AQUINO SNUBS YOLANDA VICTIMS AT MALACAÑANG GATES

Ignored. Survivors of Typhoon Yolanda march on Malacañang Palace on Monday to dialogue with President Aquino on their plight in the Eastern Visayas region. The marchers, however, were not received by the President. Survivors troop to Palace; gripes fall on deaf ears. PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III refused to meet with survivors of super typhoon Yolanda who trooped to Malacañang Monday to demand P40,000 in cash assistance per family and the revocation of the no-build zone policy along coastal areas. “We thought the President would meet with us. Maybe he was afraid to face the survivors of Yolanda,” said Sister Edita Eslopor, chairperson of the 12,000-strong alliance of Yolanda survivors called People Surge. Eslopor said three representatives of People Surge were allowed to enter the Palace gate, and a personnel from the records office came out to receive their petition.

 ALSO: PNoy criticizes Yolanda victims

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday criticized survivors of super typhoon Yolanda who trooped to the Palace Monday to protest the government’s response to their plight, saying they should be able to help themselves. “To those who are saying that we have been slow in responding... it seems to me that if they are capable of attending to their trip to Manila, perhaps they can also attend to their livelihood,” the President said. “Let us not forget: 1.4 million families were affected; 918,000 will need housing assistance,” President Aquino added. Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, whom the victims had criticized for grabbing credit for international assistance, agreed. “Instead of coming here, they could have used the money to help themselves,” Soliman said. The President was also cool to the demand of the survivors that the government release P40,000 in cash assistance per family. “If we have 1.4 million affected families at P40,000 each, that would amount to P56 billion. In our 2014 budget, we have about P600 billion that we can use for expenses outside of the personnel services and the maintenance and other operating expenses. That P54 billion is already 10 percent of P600 billion,” he said.

ALSO: People Surge’ VS Aquino swells

“This is a People Surge – a swelling of the people demanding justice for Yolanda victims and asserting their right to food, housing, livelihood and social services,” said Sister Edita Eslopor, OSB, chairperson of People Surge, an alliance working for the victims of typhoon Yolanda. “The massive number of people is proof of their intense discontent over Aquino’s criminal negligence and utter incompetence in looking after the welfare of its people. This is just the first of a series of protests that will fill the streets of major cities across the country in indignation of the Aquino administration,” Eslopor added. More than 12,000 protesters turned up last week from Samar and Leyte to express their discontent. PHOTO: Night of tears, day of anger. Survivors of Typhoon Yolanda gathered at a state university in Tacloban City over the weekend to remember their dead.

ALSO: Yolanda survivors barred from submitting petition to Malacañang

Why is it that President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III could personally welcome (there) an accused
person like Janet Lim Napoles, but not the representatives of Yolanda victims who only tried to bring a petition signed by 17,585 survivors of Yolanda?”
“Are the victims of Yolanda criminals? We were treated like that in Malacañang. Why is it that President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III could personally welcome (there) an accused person like Janet Lim Napoles, but not the representatives of Yolanda victims who only tried to bring a petition signed by 17,585 survivors of Yolanda?” These were the questions of Benedictine nun Edita Eslopor as she spent more than an hour convincing the guards of Malacañang to let them in and receive the signed petition of her fellow Yolanda survivors. She and some members of Typhoon Yolanda survivors’ alliance People Surge are in the capital for a few days to bring to the attention of the government their real plight in Eastern Visayas.


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Aquino snubs storm victims


Ignored. Survivors of Typhoon Yolanda march on Malacañang Palace on Monday to dialogue with President Aquino on their plight in the Eastern Visayas region. The marchers, however, were not received by the President. SONNY ESPIRITU

MANILA, FEBRUARY 24, 2014
(MANILA STANDARD) By Joyce Pangco Panares - Survivors troop to Palace; gripes fall on deaf ears.

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III refused to meet with survivors of super typhoon Yolanda who trooped to Malacañang Monday to demand P40,000 in cash assistance per family and the revocation of the no-build zone policy along coastal areas.

“We thought the President would meet with us. Maybe he was afraid to face the survivors of Yolanda,” said Sister Edita Eslopor, chairperson of the 12,000-strong alliance of Yolanda survivors called People Surge.

