Palace strikes back at Romualdez allegations

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Malacañang lashed back at Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez over the alleged refusal of national government to rescue thousands of his people in the immediate aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda.

Appearing before a congressional committee in the Senate, Romualdez lamented the lack of support from the national government and said that politics injected into rescue and relief efforts added insult to injury.

Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., however, defended the national government from Romualdez’s accusations, and outlined “empirical facts” showing the administration’s disaster response.

Contrary to the mayor’s claim, Coloma said that President Benigno Aquino 3rd and his administration “took all necessary steps to prepare the people on the dangers posed by typhoon Yolanda, and after it struck, the government spared no efforts in addressing the needs of the people in the calamity areas.”


“All of the concerned frontline government departments and agencies, particularly the Department of National Defense, Department of the Interior and Local Government, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, and even the Metro Manila Development Authority were deployed in full force to ensure maximum delivery of essential services and assistance in the affected communities,” he added

The Palace official said that President Aquino also “addressed the nation to warn of its severity and magnitude on the night of November 7,” a day before Typhoon Yolanda made landfall.

“He [The President] specifically warned about the possibility of storm surge in over 100 areas and urged the local authorities and the citizens to take precautionary measures,” he said.

On the President’s instructions, Coloma said that both cabinet officials, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas 2nd, “were in Tacloban City before Yolanda made landfall in Samar and Leyte also on November 7.”

“Despite the breakdown of communications, instructions were relayed by the President to them via satellite phone on Friday, November 8,” Coloma said.

“Within 24 hours after Yolanda’s landfall, Tacloban airport had been cleared by AFP [ Armed Forces of the Philippines] and public works engineers. Military helicopters brought in troops and soldiers to replace the first responders who had been disabled. The Philippine Air Force flew in relief goods and troops,” he added

Coloma also noted that the President himself visited Tacloban City on November 10 “to make an initial assessment of the damage and to supervise relief operations.”

“He [Aquino] returned on November 17 and stayed until November 19 to ensure the speedy delivery of relief goods to the most severely affected families,” he said.

“In view of these empirical facts, the President believes that those engaging in a media campaign and putting the blame on the national government are performing a disservice to the people,” Coloma added. CATHERINE S. VALENTE

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3 Comments

  1. choy pretentios on

    Mga sinungaling ang mga tga mlacaniang lalong ni president penoy bugok ang mga ginawa nung pgkatapos ng typhoon, puro denial sa knilang kpabyaan. Ktang kita sa mga TV news na limang araw na wla pring pgkain ang mga tao at ngkalat pa ang mga bangkay. Ano ang cnsbi nilang quick response, lokohin niyo ang lelong niong panot! Lumayas na kyo jan sa plasyo. You do not deserve our trust. You are just wasting our taxes. Mga ganid at wlang conciensia, stupid at wlang delicadesa.

  2. Pinoy Makabayan on

    Kung totoo yan, bakit iba ang report ni Anderson Cooper? And common sense…Aquino and Roxas were photograped in Tacloban on day 1 after the typhoon. How come help only started coming in 5 days after, and only after the foreign media broadcasted to the world the lack of national govt. Presence…and these guys from the ivory tower, can’t they even show magnanimity towards the Tacloban mayor? He, too, was a victim. Rich or poor, Yolanda spared no one. He has a lot on his shoulders even now. Can’t the president who is an Aquino and the DILG sec. Who is a Roxas, even show some compassion? Bakit niyo pa pinapatulan? Nasalanta yung tao, at kanyang kababayan. Sabi kayo ng sabi, huwag na mamintas, tumulong na lang! How about showing a good example. Prove to us, for once that you are the bigger people. Prove that you deserve to be a Roxas and an Aquino ( for whatever they are worth). Anong klaseng tao ba yang mga Roxas at Aquino na yan, a ver?

  3. If the frontline government departments and agencies had been deployed promptly relief goods will not be late to reach the most affected areas, rampant looting will not not be done by starving victims. Our current goverment is good only in talking but they lack actual execution of their plans(sagana sa salita , kulang sa gawa). It is hard to believe that they really instructed the National Defense and Public Highways since rampant looting had been committed and most of the national roads were not accessible so relief goods stayed in piers or airports, helicopters drop relief goods on most affected areas after several days already.