Romualdez shrugs off unprepared comment from PNoy

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Rep. Martin Romualdez of Leyte has refused to take offense to the comment made by President Benigno Aquino 3rd that the local government of Leyte wasn’t prepared enough for the onslaught of typhoon Yolanda—the strongest storm recorded in the world for 2013.

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Romualdez was referring to the comment made by the Chief Executive when President Aquino stopped by the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council meeting last Saturday—ahead of the President’s visit to Tacloban on Sunday.

Romualdez’s brother, Alfred, is the mayor of Tacloban City. The Romualdezes belong to the Lakas-CMD, the political party of former President Gloria Arroyo.

“Those comments were made at the onset of the Typhoon. I was with the President when he arrived in Tacloban City Airport [on Sunday]with the Cabinet members, and he had a better appreciation of the situation yesterday,” Romualdez said in a press briefing in Barangay Valenzuela, Makati City covered court where his office organized relief effort for the people of Leyte.

Romualdez noted that it is understandable that the President wasn’t immediately aware of the magnitude of the situation, considering that Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Interior and Local Government Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas 2nd were already in Leyte ahead of Typhoon Yolanda.

“No one could estimate and prepare for this catastrophe of unprecedented proportion which is one of the worst in history. The comment was very premature because he still had inaccurate information at that time,” Romualdez added.

Romualdez is also facing criticism because of his absence in the 1st District of Leyte at the height of Yolanda’s wrath.

The Leyte lawmaker admitted that it was only on Sunday that he was able to make it to his district which was annihilated by the Super Typhoon Yolanda because his flight ahead of Yolanda’s landfall on Thursday was cancelled by authorities for safety.

“There are similar questions and comments to that effect, and it is very frustrating. But my constituents can be assured that despite these criticisms, I will continue to fulfill my duties as a public official to the best of my abilities,” Romualdez, the nephew of former First Lady Imelda Marcos, added in closing. LLANESCA T. PANTI

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6 Comments

  1. Stupid yung mayor! Kung naintindihan Nya Kung ano I big sabihin ng storm surge, sya at kanyang asawa at mga Anak ay di magpapalipas ng bagyo Sa Bahay nila Sa tabing dagat. Kung di sya mayor ok Lang, kaso dapat inalam Nya. Kung inilagay Nya Sa panga nib ang Buhay ng pamilya Nya,I big sabihin di sya nakapagligtas ng maski isa Sa mga mamamayan ng tacloban.

  2. I believe that the Romualdez brothers, both Congressman and Mayor of Tacloban, did their best for their constituents. I watched on TV what Mayor Romualdez said that they evacuated people days ahead of super-typhoon Yolanda. The ones who miserably failed were the national government agencies. If I were adviser to the President, I would have requested the U.S. government for assistance in advance since it is already common knowledge that super typhoon Yolanda will be catastrophic. In particular, ask the U.S. Seventh fleet fro help. if it was done earlier, the U.S. assistance could have come like yesterday (Sunday or Monday) instead tomorrow (Wednesday or Thursday).

  3. at this point in time of calamity we should always maintain coolness and presence of mind.. its not time for finger-pointing, quarrel and politicking..

  4. Rafael Dela Monroyo on

    Politics has no place at this somber moment where the people and the leader of Tacloban are in grief because of a disaster. People died, homes were destroyed, and the president blames the local government because his unrealistic political goal of zero casualty was not met. No one cares about Tacloban and its people more than Mr Romualdez and I believe he did the best he could to prepare Tacloban and his constituents in the event when such natural disaster occurs. The national government should develop a disaster preparedness plan and disseminate to the local government for implementation.

  5. Alam nmn niyang may cacellation ng flights pagka may typhoon sana umuwi na siya ng maaga aga kahit anong oras di ka pakita sa congreso ok lng sa inyo…..you represent your district , yan ang naglagay sayo sa poder..asan ka ng kailangan ka pasarapsarap sa mansion mo malayo sa distrito mo nakakahiya ka talaga

  6. To the President and the Romualdezes,

    The people of Eastern Visayas, particularly Leyte need you all!!

    Set aside your differences if any, Please work with each other.

    Dario, mamamayan