Eslopor said three representatives of People Surge were allowed to enter the Palace gate, and a personnel from the records office came out to receive their petition.

“They said in two hours we will know their response. But we haven’t heard from them yet,” the Benedictine nun said.

“We were like criminals entering the Palace, with police escorts,” she added.

Eslopor also tore into Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman for bragging about $6 million in aid from the UN Children’s Fund or UNICEF and including it in the government’s dole program.

“The problem with the DSWD is that it is claiming credit where it is not due,” she said.

“With or without the Aquino government, and perhaps even better without the government, UNICEF would still have rendered humanitarian assistance. Dinky Soliman is merely riding on the UN aid to cover up the government’s criminal negligence. What’s more, such aid may not reach the victims; the government’s conditional cash transfer scheme has for years been plagued with allegations of corruption.”

Eslopor expressed outrage that the DSWD should be relying on the goodness of others for doing what was the government’s responsibility.

“We thank the UNICEF for the humanitarian assistance. But the Aquino government should have rendered emergency cash assistance and other kinds of relief three months ago, not today. That is sheer criminal negligence. Does Dinky Soliman realize how many of the so-called most vulnerable – including pregnant women and malnourished children -- have suffered for the past months, and may have died, because the government balked at releasing funds for the people while it was at the same time embroiled in the pork barrel scandal? For the past three months, the DSWD has not been carrying out any significant social amelioration program but has merely acted as the facilitator for foreign and local donors.

“Does Dinky Soliman realize how little the $100 or P4,370 really is, even if good for six months, when a family of five in Eastern Visayas needs at least P610 every day to live decently, and that was in 2008?”

The People Surge spokesperson asserted that the Aquino government must render all possible emergency assistance, while planning for long-term solutions for the people’s losses and grinding poverty.

“The conditional cash transfer scheme or 4Ps to which Dinky Soliman and the DSWD are so devoted is nothing but a dole program. The people cannot survive for long on mendicancy. The Yolanda survivors in People Surge have been petitioning for P40,000 immediate cash aid to all families affected by the typhoon in in Eastern Visayas. Moreover, People Surge presents the long-term and very basic solutions to the survivors’ plight: food, livelihood, housing and social services. If the Aquino government cannot give even these very basic demands, it will surely face the people’s wrath.”

Jessica Darantinao, 24, a typhoon survivor from Carigara, Leyte, said thousands of women and children have lost their lives as a result of the criminal negligence of the Aquino government.

A member of the People Surge alliance, Darantinao said the government’s continued disregard of the victims’ plight buried the victims deeper in poverty, hunger and debt.

“Long before the storm, underage females from our barrio have been trying their luck in Manila to find work. When they return home, they usually end up pregnant and without husbands. This situation will surely worsen after the typhoon because there are no decent jobs in Samar and Leyte.”

She added that women and chilren were vulnerable to human trafficking.

Eastern Visayas ranked as the third poorest region before super typhoon Yolanda struck. In the storm’s aftermath, it is likely to become the country’s poorest region, People Surge said.

The independent minority bloc in the House of Representatives onMonday said the government needs to intensify its effort to rebuild calamity-stricken areas and set asid politics for the good of the survivors.

Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, at a news conference, said a huge task remains because of the unimaginable destruction caused by Yolanda.

“Let us join together and set aside political differences to champion the interests of the survivors. We cannot minimize politics 100 percent but we should minimize it. We need to be united,” he said.

Romualdez reiterated his call for the government to decentralize the rebuilding efforts by giving local government units an active role to speed up the reconstruction.

Romualdez also lamented that cadavers were still being found in Leyte, but the government has virtually stopped its official counting of the dead.

Also on Monday, National Treasurer Rosalia de Leon said the government is working with the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank to set up a Yolanda multi-donor trust fund to tap overseas private sector and philanthropic foundations and organizations.

De Leon said the trust fund would faciliatate the transparent and efficient use of resources for the reconstruction of areas devastated by Yolanda.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) earlier said reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in Yolanda-devastated areas would need about P361 billion in investments.

NEDA said of the total amount, P183.3 billion would be allotted for shelter and resettlement projects; P70.6 billion for industry and services; P37.4 billion for education and health services; P28.4 billion for public infrastructure; P18.7 billion for agriculture; P18.4 billion for social protection, and P4 billion for local governments.

