R. TIGLAO: ARROGANCE OF POWER ("PERO BAHALA NA KAYO SA BUHAY NYO")

It turns out that Mayor Alfred Romualdez wasn’t telling everything when he said in a
congressional hearing Monday that Secretary Mar Roxas, President Aquino’s point-man in Tacloban after the super typhoon hit, told him, “You are a Romualdez and the President is an Aquino.” Romualdez didn’t report the more chilling statement Roxas made: “If we cannot legalize [the turnover of authority to the national government], you’ll be in charge, we’ll help you, and that’s it, pero bahala na kayo sa buhay niyo.” That Pilipino sentence has a particular nuance, which can’t be captured by its literal translation, “You’re in charge of your lives.” Roxas’ statements in his meeting in Tacloban with Romualdez, his response to the criticisms against him for that episode, even his body language and choice of words reflect this man’s arrogance of power. What’s obviously has been going in Roxas mind: “Who is this mayor to defy what I wanted to be done in Tacloban, and to complain about it? We are in power.” But it is not just Roxas’; it’s the deep flaw of his boss President Aquino, an arrogance of power. Roxas’ arrogance of power at Tacloban, though, means “game-over” for his dream to be president in 2016. I just can’t see how he could ever erase in people’s mind that YouTube video of his arrogance in the midst of a the horror in Tacloban, nor his hyena-like laugh when he claimed Romualdez was not in his right mind.

ALSO: Noynoy clobbers Romualdez, backs Roxas in verbal tiff

"I could removeTacloban City Mayor." Aquino said he could have exercised power to remove Romualdez in his position as he could “no longer function,” and the law that created the National disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) had empowered him to do it but he did not do so. Even in Japan where he is attending a regional conference, President Aquino found time to pounce on his new pet peeve Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez blasting him for spending most of his times on interviews “as opposed to doing what he is supposed to do.” Aquino also defended Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II who is under intense public criticism for demanding Romualdez sign a waiver to transfer his powers to the national government that in turn will allow him full control of Tacloban City after it was devastated by typhoon “Yolanda,” saying the document Roxas asked Romualdez was merely for the delineation of tasks. Aquino said he could have exercised power to remove Romualdez in his position as he could “no longer function,” and the law that created the National disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) had empowered him to do it but he did not do so.

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R. TIGLAO: ARROGANCE OF POWER ("PERO BAHALA NA KAYO SA BUHAY NYO")

MANILA, DECEMBER 16, 2013 (MANILA TIMES) by Rigoberto Tiglao - It turns out that Mayor Alfred Romualdez wasn’t telling everything when he said in a congressional hearing Monday that Secretary Mar Roxas, President Aquino’s point-man in Tacloban after the super typhoon hit, told him, “You are a Romualdez and the President is an Aquino.”

Romualdez didn’t report the more chilling statement Roxas made: “If we cannot legalize [the turnover of authority to the national government], you’ll be in charge, we’ll help you, and that’s it, pero bahala na kayo sa buhay niyo.”

That Pilipino sentence has a particular nuance, which can’t be captured by its literal translation, “You’re in charge of your lives.” Rather, it means, at best, telling somebody, “I don’t care whatever happens to you from here on.” At worse, it’s a veiled threat from a superior or from somebody with authority. “You can go to hell for all I care,” or “I wouldn’t lift a finger to help you from here on,” would be more accurate translations.

Coming from Roxas’ mouth and made in a meeting with a stunned mayor of a devastated city and his aides, it was a clear threat that if Romualdez wouldn’t formally turn over authority over the city, he won’t get the help he needs from the national government that Roxas represented. YouTube posting of Roxas lecturing Romualdez: With similar video posted by columnist Cito Beltran, that’s 500,000 views, a record for the Philippines. (Video capture of YouTube video).

YouTube posting of Roxas lecturing Romualdez: With similar video posted by columnist Cito Beltran, that’s 500,000 views, a record for the Philippines. (Video capture of YouTube video).

Rather than just apologizing and regretting that his words were misinterpreted by the mayor, Roxas instead came out belligerent and quarrelsome. Apparently thinking that Romualdez’ supporters took a video only of that particular part of that meeting, Roxas claimed that the mayor was lying and that the video was “spliced, and its intention malicious.”

He had threatened to “release to the public” what he claimed was the untampered video “at an appropriate time.” He was unaware though that as he spoke, thousands were already viewing the clearly unedited 40-minute video on YouTube, posted by columnist Cito Beltran and Romualdez’ father-in-law Jose Ma. Gonzales.


