some forty six years ago. I weep for a people separated by its different languages, customs and tradition. I weep for a people so easily taken by empty promises and the glamour of movie stars and celebrities as they lead the country to nowhere.

    Were he here today, I would come up to Manuel Quezon and ask him if this was the national governance he had in mind. Then I would shoot him in the face.

    It is absolutely numbing to see what had happened to this country; territories claimed and taken by neighbors with impunity, lost chances for the future, government officials dipping into the coffers of government like it is their own petty cash fund, a justice system that protects the oligarchy and sets aside yesterday’s sentences and decision like so much dirty laundry.

    There is so much wrong with US it is nigh impossible to find a starting point to enumerate our collective mistakes since that terrible mistake on July 4, 1946; how this government has responded to this typhoon’s horrific destruction is among the worst.

  7. Mr. Tiglao,
    As an avid fan of your column I was just wondering if we can spare a thought about those eight soldiers stationed on the rusting ship near Mischief reef. I sure hope and pray that they survived, any news about them will be appreciated I am sure and hope that our govt has not forgotten them completely.

    • There was a short TV report that they were all alright, and that in fact the Chinese ships near Ayungin had to leave because of the typhoon.

  8. TT and the Hooligans should’nt find it hard to locate any DSWD repacking center
    and make themselves useful instead of ranting ad hominiem.
    or do Hooliganism a shoot in the arm and do what Pyotr Pavlensky did on the
    cobblestone of Red Square – nail his balls on the floor.
    that would be a statement written in stone and, who knows, could start
    the revolution you have salivating about.
    Tiglao and Tatad for President and vice president!

  9. You are right Mr. Tiglao. It is the military that has the capability to act on crisis situations. They are organized, trained and equipped to provide assistance even in worst case scenarios when their lives are at risk.

  10. I usually don’t read Mr. Tiglao’s column, I don’t why I did today. Posted earlier in the ‘reader’s comments the following that I saw on FB last night and I thought I should post it here as there are many more here that ‘should’ have been our President because they are . . .

    ‘Sana ikaw na lang si PNoy kasi mabilis kang kumilos.
    Sana ikaw na lang si PNoy kasi mabilis kang mag-isip at gumawa ng aksyon.
    Sana ikaw na lang si PNoy kasi hindi ka napre-pressure sa mga nangyari sa mga kababayan mo.
    Tao lang po si PNoy hindi po siya Diyos, napre-pressure din po siya, nasasaktan, sana po sa tuwing nagbibitiw tayo ng salita isipin natin kung mas makakatulong o makaka-encourage sa kanya.
    Sana ikaw na lang si PNoy para maramdaman mo kung gaano na ka durog ang puso niya. Sa gitna ng delubyo sasabayan pa ng mga masasakit na kumento. Wag po kayong mag-alala sigurado ako hanggang kaluluwa niya tagos lahat ng comments ninyo.
    Sana ikaw na lang ang gobyerno kasa magaling ka . . .
    Sana ikaw na lang ang gobyerno kasi mas marami kang alam . . .
    Sana ikaw na lang ang gobyerno kasi alam mo kung papaano mapapabilis ang relief operations.
    Kung naiinip po kayo hindi po mas maganda kung tayo mismo ang kikilos para mas mapabilis?
    Sa Japan nung nagka Tsunami di uso ang looting, sana ganun din sa atin. Sabi ng isang CNN reporter, sa Japan mabilis ang aksyon at naka dispersed ang military forces sa buong syudad bakit daw sa atin kokonti lang?
    Hindi po tayo mga Hapones, hindi po tayo mayaman, wala po tayong teknolohiya at mga kagamitan na meron sila. . .
    Yung tulong po na galling sa ibang bansa dumating po ba yun kaagad day after the tragedy, hindi naman po diba? Opo mabagal po nitong mga nakaraang mga araw kasi po marami pong bagay ang wala sa ating bansa, pero sa dami po ng mga ipinahiram sa atin na mga sasakyan at kagamitan mararamdaman na din natin ang pagbilis ng aksyon.
    Sana po wag tayong mag-away sa mga panahong ito, wala pong maitutulong ang pagbatikos natin sa ating gobyerno. Suportahan po sana natin sila. Naniniwala po ako na kung positibo ang magiging pananaw natin mas bibilis ang aksyon na inaantay natin.
    Magkaisa sana tayong lahat sa pagtulong at higit sa LAHAT manalangin sa mga kababayan nating dumanas ng matinding trauma buhat sa bagyong Yolanda.
    Naniniwa ako na buong lakas ng bawat isa sa ating gobyerno ay ibinigay na nila, nawa’y patnubayan sila ng Diyos, bigyan ng lakas, kaalaman at patuloy na gabayan sa pagharap sa sakunang ito.
    Thank you Lord sa tulong na ibinibigay sa aming bansa, salamat po at patuloy mo pinapaalala na mahal mo ang bansang Pilipinas alam po namin na ang lahat ng tulong na ito ay galing sa iyo. Bigyan ninyo ng tatag ng loob ang lahat ng nasalanta ng bagyong Yolanda . . . Salamat po!’

