UN official asks PNoy critics to stop finger-pointing

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“IN times like this, finger-pointing should not be the name of the game.”

Thus declared Bernard Kerblat, representative in the Philippines of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as he defended the on-going relief operations of the government in super typhoon-ravaged areas in Eastern Visayas region.

The administration of President Benigno Aquino 3rd has been widely criticized for the slow-paced relief operations to the areas affected by typhoon ‘Yolanda’ (international name Haiyan).

Although he admitted that there is still a bottleneck in providing relief assistance to the survivors of the calamity, Kerblat said blaming the government for this will not help at all.


“I am hearing some bickering and some finger-pointing, sorry this is not the time,” Kerblat told reporters during a press briefing.

He said instead of blaming the government, Filipinos should be united in extending assistance to the survivors and help them rebuild their lives.

“We have now to focus all of us, including and starting with your kababayans who demonstarted the spirit of bayanihan. That spirit of bayanihan must be preserved, strengthened and continue to exist,” he added.

For her part, Orla Fagan, Humanitarian Affairs Officer of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said it is difficult to tell at this point in time when the ravaged-areas will be fully recovered.

“It is very hard to tell at this time, our main focus today is life-saving and to give immediate assistance to the affected individuals,” she said.

She added that they will be conducting an assessment of areas which still have not been reached by the relief operations.

Kerblat echoed Fagan saying that it will take time before Eastern Visayas particularly Samar and Leyte could fully recover from the wrath of super typhoon.

“We are not talking about month, We are talking about years before that portion of the territory of this beautiful country can be back into its feet,” he said.

He said the rehabilitation will take long since the destruction left by the super typhoon is “massive and huge.”

He likewise denied reports that the United Nations has already taken over the relief operations because of the government’s incapacity to expedite it.

“The UN not a substitute of the (Philippine) government. The government is in charge in the emergency response and we are here to complement their efforts,” he said.

Kerblat added that more foreign aids are still pouring and they are now coordinating with concerned government agencies to expedite the distribution of relief goods and reach more victims of the super typhoon.

RITCHIE A. HORARIO

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6 Comments

  1. louie de la cruz on

    These are the good comments from from overseas people who is exactly right . This is not the time to blame someone in this terrible tragedy that happened in the southern part of the philippines. We filipinos should be United in one to help our people affected by this tragedy. We should stop criticizing and bickering. Instead we should give good commendation from those countries and its people and also our locals who is enormously doing their best effort with their expertise. but what some others doing is making some useless and nonsense comments about in this tragedy. So for those who can not not make any good comments or appreciation to these good people from overseas and locals god have mercy on you. Or the harsh word I can say shut the fuck. God bless philippines.

  2. Rosauro Feliciano on

    Apparently it will take a hundred of years more for us Filipinos to be united. The Spaniards did its best to unite us into one nation from many petty kingdoms and it took nearly four hundred years for them to do so, and still when the Americans took over, Bulacan and Pampanga sharing the same border speak completely different dialects. For now we have been developing Tagalog as our National language in order to unite us but it appears to be going nowhere at all because people from the Southern Philippines are craving for autonomous. I think the best solution is to develop as much as possible all the dialects and retain the English language as our official language of instruction in our educational system for us to be united like all the countries in the South American continent that retain their colonial Spanish language.

  3. Raul J. de Vera, Jr. (@Bacci3) on

    Are you seriously kidding me? You, of all people, should understand that the main thrust of the UN Charter is to promote a democratic way of life, where no one is above the law. The same charter protects the freedom of speech, and boundless flow of thoughts, so free, criticizing your elected leader (when needed) is a civil obligation, apart from being a right. Your orientation, and the environment of the country you might have come from, could be more submissive than the Philippines, I am not sure you have the right to change our thoughts as to how the relief efforts are being handled or managed. But I understand where you’re coming from, although I’m sorry if I cannot accept it as a norm. Not even you, are perfect that you should be immune from having your work criticized, that’s just preposterous, if not plain arrogant. Ordinarily, you would have immediately been tagged as an Aquino Apologist. But I guess you should know better than that.

  4. Kayo ang Boss Ko! on

    Kayo kayo kayo, ikaw ikaw ikaw! Kayo at ikaw ang may kasalanan! Ito ang mga salita ng gunggong na presidente (daw!) sa lahat ng matino at ang sabi niya sa sarili nila ay: kami ay magaling.
    This is the president of the Philippines who are always clean and unblemished on his own sight.

  5. Tel that to pnoy. He started it. Without critic this guy will not move. You should be free to crticize while helping. Multi tasking is what peque gallaga calls it.

  6. Matthew Parkes on

    No, now is the time for pointing the finger.

    Yes, we do the relief work… but we make sure that everyone remembers that it was Aquino’s failure to organise his maladministration or to order the military into action in a timely manner that was the direct cause of so much suffering.

    Never again must an Aquino be allowed a position of public trust in this nation.