President hit for insensitivity to ‘Seniang’ victims’ plight
NETIZENS blasted President Benigno Aquino 3rd for partying with celebrities while Tropical Storm Seniang (international codename: Jangmi) was pounding Western, Eastern and Central Visayas, Mimaropa (Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), Northern Mindanao, Davao and Caraga.
Memes of Aquino with newly-wed actors Dingdong Dantes and Marian Rivera and the people affected by Seniang were circulated in the Internet, drawing negative comments from netizens.
“So mas mahalaga talaga kay penoy na dumalo sa royal wedding (talaga lang ha!) nina dingdong at marian kaysa tutukan ang nangyari sa Visayas at Mindanao dulot ni Seniang.
That’s terrific leadership! yan ang pangulo! Bravo [So it is more important for the
President to attend the royal wedding (really now!) of Dingdong and Marian than attend to what was happening in the Visayas and Mindanao reeling from Seniang. That’s terrific leadership! That’s the President. Bravo]!” said a netizen in his Facebook account.
Another said: “Sana naman nabusog si penoy sa reception ng ‘royal wedding’ na yun kahit na gutom ang mga taong nasalanta ng bagyong Seniang [I hope that the President filled himself up at the royal-wedding reception even as people affected by Seniang went hungry].”
In his twitter account, Tonyo Cruz said: “Bumisita sa gun store, bahay sa Boston, sa Jollibee Singapore, GGV (Gandang Gabi Vice), sa “royal wedding” pero hindi bumisita sa Tacloban [Visited a gun store, a house in Boston, Jollibee Singapore, GGV, a ‘royal wedding’ but did not visit Tacloban].”
The President is a gun enthusiast. The house he visited in Boston was the one that the Aquino family, led by his former senator-father Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino 3rd, occupied during their self-imposed exile in the United States in the late 1970s to the early 1980s when then-strongman President Ferdinand Marcos lorded it over the Philippines through martial law. In a recent trip to the city state for an Asean summit, President Aquino dropped by the store run by Filipino fast-food giant Jollibee. More recently, Aquino was interviewed on television by comedian Vice Ganda, host of the program Gandang Gabi Vice. Tacloban City, the capital of Leyte province, was hit the hardest by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013, with thousands killed and thousands more displaced.
Militant youth group Anakbayan also posted memes of Aquino in “happy moments” with the celebrity couple and the typhoon victims.
Anakbayan national chairman Vencer Crisostomo lambasted the President for being insensitive for partying while some provinces are being pummeled by Seniang.
Crisostomo said Aquino, being the head of state, should have given priority to monitoring and directing the disaster-mitigating efforts instead of merrymaking.
He added that it is condemnable to see the President having a great time while thousands of families were struggling to survive the onslaught of Seniang.
At least 54 people were reported dead, mostly from landslides and floods in the Visayas and Mindanao. Netizens criticized the government for not doing its job to prevent the high casualty count.
“Nakakagalit talaga na walang pakialam ang Pangulo sa nangyayari sa bansa at pinili pang makipagsaya sa isang kasalan [It makes me angry that the President does not care about what’s happening in the country and he even preferred joining the fun in a wedding],” Crisostomo told The Manila Times in a telephone interview.
When told that Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma had claimed that the President was monitoring Seniang during the wedding celebration, the youth leader said: “Palusot na lang nila yun. How can he monitor the devastation of Seniang eh kitang kita naman sa mga litrato na Malacañang pa ang nag release na nagsasaya si Aquino habang kahalubilo ang mga showbiz personalities [That’s just an excuse. How can he keep track of the devastation caused bySeniang when it was clear from pictures released by Malacañang itself that he was mingling with show business personalities]?”
Crisostomo also deplored the use of taxpayers’ money for the President’s partying.
“Pera ng taong bayan ang ginastos sa pagdalo ni Aquino sa kasalang iyan. Ang mga litratong ipinost sa government website ay official Malacañang photos [The people’s money was used for the President’s attendance at the wedding. Pictures posted on the government website were official Malacañang photos],” he noted.
In 2011, the President was criticized when at the height of Typhoon Sendong (international codename: Washi) he was reported to be partying in Malacañang with actress Valerie Concepcion.
Concepcion tweeted about performing in a Palace party where Aquino was allegedly laughing at her jokes and enjoying her performance.
“Done w/ work. Tnx for having me.. :) It was nice to see Pres. P-Noy laughing at my jokes & enjoying my performance..ü #Malacañang #PSGNight,” she tweeted.