  11. we cannot blame everything to Pres Aquino. I think of all president in the past he is the lesser of all evil compared to ERAP, GMA, FVR, Marcos. It was in his watch that the GDP grew, and is trying to fight corruption and install transparency and it is working but cannot be done overnight. It is the average Filipino that is to be blamed and need to change. lets stop giving bribes, have more discipline, be more honest, work harder, unity, stop vote buying, stop electing celebrities, be more nationalistic, be always prepared for natural disasters as we are in a country in typhoon paths and ring of fire (earthquakes) this strong typhoon, although the strongest is nothing new to us but because we were ill prepared or our preparations were wrong added with limited resources of materiel like choppers, and transport planes this is the result. our politicians and officials pocketed most of the money intended for this and they are still free seeping coffee and beer in their mansions as we suffer. Blaming our president who did some accomplishments make us look stupid as the world already know by declaring Ninoy airport as the worst in the world, Manila as the gates to hell, the Zamboanga MNLF attacks, the recent earthquakes, the recent typhoons, the botched rescue attempt of Hongkong tourists in Luneta. If you look at these events, our leaders and officials screwed it all due to their incompetence and disorganized Filipinos. you can keep and insist on blaming PNOY but the whole world see it now in CNN how inept and stupid the disaster management and disorganization of the relief is, even Tacloban airport has to be cleared by the US Marines, our AFP cannot even do that themselves?, recent big earthquakes in China where tens of thousands died were handled well and did not needed foreign rescue assistance. the Tsunami in Thailand and Sri Lanka were also managed well, the Japan Tsunami same thing, but Yolanda, we were helpless like a child. its a shame, shame.

  12. eduardo nufable on

    That earthquake that hit Haiti is only in that particular location as compared to what happened with the recent typhoon which devastated almost all of the northern part of Visayas region and these places are not interconnected by land or bridges adding more difficulty in logistics.Media is but just focusing on Leyte because the news is there and they seems to forget that Tacloban is not the only place hit by this calamity, suffering the same predicament.It cannot be denied that media has done more in securing assistance both local and international and it is something to thank about but local media seems to focus more promoting their selves in race for top rating.

  13. Haven’t you known by now? We deserve what we get!

    Yolanda, before and after, is an exemplary event wherein a great leader can emerge. Be it from the military, the politicians at the local or national level, or any of the numerous civic organizations, or an ordinary citizen, this would have been the perfect occasion when a leader is swept up and be borne.

    But no one came. We had to wait for the outside world to straighten us out.

    We are saturated with ideas of what should or should not be done. Only ideas. Ideas that should be stirred and cuddled with during times of calmness, not when cries of help have reached decibels at the threshold of pain.

    Would you, each one of us, pack a day of supplies, go and help pick up the dead, and put them in bags? Would you go, and help a wounded old man up on his feet, lead him to a makeshift shelter? Would you drive your car in, and offer a ride to those weary and tired survivors? Would you?

    If we can find,and draw from, our own power and basic goodness, all 98 millon of us, Yolanda should not be such a nightmarish and heartbreaking event.

