TACLOBAN CITY- A party-list group in Eastern Visayas region Tingog Sinirangan has lamented that the recent statement of Leyte 1st district Cong. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez to Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas on the 2013 super typhoon Yolanda is being used for political mileage.
“It is unfortunate that his earlier statement has been misconstrued to support the campaign propaganda of certain candidates. But I think it is fair to reiterate what he really said – End the blame game. The rest was a simple narration of facts,” said Jude Acidre, first nominee of Tingog Sinirangan party-list.
Romualdez, in a statement, acknowledged that the former Interior secretary along with Defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin were in Tacloban during the height of the typhoon, saying Roxas had also “risked his life.”
“That Mar Roxas was there on the ground is a matter of public record. That he was at risk is true as were the tens of thousands others who were in Tacloban. That Roxas did his best may be true, given the limited resources available to him – even if it did not amount to the help that we expected to receive,” Acidre added.
According to Acidre, the statement of Romualdez should not be taken as a vindication to Roxas.
“No, he (Romualdez) did not vindicate anyone. In fact, he did not praise anyone. He did not ask sorry for anything said or done by anyone in the past. He did not say anything to add up or revise anything that we already know for a fact. He did not say that a single person, institution or organization can take credit for addressing the situation. All he did was to be consistent with the defining theme of his campaign – compassion not politics,” said Acidre over social media.
Acidre added that “bad politics has done a lot of damage to an already challenging situation.”
“What is needed is to ensure that the lessons learned during and after Yolanda will not only teach us to prepare and respond better to natural disasters but also guide us in exacting accountability from those who in our time of greatest need have failed to carry out their responsibilities. We need the leaders who possess the leadership and abilities, the compassion, needed to bring our people not only out of danger, but also towards the safety, progress and prosperity that we deserve,” he said.
Acidre reiterated that typhoon Yolanda should always be a test of political integrity but never a reason for further disunity.
“It should leave behind a people more stronger, united and dedicated to the aspiration to build back better not only our homes and livelihoods, but our lives and communities,” Acidre said, while reminding voters to make sure that this upcoming election will be defined by what happened during Typhoon Yolanda.
Yolanda, the world’s strongest typhoon on record, killed over 6,000 people mostly in Tacloban and nearby towns in Leyte province.