NEDA director-general and Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said the amount would be disbursed within four years, in conformity with the Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda plan.

NEDA said the total damage and losses from super typhoon Yolanda reached P571.1 billion. Damage to infrastructure was estimated at P33.98 billion; agriculture, P62.11 billion; industry and services, P116 billion; education, P23.9 billion; health, P5.57 billion; housing, P325.24 billion; and local government, P4.3 billion.

Rehabilitation czar and former Senator Panfilo Lacson said the reconstruction efforts would be spearheaded by the private sector with the government serving as enabler or facilitator.

People Surge said these efforts were not moving fast enough, however, and said those responsible could be held “criminally liable” for the slow response. With Maricel V. Cruz and Julito G. Rada

PNoy raps storm victims By Joyce Pangco Panares - For traveling to Manila to protest slow govt aid


Anakbayan said that the result of the recent Social Weather Station survey revealing that ‘Yolanda’ victims gave President Benigno Aquino III a “very good” rating is a “deliberate spin to cover up” the government’s “criminal negligence” and incompetence. (Photo by Richard V. Vinas)

PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday criticized survivors of super typhoon Yolanda who trooped to the Palace Monday to protest the government’s response to their plight, saying they should be able to help themselves.

“To those who are saying that we have been slow in responding... it seems to me that if they are capable of attending to their trip to Manila, perhaps they can also attend to their livelihood,” the President said.

“Let us not forget: 1.4 million families were affected; 918,000 will need housing assistance,” President Aquino added.

Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, whom the victims had criticized for grabbing credit for international assistance, agreed.

“Instead of coming here, they could have used the money to help themselves,” Soliman said.

The President was also cool to the demand of the survivors that the government release P40,000 in cash assistance per family.

“If we have 1.4 million affected families at P40,000 each, that would amount to P56 billion. In our 2014 budget, we have about P600 billion that we can use for expenses outside of the personnel services and the maintenance and other operating expenses. That P54 billion is already 10 percent of P600 billion,” he said.

“More importantly, will the P40,000 be a long-term solution? I cannot see that...But we will read their petition once it reaches my table,” the President added.

Aquino also defended the government’s policy of establishing a no-build zone near the coastline, saying this would keep people away from danger zones during storms.

Members of People Surge, a broad alliance of Yolanda survivors, submitted their petition to an official of the Palace records office Monday.

Aquino did not meet with the Yolanda survivors who went to the Palace, but he later assured the public that the government would expedite its rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in calamity-hit areas.

“Continuing our rehabilitation efforts is our number one priority.

We are devoting our resources to guarantee not the mere subsistence of the survivors, but their genuine recovery,” Aquino said on Tuesday during the 3rd Euromoney Philippines Investment Forum.

“We will complete the rehabilitation and improvement of the affected communities sooner rather than later; and all of you will see those areas brimming with more opportunity than ever before,” Aquino added.

Sister Edita Esloper, chairperson of People Surge, questioned the plans announced by presidential assistant on rehabilitation and recovery, Panfilo Lacson, saying they were tainted by politics with an eye on the 2016 elections.

“There is reason to be skeptical that the Aquino government will be wheeling and dealing, with the 2016 elections just around the corner and the funds for reconstruction vulnerable to disappearing to political pickpockets,” said Eslopor.

She slammed Lacson for failing to consult with the typhoon victims, and for tapping private businesses to do the government’s work.

“The Lacson-led reconstruction program is anti-people and pro-big business in diminishing what is needed by the people and hyping what is favorable to the private sector, which is given a bigger role than the government,” she said.

In an earlier interview, Lacson denied the government had been slow in responding to the needs of the calamity survivors.

He also spoke of “improvising a bottom-up approach” to speed up the post-disaster needs assessment (PDNA).

“We do this by going down to the local government units and not wait for the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council to finish the PDNA,” he said.

Also on Wednesday, Borongan Bishop Crispin Varquez criticized the government for failing to address the needs of typhoon survivors three months after Yolanda struck.

Varquez said the only concrete sign of government help in Borongan City, one of the hardest hit by Yolanda, were the bunkhouses, which are meant to provide survivors with temporary housing.