  14. frank delacruz on

    “There is no leader, no government, no civil defense in the Philippines.” – Anderson Cooper
    This statement is irrefutable. His description is short, concise and straight to the point. He was there on the ground in Tacloban City when he spoke. He saw the devastation and human suffering and the lack of immediate response by Pres. Aquino’s government and its leaders to supply much needed food, clothing, shelter and hospitalization. To discredit Mr. Cooper’s reporting is utterly stupid and irresponsible. It surely does not represent the sentiments of the Filipino people. We thank, Mr. Cooper and CNN for the fine job of covering the wrath of the strongest typhoon, named Yolanda, to hit land anywhere in the world.
    One too many have died and many more will die from infection, starvation, and lack of shelter and lack of hospitalization if we do not immediately provide a safe haven for the survivors. We cannot change the blunder of the past but we can definitely restore confidence and reassurance to the traumatized victims of Yolanda.
    Pres. Aquino should redeem his tarnished image and accept responsibility for the lack of disaster planning and recovery, and move forward to lead us back to normalcy. Now is the time for him to show that he is our substantive leader and commander-in chief. We are rooting for him to do the right thing. We believe that he can do it. Fight! Fight! Fight!
    We should thank the over 25 governments, especially the US for sending the big ships, the UN, many charitable organizations, individuals and corporations for providing relief efforts as well as the many volunteers coming from all over.
    God Bless Us All!

  15. Si Volts po ay isang TUOD na walang GULUGOD.

    Wala po’ng Leadership skills.

    Ang legacy ni Volts na tinatanaw ng malalim na Utang na Loob ng mga Aquino’s ay ang pagkaka save niya kay Ninoy sa hunger strike niya sa Fort Magsaysay sa Laur,Nueva Ecija, – ng mga dekada ng Martial Law years…iyon lang, the rest is history. The wretched, crooked, and dirty ways of Philippine Politics 101. Alam ng mga foreign students iyan. Ka klase ko pa ung iba, Pero hindi ko sila Ka barilan man lang o kaibigan…

  16. Marami na naman pagkaka kitaan at sandamakmak na mga Rakets ang gagawin ng mga Kongresman ninyo, mga Honorables na mga Senor Senadores, Local Govt Units, NGO’s – para maka kupit, maka pitik, at maka bulsa ng limpak limpak na Salapi sa nag uu,mapaw, bumabaha, at walang katapusan na mga foreign donations, in kind and in cash. At kasama na ang domestic contributions.

    Tulo-laway na sila LINTA na mga Pulitikos….Welcome to the Philippines, hospitality is served best, just leave the tip “under the the table”. ONLI IN DA PILIPINZZZZZZ.

  17. I agree with Christian Amanpour of CNN, Pinoy’s presidency will be defined by his administration response to the Yolanda devastation. Already, people should see that this is another failed leadership. Tuwid na Daan? What’s next?

  18. The Aquino Admin/Govt is a TOTAL FAILURE. – right in the very eyes of the World Stage – as magnified and amplified through the world media, AND FIRST HAND ACCOUNT OF THE VICTIMS themselves, Media personnel – foreign and domestic – who suffered through the ordeal. Not to mention the CNN interview with Christianne
    Amanpour. Ang mga sagot ni Penoy sa interview na iyon will define his presidency later on -, and when he finally leaves office by 2016. Too bad, akala ko naka singhot siya ng rugby o solvent haba’ng sumasagot sa interview. Evasive, generalized, and putting the blame on something else other than himself and his admin… Wow!!!!
    What a pathetic response from a pathetic sitting President…Ngayon, na realize nila ang backlash ng resulta ng interview na iyon – at para silang mga pinugutan na manok na nagtatakbo sa lahat ng direksyon na walang direksyon..nagkukumahog sila ngayon at kuntodo asikaso kuno! Bwsisettttt kayo!!!!! Kawawa ang Bayan sa inyong lahat na mga magnanakaw at kamador ng fondong Bayan na pinagpawisan ng nakubang taxpayers….

