A giant screen displays a message of support to typhoon victims before the UEFA Champions League group G football match FC Porto vs. FK Austria Wien at the Dragao stadium in Porto, Portugal. AFP PHOTO

    A giant screen displays a message of support to typhoon victims before the UEFA Champions League group G football match FC Porto vs. FK Austria Wien at the Dragao stadium in Porto, Portugal. AFP PHOTO

    THE death toll from Super Typhoon Yolanda has risen to 5,500 but only 512 of the victims were identified.

    Maj. Reynaldo Balido, spokesman of the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Wednesday that the death count rose following the recovery of 260 bodies—207 from Tacloban City, 46 from Leyte-Samar and seven from Eastern Samar.

    The number of missing persons also went up to 1,757 from 1,613. The 144 increase were all from Tacloban, which was the worst hit area in Eastern Visayas.

    The number of injured surged to 26,615.

    Of the 5,500 dead, 4,988 remain unidentified.

    Eastern Visayas police commander Chief Supt. Elmer Soria got the ire of President Benigno Aquino 3rd for saying that Yolanda may have claimed at least 10,000 lives.

    President Aquino said in an interview over CNN that Soria’s estimate was too high, and that 2,500 was a more realistic figure.

    Soria was eventually relieved of his command and reassigned to the Office of the Chief Philippine National Police in Camp Crame.

    In a radio interview on Wednesday, Roxas said Soria can get back his old post once he completed his stress debriefing and once is declared fit to resume his duty.

    Roxas said there’s a big chance Soria will be reinstated because of his exemplary record as a police officer.


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    1. Roldan Guerrero on

      All I wish to hear is BSAs statement of taking responsibility of what happened in Leyte and stop passing his lapses to anybody else. What happened was a natural disaster which was unavoidable but his actions after the calamity is unaccepted. Head of States who incur incompetences in discharging their duties,take a particular example of Japan, resign and step down. But BSA ,despite o committing countless inefficiencies still wants to remain in power. The killing of Chinese tourist alone should have been enough to get himself out of the presidency which should only be occupied by capable individuals. The worst thing is he refuses to take responsibility of his erring soburdinates and stick to his crazy belief of not asking apologies to the families of the fatalities and China as well. What kind of President do we have?

    2. Is the basis of relief based on the number of dead? Or the destruction of property like a house, a factory or infrastructure? I believe the early warning devices like evacuation of residents, preparation for the blow, etc. mitigated the number of casualty. Typhoon of Category 5 of 215 kilometers per hour or more inevitably destructive. The surge in New Orleans was even worst. Also hurricane Sandy in New Jersey. Happy to see all kinds people helping from within and out. I say “Nobody is stoic, everybody heroic”. We saw the best of the Filipino because of Yolanda(typhoon Yoling that precipitated Martial Law grew mature with Category 5 wallop).

    3. Roxas said” Soria can get his old post once he completed his stress debriefing” hello!!! this person is a PMA grad he was trained to undergo and withstand a lot of stress which I don’t think roxas will even have the faintest idea. He desrves to get his old job because he knows his job better than boy sisi or mr. tsinelas put together.Boy sisi, roxas and gazmin are the local version of the 3 stooges.

    4. The Aquino government erred in sacking the Eastern Visayas Police Chief Elmer Soria. Mr. Roxas said Mr.Soria needs stress debriefing. Mr. Soria and other official in the Visayas region affected by the storm could do the stress debriefing without them being relieved from their post.

      Mr. Roxas reason is not enough. The police chief was relieved because he said the fatalities of the storm could reach 10,000 while President Aquino estimate the fatalities to reach only 2500. Both of them were wrong. Death toll is more than 5000 now.

      Removing a police chief should be just and fair. Mr. Soria’s sacking was not just and fair.

      • If the sacking of Mr. Soria was really because of his wrong estimate on the casualties, then, BS Aquino should also be sacked for the same reason.