In a report posted in the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines website, Varquez said there were no other signs of rehabilitation in the city, and no attempts to provide livelihood to survivors.

“I don’t know when it will start of if they are still in the planning stage. We have no idea,” he said. With Ronald O. Reyes and Vito Barcelo

People Surge’ swells By Ronald Reyes | Jan. 28, 2014 at 12:01am

Series of protests vs Aquino govt set nationwide

SURVIVORS of super typhoon Yolanda and their supporters on Monday vowed to stage more protests to express their indignation at the slow government response to their needs, after last Friday’s “People Surge” demonstration gathered more than 12,000 people in Tacloban City.


Their grief turned into anger the following day when they joined a march that they now want to replicate
in different areas across the country.

“This is a People Surge – a swelling of the people demanding justice for Yolanda victims and asserting their right to food, housing, livelihood and social services,” said Sister Edita Eslopor, OSB, chairperson of People Surge, an alliance working for the victims of typhoon Yolanda.

“The massive number of people is proof of their intense discontent over Aquino’s criminal negligence and utter incompetence in looking after the welfare of its people. This is just the first of a series of protests that will fill the streets of major cities across the country in indignation of the Aquino administration,” Eslopor added.

More than 12,000 protesters turned up last week from Samar and Leyte to express their discontent.

Efleda Bautista, a convenor of People Surge, said last week’s turnout belied the Social Weather Stations survey finding that people in the typhoon-devastated region gave President Aquino a “very good” satisfation rating.

“Countless lives have been lost in Yolanda’s wake and damage to agriculture, public and private properties cost billions of pesos. The devastation wrought by super typhoon Yolanda may have been horrific, but more horrendous is the... Aquino government’s ineptness in addressing the wellbeing of its people,” the People Surge alliance said.

The alliance also hold Aquino administration responsible for the high death toll in the region because it failed to guarantee the safety and welfare of the victims when super typhoon Yolanda struck the country on Nov. 8, 2013.

They also assailed the Aquino government’s “slow delivery of immediate relief to the victims even after two months, the corruption-riddled bunkhouses, and the anti-people no-build policy imposed on residents within the 40-meter stretch from the shore.”


Night of tears, day of anger. Survivors of Typhoon Yolanda gathered at a state university in Tacloban City over the weekend to remember their dead.

The alliance also criticized the administration’s Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda (RAY), popularly known as “Build Back Better,” saying that “the hapless victims, not big businesses, should be at the core of the relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts of the government.”

Among the alliance’s immediate demands are the 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.

Last week’s rally was the culmination of a two-day vigil-memorial for the typhoon victims at the Eastern Visayas State University in Tacloban City.

In a statement, the alliance also alleged that the police stopped at least 11 jeepneys carrying Yolanda victims and supporters from Western Samar to prevent them from attending the indignation rally.

Two opposition lawmakers on Monday urged Yolanda survivors and their supporters to mobilize and conduct a ‘People Surge’ in Manila, near the Palace, to dramatize their strong discontent over the way the Aquino government was attending to their needs.

Gabriela party-list Rep. Luz Ilagan and Akabada party-list Rep. Jonathan dela Cruz, in separate interviews with the Manila Standard, said that the disaster victims should keep up the pressure on the government to move more swiftly.

Ilagan said it has been almost four months since the killer typhoon hit the country and devastated several areas in Leyte and Samar, and yet the government appeared to be callous and remiss in its duty to respond quickly to the typhoon survivors.

“It looks like a People Power or Surge has a better chance of shocking and mobilizing the executive to address the problems. How many calamities do we have to endure to force the national leadership to act?” Ilagan said.

Dela Cruz, member of the House independent minority bloc of Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, said the Aquino government needs to be pushed into action.

“The Yolanda survivors and their supporters should hold their People Surge in Manila to press for government action on their plight,” Dela Cruz said. “Not only the victims but all people of goodwill who are as concerned as those on the ground about the very, very slow and highly specious manner by which the rehabilitation or reconstruction is being implemented,” he added.

Paranaque Rep. Gus Tambunting, an administration lawmaker, warned Malacanang not to wait for a People Surge to take action.

Tambunting said the government had all the resources needed to give the much needed help to the Yolanda victims.