    Saved by Obama, as Barack dispatched the 7th Fleet Assets of the Mighty US Navy of USA -. Based in Yokosuka at Okinawa, Japan – kasi po WALA, as in Talaga’ng WALA-Wala po na assets ang AFP ng Pilipinas – Pasensiya na po at pasintabi, pero masakit po ang katotohanan na matagal ng NINAKAW at KASALUKUYANG NINANAKAW pa ang mga assets na Dapat ay na invest diyan sa pagpapapa unlad ng Militar ng Pilipinas…ng sa ganoon ay ma isalba nito ang sarili nyang mga mamamayan na dapat ay ipinagtatanggol, sa oras nang labanan giyera, o kalamidad – like Yolanda.

  19. This is the problem of too many in- charge, Overlapping of function & clashes of ideas is a sure recipe for failure.

  20. There is no leadership, no government only corrupt government and no civil
    defense , the government doesn’t give a damn and doesn’t care
    about the plight of it’s people . They kicked out the US military and now
    they have no shame in asking for help! Ask yourself why the Philippines is still a third world country compared to it’s neighbouring Asian countries! While it’s politicians
    live like kings and queens and the people allows them to neglect the ordinary people.
    Walang samahan,walang paki-alam ang mga tao sa Pilipinas bastat ok ang buhay nila.
    Kanya kanya – yan ang ugali. Puro kayo pasikat! So tumahimik ka dyan at tumulong ka!

  21. It is not about being a 3rd world country, it’s about questioning leadership/ governance. If we cannot provide the material things needed. Hindi naman lahat ng Pilipino ay tanga, not to have the capabilities to Strategically Plan things ahead. Lalo na we are a disaster prone country, we know what can hit us and how it could affect us and the peoples lives.

    If our leaders just know how to utilize every single help and resources available to us kahit it’s limited, can be put to a very good use. What’s happening is a total lack of it. We are given all the help we can get, everyone is stretching their hands to assist, but we just insult them by being downright unappreciative. Pinapahirapan natin mga tumutulong sa atin. Our leaders are not thankful enough to expedite the process. It’s the least that they can do.

    If we do not have the resources (materially) let us use our minds. It’s powerful enough to solve this problem.

    Can’t blame the nation for being frustrated. Lalo na ung mga TALAGANG tumutulong.

  22. The Buffoon holed up in the Malacanang is actually the one in charge.

    You’ll have a hard time looking for him since he uses no WANG-Wang, but easily spotted once he open his mouth wide agape – for he is such a straight path talker of the Daan’g Matuwid doctrinal syndrome malady….

  23. The question Pilipinos need to ask is where was President Aquino? Everytime he appeared on TV, he kept referring to the local first responders. What is he, blind and lacks common sense? The local people were busy trying to same themselves and their families from the deadly storm smashing everything still standing around them.
    He is the commander in chief of the military, the only government unit with the necessary equipment to deal with the situation. Sadly, for the Filipinos, especially the victims of Yolanda. they have a president who is incapable and incompetent to deal with emergency situations. Cooper Anderson of CNN was right and bothered he could not see any one from the central government providing assistance to the poor suffering victims of the typhoon. Anderson pointed out that five days had already passed and still no central government around helping in the rescue, except the US marines. Where was President Aquino. He was in Malacanang explaining to the media that the local first responders failed in their responsibility to handle the emergency situation. One wonders if the president is blind or lacks common sense or both.

    • he is not only incompetent and incapable for emergency or for any situations for that matter . He is in a greek word ‘Tipota’ which means nothing..or nada in spanish when it comes to wise decisions ….for wise men gives wise decisions…have you ever heard of him doing that in the senate ?..but he is the master of blaming someone else for everything except for himself…luckily the typhoon was named Yolanda..else we could have seen him dancing with joy if it was named Gloria !

