MANILA, Philippines-Malacanang Palace on Monday has assured that government will do everything it can to rebuild the areas affected by last year’s super typhoon Yolanda.
“Government will do what’s needed to build back better communities in Tacloban, Palo and all other calamities areas,” Presidential Communications Operation Office head Herminio Coloma Jr. said.
Coloma’s reply also came in view of the persistent rumor back in Leyte province alleging that the national government is focusing more of its resources on its rehabilitation program in Palo, Leyte in lieu of badly-devastated neighboring city Tacloban, this also as rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson earlier said they are reconsidering Palo as the “new economic hub” in Eastern visayas region.
Palo is known to be the bailiwick of the Petillas, a close ally of Pres. Benigno Aquino III.
Meanwhile typhoon Yolanda victims who turned protesters in Tacloban city asked Pres. Aquino “whether he has intention of turning us dead as he continued to be unbending on our petition for serious help.”
“Di na naming matitiis tong ginawang pagbibingihan ng gobyerno Aquino. Puro salita, pangako. Gusto niyang kaming patayin sa gutom. Kailangan pa bang ipalimos yong dapat naman sana na bininigay na tulong. Kung malapit lang ang Malacanang sa Tacloban, dinumog na naming iyon. ( We can no longer take this kind of treatment from Pres. Aquine. He is playing deaf on us. Everything about him are empty talks and promises. Do we have to beg for the assistance due to us? If Malacanang Palace is closer to Tacloban, we’ll be mobbing him,” said Patrick Escalona, typhoon survivor and one of the community organizers behind “People Surge,” an alliance of Yolanda victims seeking justice from the Aquino government on the apparent poor delivery of assistance to their plight after the super typhoon on November 8 last year which claimed more than 6,000 and 2,000 others missing.
In a separate phone interview, Escalona said their protests will continue “until the government will listen to us.”
“We will not stop until Pres. Aquino will give us positive help,” he said.
“We are urging our fellow Filipinos particularly in Manila to join our call for help. This government has no pity. Mamatay na kami sa hirap na buhay,” Escalona added.
According to Escalona, it is the government that forced them to go to streets to air their complaints.
“And if the government will kill us, at least we have good reason for our fight.”
In a separate interview, Jun Berino, secretary general of militant group BAYAN in Eastern Visayas, other affected sectors for their next indignation rallies in various parts of the country, to include Manila.
“ The people of Eastern visayas are rising. We have proven than despite the storm, the people are rebuilding lives even without government support. Aquino must be made accountable, we will ensure that aid organizations must wake up to the reality of corruption under this system.”
“They must go directly to the communities to aid thousands of victims neglected by the government. Aquino and his clique are like vultures feeding on carcasses of typhoon victims,” Berino said, adding that “Aquino and this heartless system’s greed are unfathomable, totally revolting.”
Last week, the petitioners staged a street rally in the city demanding the following from the government: P40,000 monetary aid per family of typhoon victims, the scrapping of the no-build zone policy that effectively evicts families in coastal communities from their homes and livelihood, the immediate reconstruction of vital public infrastructure such as schools and hospitals and the immediate restoration of utilities such as power and water sources.
Engr. Robert Castanares, regional president of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Eastern visayas, also revealed on his official appointment as regional coordinator of Sec. Lacson for rehabilitation and recovery.
“I see it as a good break to expedite the recovery of Region 8 and at the same time push our economic development agenda,” Castanares said, also appealing for public support on his new post.