Former senator Panfilo Lacson, the government’s rehabilitation czar, should be in Yolanda-stricken areas personally supervising the rehabilitation process, Tambunting added.

But opposition congressman Rep. Rodolfo Albano III from Isabela said the protests would do the victims no good, and urged Yolanda survivors to be more patient.

“Rome was not built in a day,” he said.

Administration ally Rep. Rodel Batocabe of the Ako-Bicol party-list added that holding protests in Manila would waste time and resources.

“They should save transportation and accommodation for their needs. All they have to do is to call a press conference and declare whatever their grievances are,” Batocabe said.

Quezon City Rep. Jorge Banal Jr. agreed.

“It is their prerogative to press the government and to dramatize their plight, especially if they are convinced that the government has not been doing its part in helping them,” he said.

But he warned the victims that there were those who might take advantage of their plight to attack the government.

“Perhaps they should just be wary of wolves in sheep’s clothing, those who might be using the victims to embarrass the government and to advance their own political agenda. This is tantamount to victimizing the victims all over again,” Banal said.

1-BAP party-list Rep. Silvestre Bello III said the government should grant the survivors’ petition for P40,000 in financial assistance.

Also on Monday, the independent minority bloc said it would launch a full-blown investigation into the SWS survey, saying the result was “truly unimaginable.”

The SWS survey showed Aquino’s approval ratings in areas devastated by super typhoon Yolanda hit a high of 73 percent (with a net satisfaction rating of +54), which was higher than his score outside calamity areas at 69 percent (+48).

“We want an investigation into this not just simply to find out the accuracy but more importantly, to determine if the survey, and the SWS, are part of a cover-up to hide from the people the government’s incompetence and possible irregularities in rehabilitation efforts for Yolanda survivors, a statement issued by the bloc said.

The group said that reactions by both the survivors and some of their colleagues who had visited the disaster-stricken areas totally contradicted the survey’s result. With Maricel V. Cruz

FROM BULATLAT.COM

Yolanda survivors initially barred from submitting petition to Malacañang By MARYA SALAMAT Bulatlat.com

Why is it that President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III could personally welcome (there) an accused person like Janet Lim Napoles, but not the representatives of Yolanda victims who only tried to bring a petition signed by 17,585 survivors of Yolanda?”

MANILA – “Are the victims of Yolanda criminals? We were treated like that in Malacañang. Why is it that President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III could personally welcome (there) an accused person like Janet Lim Napoles, but not the representatives of Yolanda victims who only tried to bring a petition signed by 17,585 survivors of Yolanda?”

These were the questions of Benedictine nun Edita Eslopor as she spent more than an hour convincing the guards of Malacañang to let them in and receive the signed petition of her fellow Yolanda survivors. She and some members of Typhoon Yolanda survivors’ alliance People Surge are in the capital for a few days to bring to the attention of the government their real plight in Eastern Visayas.


FROM PEOPLE SURGE FACEBOOK

They and the more that 17 thousand who signed the petition are telling the government that majority of the typhoon victims do not feel the relief, which the national government claims have reached them, nor the rehabilitation which, again, the national government claimed they started implementing since January. With Sr. Eslopor are some Yolanda survivors, former Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino, and singer-actress Monique Wilson.

By the time their petition was finally marked as “received,” and they walked out of Malacañang to join the protesters at the Mendiola Bridge, Monique Wilson was furious at how they were treated.


Sr. Edita Eslopor shows the Malacañang-received copy of their petition, signed by 17,585 Yolanda survivors. (Photo by M. Salamat / www.bulatlat.com)

“Is this democracy?” Wilson asked as she recounted how they were taunted and waylaid at two different gates of Malacañang. She said she cannot understand why the palace has no problem welcoming her when she comes there to sing, but not when she comes there to help bring the petition of Typhoon Yolanda survivors.

The guards told them that they are not being allowed to enter Malacañang because they might be wearing protest shirts or might do die-ins or protest dances (such as of One Billion Rising).

FURIOUS MONIQUE "Is this democracy?" FURIOUS MONIQUE “Is this democracy?” “I am so angry. This is the first time I experienced this,” Wilson said.