  24. IN response to mr layug’s comment, Anderson is not comparing the wealth of America or resources vs the Philippines. he is comparing the plan of action which is methodical and precise. Any country can do that had they created a line of defense in calamities like this. What happens if there is a tsunami in leyte and a volcanic eruption in bicol? who will be in charge? There should be a plan outlined as to who is incharge of what. It is not a brain teaser, it is a simple assignation of tasks. It is like your home, you assign one child to be the dishwasher tonight, another child tomorrow. One for cooking tonight, another child will do it tomorrow. we learn this even in the elementary grades. It seems that the head of our government is very hesitant to give out his all to help leyte, Cebu, negros, Iloilo. No relief has been received in remote barangays so far. Cant they draw or outline a map of destruction, identify the people in charge of those areas, then go down further to who are the brgy captains. as I said, this is a no brainer task, just common sense!

  25. Tingnan mo lang hitsura nitong si Gazmin, mukhang kawawa na, eh….si Pnoy lang naman pumili diyan as DND Sec, eh obvious naman hindi qualified, ni hindi nga kagalang-galang sa tingin pa lang….

    PSG kasi ni Cory, kaya bigla naging DND Sec…sumarosep na pangulo ito!

    Napakatanga ni Pnoy…kaya pinagtatawanan siya sa buong mundo…

  26. jose b. taganahan on

    The DND Secretary who is the Chairman of the NDRRMCC is simply not up to his job which is why there were problems in the relief and recovery operations in the areas ravaged by typhoon Yolanda, particularly the Leyte-Samar island. This was aggravated by our equally inept President and a DILG Sec. who do not have the command to inspire people.

    • Jose-You remind me of the horrible Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans in August, 2005.Bush 43 (George Walker Bush “W”) had hired for U.S. FEMA ,a total incompetent buffoon ,named Michael Brown. He lasted all of 8 days and was replaced. You can still lots of money and equipment. And shows no leadership, people will suffer as they did in New Orleans.
      As some previous bloggers have pointed out, the Japanese were very disciplined. There was a plan on the ground,They were using hands and sticks to clean up. President Aquino was disingenuous , when he commented that the local government units (LGU) were the first line. In the storm ravaged areas, some barangays didn’t have the first line. I don’t think President Aquino can take care of this problem. This event will define his presidency as an utter and total failure!

  27. Rafael Dela Monroyo on

    The miitary should be in charge. The US miltary, that is, who are experienced and has the discipline and ability to lead. Ensure the communist chinese are kept off of the country. They can not be trusted. The philippine government must ensure the US are allowed to do the job and stay out of the way.

  28. Omar M. Amin, Jr. on

    We are number 3 in the world affected by the climate change, and will expect more calamities in the future. This is the appropriate time for our present government to review, modify and prioritize a Master Plan to respond to catastrophes as worst as Typhoon Yolanda.

  29. I have been telling everybody that the military should be the first to go in. The commander should be CEO. Why? It is only the military who has the numbers, the
    Physical strength, the discipline and most of all ” the chain of command”. Right or wrong is the command, the chain of responsibility should be followed. In YOLANDA’s case, the Philippines has a military, but no commander in chief.

  30. james gutierrez on

    The biggest joke i knew no one is in charge the way things were going. I saw Gazmin in on interview his answer to the journalist is he does not have any idea what to do. If he was supposed to be in charge, then he should vacate the defense secretary job as he does not have a clue. The bottom line, it is too hard, there is no money for them(corrupt as pork barrel is gone). If you took the position in the government your expected to serve the public. People of like Mar Roxas, Gazmin, Pres. Aquino, and others are there for sake of photo opportunity that they are doing something. For Christ sake get politics away when people are suffering and just get the job done. The Aquino administration is a failure since Pork Barrel began, Bohol calamity, and the latest one. Sad to say all the politician are in polictics not to serve the people but to enrich themselves. Nothing has change. Secretary Gazmin if you cannot do your job resign as well as others.

  31. Embong Sabuero on

    Dito makita natin na wala talaga pera ang government they cannot implement this laws because they out of fund.. Naubos na nila, itong PNOY ADMIN mas kawatan pa ito sa tanan. “Malapaya Fund is missing” please KABAYAN gising na!!!!! Yellow Zombies Eating all our resources..

  32. vicente camilo corpus on

    Our government should learn from the Russians and Americans. The Russians have the EMERCOM while the Americans have FEMA. Our NDRRMC cannot compare because it is a mere coordinating body. It cannot impose its will during crises like a dedicated line department.

