Members of the Special Actions Force (SAF) have been deployed in the typhoon-ravaged Leyte province to stop the looting in the area, including Tacloban City, amid the scarcity of basic necessities there, officials said Monday.
Rep. Martin Romualdez of Leyte province and Tacloban City councilor Christina Gonzales-Romualdez made the disclosure in a press briefing in Barangay Valenzuela Covered Court in Makati City where the Romualdez’s office organized a relief drive for the people of Leyte.
“The Special Action Force and the PNP Chief Alan Purisima arrived yesterday afternoon to work with the military and the local police on the ground to address the looting. We see this as a sign of desperation because warehouses and groceries were overwhelmed by the people who are in need,” Romualdez said.
PNP is the Philippine National Police. There has been a flooding of donations for the victims of Yolanda, but the government and private organizations are having a hard time in dispensing the aid because of the destruction of roads, bridges and airports brought by Yolanda—the strongest typhoon recorded in the word for 2013.
Romualdez then disclosed that aside from looting, there has been an incident where a Red Cross caravan was hijacked by the people still reeling the wrath of Yolanda which left Leyte, as well as Eastern Samar, Capiz, Iloilo and some parts of Palawan. in tatters.
“We could understand for the desperation for the relief, but the order should be restored. There are those who are taking advantage of the situation, taking away appliances,” Romualdez added.
But Gonzales-Romualdez argued that the public should not mistake the people of Tacloban City for thieves just because of the looting incidents, saying that the people there would just want to protect their families from harm.
“The people in our City aren’t thieves. They just want the best for their families, give them something to eat. They won’t kill or hurt anybody. They just want what is good for their families,” Gonzales-Romualdez, the wife of Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, said in closing.
Romualdez’s office is providing rice, juice, bottled water and sardines to the typhoon Yolanda victims. LLANESCA T. PANTI