Sr. Eslopor told Bulatlat.com that finally, three of them were allowed to enter the palace grounds to submit their petition to an appropriate office inside, “but we were escorted as if we were criminals.”

The Yolanda survivors are petitioning the Aquino government to:

(1) “Provide P40,000 ($891) immediate financial relief to every affected family, based on the framework that relief distribution has been insufficient.” The survivors said this amount could barely cover at least two months of food and non-food needs of a family of six in Eastern Visayas prior to the typhoon. Its real value now is substantially diminished due to continuous increases in prices.

(2) Scrap the ‘no-build zone’ policy, which, they said, reinforces outright landgrabbing.

(3) “Sustain the distribution of relief assistance of food and water to victims both in the urban and rural

‘Aquino govt claims re: Yolanda efforts untrue’

Speaking at a program in Mendiola (now Chino Roces) Bridge, survivors of Yolanda expressed their gratitude for all the support and relief being given by Filipinos and international donors. But as Jessica Darantinao, 25, said: “We hope you’ll support us also in trying to make your aid reach us.”

Contrary to what Social Welfare Secretary Dinky Soliman said that the government has been implementing cash for work and food for work programs to help the survivors get back on their feet, Darantinao said they do not experience or see any of that. “It is not reaching us.”

In a TV interview Tuesday night after the survivors of Yolanda trooped to Malacañang, Soliman responded to questions about missing relief goods with a statement that they had focused their relief “saturation”on Leyte and Eastern Samar, saying the extent of the damage wreaked by Yolanda is worst there than in Western Samar.

But Darantinao, for one, hails from Carigara, Leyte. And with other Yolanda survivors who came to Manila to tell about their real situation, she said they got some relief not from the government but from others.

She said even the local government has not been of help to them, adding that the “color-coding” or political affiliation of those in position from local to national has meant that the relief goods are being shared only with Aquino’s allies.

Even before Yolanda, Darantinao told Bulatlat.com, they were already poor. How much are they worse off now, after Yolanda, she said. Her family lost all their coconut trees, which had been their main source of livelihood. To have something to eat after Typhoon Yolanda struck, she said they prepared as vegetable the innermost core (ubod) of their fallen coconut trees. They even resorted to eating very young or unripe bananas that, before Yolanda, they would not have touched that early. It took a week before relief came, she said, and it was not from the government.

Today, she and her family are making do with whatever relief they could find. While thankful for it, they hope to be able to get by until they can continue their independence and regain their livelihood.

In response to the reported complaints of Yolanda survivors, Soliman claimed that “74% of those interviewed by Social Weather Station (SWS) have “approved what government does… and they are the typhoon victims.”

Soliman based it on the latest SWS survey, conducted from December 11 to 16 last year. But this survey had interviewed only 1,550 adults, of which, only 650 came from the Visayas.

When People Surge was formed on Jan. 24, as much as 12,000 came to participate. The petition their leaders tried to hand to President Aquino himself this Tuesday Feb 17 was signed by 17, 585 Yolanda survivors.

Joel Abaño, 72, said they don’t believe the claims of the Aquino government that it did its best but it wasn’t enough. “What have they done? It was the people from here and other countries who helped us,” he said. Joel Abaño from Leyte describes the 'No-Build Zone' policy of the Aquino govt as 'landgrabbing' for Aquino cronies. (Photo by M. Salamat / www.bulatlat.com) Joel Abaño from Leyte condemns the ‘No-Build Zone’ policy of the Aquino govt as ‘landgrabbing’ for Aquino cronies. (Photo by M. Salamat / www.bulatlat.com)

Abaño is one of the Tacloban City residents to be dislocated by the No-Build Zone policy. It will not only deprive him of his place of residence for the last 45 years, it would also deprive him of a job as he used to operate a food stall in his house. Most leaders of progressive organizations who supported People Surge also condemned Aquino’s deployment of military troops in devastated areas, which preceded even Aquino’s relief distribution. “The government sent soldiers first — can we eat them?” asked Nancy Guerrero, a native of Samar in Eastern Visayas and now a member of Samakana Gabriela based in Quezon City.

The survivors of Yolanda said they are mulling over the possibility of filing cases against the Aquino government for its criminal negligence. (http://bulatlat.com)


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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