  33. Another brilliant article ! Keep it up mr Tiglao These kind of commentary is what the people need to read free from sycophancy practiced by journalist from PDI My snappy salute to you !

  34. This column is right Use the AFP reservist as additional manpower They can be utilized to pack relief goods They can perform other tasks that will aid the clearing and control operations of the regular armed forces This government is clearly incompetent and clueless on what to do They are only good in giving press conferences In short this administration is ALL AIR AND NO ACTION You can call GMA anything for all her shortcomings and alleged corruption but incompetent she is not Now that Pnoy and his student council are the ones running the show, they now realized that things are easier said than done They were loud critics when they were in the sidelines but clueless operators when given the chance to operate Blame it on the hocus-pcos machines that PNOY is shoved down our throat

    • … in fairness. whatever they say of GMA, she acts more like a leader especially in times of crises.

  35. And to think that we still have about three years under this psychologically imbalanced president – that’s not only scary but maddening. Patuloy pa rin sa isip nitong si Pnoy ang pagkukumpira niya sa nakaraang administrasyun. Patunay nito ay ang kanyang pilit na sabihing mga 2000 daw ang patay.He even fired thePNP regional commander who ventured that 10,000 figure. Kawawa naman. Ang dapat niyang i fire out una una ay ang bodyguard ng nanay niya na si Gazmin, dswd sec Soliman, acting president MarRoxas, at higit sa lahat ang kanyang sariling patuloy ma naghahasik ng kamalasan at kawalang pagkilos para sa ating kababayan.

  36. Si Former Senator Lito Lapid ang kailangan Ni Pnoy experto siya dyan. magaling siyang magplano, kumilos, magisip at simpleng diskarte sa ganitong sitwasyon lalo na ng na iyong adopt a barangay sa mga karatig na bayan lalawigan at barangayan

  37. jonathan hirro on

    the best way to bring relief to the people of tacloban leyte is simple. use helicopters. one per baranggay. load it up with food and water and maybe 3 soldiers or airmen for crowd control. find a landing zone. distribute the food via the baranggay chairman. we do this everyday, in some small ways, people in this devastated city will not go hungry.

  38. I am guessing here that Mr.Tatad is implying to his readers that our public officials have now developed the “no clue” syndrome. From a no clue president now we have a no clue cabinet. Wow, PNoys mind set must be quite contagious. After those barrage of critical comments from journalists foreign networks, It will not be surprising that PNoy and his cabinet must be like ostriches burying their heads in the sand. Well at least PNoy still have his apologists and rah-rah organizations like ABS-CBN, PDI and the columnists and journalists who can never, never find any fault in the man-child.

  39. They had to have a meeting first, the Cabinet, together with their technical advisers. They had to meet in a flashy conference room with free lunch served on the best china and silverware. Then the techical advisers will stay up all night, drafting a relief plan. There will be another meeting the following morning, to discuss the plan, revise it, disseminate it to all concerned. Then, the question will be asked: what next? Nobody knows who will finally execute the plan. By then, the problem will have evolved to another. Then the need for another meeting. This is how the government works. All these years, nothing changed. When can each one of us in the ‘civil service’ finally live out an 8-hour day in the office a truly CIVIL SERVICE?

  40. Napakahirap ng gobierno na lahat ay boss, walang maiturong in charge, nahihiya ang bawat isa sa kanila na magsabing siya ang in charge dahil puro sila palpak, mga cabinet secretaries daw na hindi alam ang kanikanilang obligasyon at tungkulin sa kanilang mga departamento, tulad ni del Rosario siya pala ang in charge hindi niya alam, iyan ang nangyayari kapag ang bumubuo ng mga cabinet secretary ay umaasa lang sa bawat utos ng Pangulo,walang kusang palo, sino ang lumabas na masama ngayon, si PNoy, dahil sa pagtatanggol kay Roxas at Gazmin na may nagawa sana dahil nasa Tacloban na sila bago pa dumating ang bagyo, ang sinisisi ni PNoy ay mga officials ng local government, dapat ang sinisi niya itong dalawa, Roxas at Gasmin na inutusan niya. Tigilan na ang bangayan PNoy, ipamahagi mo lahat ang natanggap na tulong mula sa private individuals,mga ibatibang Nation, mga corporations maliit man o malaki, sa UN at iba pa cash man siya o in kind. Ibigay lahat sa mga nasalanta ng bagyo upang sila ay makabangong muli. Si Drilon sana, huwag ng makialam sa pagtatanggol sa kay PNoy, lalo lang napasasama,wala ng credibilidad si Drilon, kaya ni PNoy ayusin ito sa sarili niyang desisyo na hindi nagmula sa kanyang mga cabinet secretaries. Sa Tacloban ka magopisina PNoy, at pangasiwaan ng personal ang pagbangon ng mga bayang nasalanta ng bagyo, huwag mong iyasa kay Roxas,si Roxas ay hindi pang Presidente, ngayon palang nangangatwiran na si Korina ng mali,lalo na kung Presidente si Roxas. Ilang taon ka na lang PNoy sa pagiging Pangulo, ito na ang pagkakataon mong makagawa ng mabuti na hindi malilimutan ng bawat Pilipino, ibangon mo ang lahat ng bayang sinalanta ng bagyong Yolanda, ibalik ang saya at ginhawa sa mga nalanos na isla, legacy mo ito. Ipatawag ang mga Marcos, Romualdez, tanungin ano ang maari nilang itulong sa iyo, magkaisa na, tigilan na ang bangayan, sisihan sa politika, hindi kana tatakbong muli sa pagkapangulo kaya panahon na upang ang lahat ng tao sa Pilipinas ay magkaisa na. Isa pa PNoy, alisin mo na ang PDAF at DAP, ewan ko lang kung may kakandidato pang senador at congressman kung wala ng % na maibubulsa galing sa kaban ng bayan. Iyong mga senador na ayaw pang bumitiw sa kanilang PDAF at DAP ay mga bago pa sa puwesto,gusto lang nilang palitan ang tawag dito, hindi pa bawi ang ginastos nila noong nakaraang halalan may % pa bawat project. PNOY ikaw na lang sa sarili mo ang makapagpapaganda ng pangalang iiwan mo sa pagiging Pangulo.

  41. Kabayan maliwanag pa sa sikat ng araw, si Mar Rosas este Roxas gusto pumapel ng mapansin ng tao na gusgusin sout nyang damit … Kampanya… para sa pag ka president 2016… Halatang halata eh!! Gustong palabasin sya ang leader sa relief operation.. Ang P’er nman eh mistah mistah para magpayaman… pag mag retire may pabaon pa eh bundat na nga…pag umupo sa command, pwesto agad yong R2 intelhensya, at di nman intelligence

  42. If the President is in charge, he should have went their and set-up his “Tent” and have it pictured and shown to the public as what he did in the “Zamboanga Crisis.” He stayed there a week or so to take charge of the crisis. The crisis in Zamboanga is nothing compared to what happened in Leyte & Tacloban and neighboring areas. The whole area was totally devastated, and blame the Local Government for not preparing for the disaster. Be that as it may – you can not do anything any more – it has happened. But the most important thing to do now is how to save those who survive.

    I only hope that the President will not say, that “minana niya ang malas” kay President Arroyo. But at least President Arroyo make a law, “MDRRMC” to deal with another crisis just in case it will happen again. Apparently that law was not implemented. Why? Is it because the law was enacted during the Arroyo Administration?

    Why was the “Presidential Decree” created by President Marcos was used to justify the existence of the DAP when the 1987 constitution is already full force. Why?

  43. Voice from the Wilderness on

    This inept president together with his DND Secretary have been busy provoking China with regards to the territories in South China Sea so much so that they are now in the process of buying 16 trainer fighter jets from South Korea. So they have no time to think, plan and prepare for contingencies to any major disaster that may strike the country in which the military can effectively intervene as a first response. Even if the military was alerted in the present situation, it has no adequate logistics like a heavy transport helicopter of the Chinook type that they can utilize to transport troops, rescue tools and equipment and immediately establish a Command Post in the area. Furthermore, the priorities of the AFP in terms of organizational and equipment acquisition is skewed by maintaining its present number of units to accommodate more PMAers senior officers to attain star ranks or become generals even though these units have only a skeletal force of personnel complement. This is the result of the AFP being manned entirely by PMAers who most of the time belong to only one graduating class that adopted a powerful politician as their honorary classmate. So the military now is a bastardized organization abetted by past presidents except for former Pres Marcos who broke the monopoly of PMAers in the AFP hierarchy during his incumbency.

  44. this government is not following the NDRRMC LAW they have their own law given by thir GOD pEnoy…why do we still have to put our trust on this man when we all know by now that he is a mere puppet….he will speak when ask to himself when ask to..hide when his mental symptoms are showing…..and maybe (GOD IN HEAVEN HELP US) die when ask to………..

  45. Why would Anderson Cooper compare the Philippines, a third world country against Japan which is the third richest country in the world. Add the fact that they have
    around 35,000 US military personnel in Japan. The US Seventh fleet is based in Japan.

    The Philippines can’t even provide decent boots for its soldiers. The disaster was
    simply overwhelming, unprecedented. The barangay leadership which coordinated
    the previous natural disasters was no longer available. Electricity and communication are non-existent.

    • There is NO connection between the Philippines of the third world and Japan with the Third Largest Economy in the World. What CNN’s Anderson Cooper said – and I heard it on CNN – is that local authorities were able to collect the dead in two days before the heavy equipment came in from their national government. Mr. Cooper said that the local civil defense simply used wooden ” STICKS” to clear the debris and rescue the survivors and collect the dead. No high tech or rocket science.

    • You should always compare to a country that does better in times of emergency. What is that country doing that is getting the job done? Why can’t we do the same in our country? The Japanese are well known for being disciplined. That is probably one reason why they act faster and better during disasters.

    • Saturnino R. Mendinueto, Jr. on

      Mr. Anderson Copper was not comparing the Philippines with the US and Japan. He and all knows very well that we, as a nation, could not be compared to both country. Me. Cooper, if I heard him right over the tv and CNN was asking where or who was the LEADER as the relief team was not organized.
      Yesterday, I was discussing this to a fellow senior and we were one in saying that if only Mr. Fidel Ramos is the president now, he will show us how to lead, he will immediately declare a State of Calamity and call the military to lead the QRT and not the DILG.
      Anyway, he said, let us wait for Pnoy to stop blaming games and LEAD us like any president. He can still do it.

    • My friend if you are not and have not read any news at all, please plaster your mouth so you cannot speak, cut your fingers so you cannot write and plug your earlobes so you cannot hear. Stop being Pnoy’s apologist. Apparently you only read PDI and listen and look at ABS-CBN network so you do not know that Anderson Cooper and the usual CNN group of journalist were in Haiti for almost two weeks after that devastating earthquake. Therefore, with authority, he can compare the relief efforts done in that country and the calamity in Tacloban. Know what, you are exactly like PNoy – open the mouth first and think later.

  46. “There is no leader, no government, no civil defense in the Philippines.” – Anderson Cooper

    ’nuff said.

    • Too much negativity in this part of the world. Too much talking but no action. You all people, no matter what; you’re still part of the enterprise, part of the system. Sisihin ninyo man ang inyong presidente; walang mangyayari. Problem is still there. Why? instead of saying walang lider mabagal ang aksyon…it is still a problem…why don’t you smart people if you have leadership in you…provide solution!!!. Stop bitching. Bottomline, have you done something out of this. Yan ang problema during good old, happy days, you don’t care; now when disaster struck; you don’t know what to do; dahil ang mga pinoy walang foresight. Hindi nagpaplano sa future.

  47. An ex PMA-er explained to me that in the military officers and soldiers have chosen to cash in their food allowances. It has become part of their family budgets. That’s why on operations, they have to bring their own food and fend for themselves. Perhaps this will explain their reluctance to venture away from their bases. Given, the hardship that exists in Leyte and Samar, they will be more unwilling to help as they themselves will be competing for the meager resources available.