IMAGE: YouTube posting of Roxas lecturing Romualdez: With similar video posted by columnist Cito Beltran, that’s 500,000 views, a record for the Philippines. (IMAGE capture of YouTube video). WATCH AT VIDEO URL:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=g_oxV8ylgOI

YouTube sensation

As of this writing, the two posts together had been viewed more than 500,000 times, a record of sorts for Philippine videos posted on YouTube that aren’t entertainment in nature. It’s probably the most viewed YouTube video of a political nature involving our country ever.

Worse, Roxas claimed that Romualdez was not in his right mind as he was traumatized by Yolanda’s devastation, saying—and laughing madly afterwards—in an interview in GMA’s 24 Oras news program: “Tanong ko sa kanya, nagpa-stress debriefing ka na ba? Kung nag pa stress-briefing siya, baka tumino, luminaw ang pag-iisip niya.” (“My question to him: Has he undergone stress debriefing? If he did, he’d probably be sane and his thinking made clear.”)

Roxas’ statements in his meeting in Tacloban with Romualdez, his response to the criticisms against him for that episode, even his body language and choice of words reflect this man’s arrogance of power. What’s obviously has been going in Roxas mind: “Who is this mayor to defy what I wanted to be done in Tacloban, and to complain about it? We are in power.”

But it is not just Roxas’; it’s the deep flaw of his boss President Aquino, an arrogance of power.

It is the same arrogance of power that explains why President Aquino ignored a Supreme Court order to let former President Gloria Arroyo seek medical help abroad;
-why he removed Chief Justice Renato Corona and spent billions of pesos to bribe Congress to do so;
-why he filed trumped up charges against Arroyo and jail her;
-why he junked appropriations laws and spent the budget in the way he wished and disguised such use by calling it as a “Disbursement Acceleration Plan”;
-why he spent some of this fund for Congress’ additional pork-barrel to ensure its support;
-why he has presumed that Congress will pass unconstitutional laws in order to set up a virtually independent Bangsamoro state.

It is the kind of arrogance of power that led dictatorships and hated administrations fall here and all over the world.

Dream goes to the sewers

Roxas’ arrogance of power at Tacloban, though, means “game-over” for his dream to be president in 2016. I just can’t see how he could ever erase in people’s mind that YouTube video of his arrogance in the midst of a the horror in Tacloban, nor his hyena-like laugh when he claimed Romualdez was not in his right mind.

It is also a game-changer for this administration, as its first choice to be president in 2016, Roxas, now obviously won’t make it. And it is a very, very slippery slope.

His supporters, both in big business, politics, and media, would sense the political winds changing and then turn their eyes to look for a new patron. The clear possibility has emerged that the next president won’t be yellow, and won’t protect Aquino and his people— a horrific prospect for them as they have made the lives of many so miserable, drawn blood, as some even claim, in the past three years.

Aquino would be moving into a panic mode now to create a clone or support somebody who can be president—in less than three years. and with no more pork-barrel to use to bribe political leaders. But that would have to be somebody outside his yellow cult. But that would sow division within his ranks, and his lieutenants would quietly slither out of his yellow tent.

Super Typhoon Yolanda has moved Philippine politics’ tectonic plates.

FROM THE DAILY TRIBUNE

Noynoy clobbers Romualdez, backs Roxas in verbal tiff Written by Paul Atienza Sunday, 15 December 2013 00:00

I COULD HAVE REMOVED TACLOBAN CITY MAYOR — AQUINO

Even in Japan where he is attending a regional conference, President Aquino found time to pounce on his new pet peeve Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez blasting him for spending most of his times on interviews “as opposed to doing what he is supposed to do.”

Aquino also defended Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II who is under intense public criticism for demanding Romualdez sign a waiver to transfer his powers to the national government that in turn will allow him full control of Tacloban City after it was devastated by typhoon “Yolanda,” saying the document Roxas asked Romualdez was merely for the delineation of tasks.

Aquino said he could have exercised power to remove Romualdez in his position as he could “no longer function,” and the law that created the National disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) had empowered him to do it but he did not do so.

“The bottomline is they are in charge. They the primary responders, and if they are no longer able to discharge their functions, theny it is the national government’s responsibility to fill the void,” Aquino said.

Roxas in demanding the document was overheard in a video saying “You should understand that you’re a Romualdez and the President is an Aquino so we just want to legalize this” in demanding for the document that he wanted Romualdez signed.

Aquino claimed what he sought was for Romualdez to list down the tasks the city government could take care of and what he would be needing from the national government.

“We put it all down in writing so both of us know what is expected of the other so they drafted the document and sent it over to us, I looked at it and said ‘this will do’.”

Aquino said when he asked Roxas for the document, it turned out that Romualdez refused to sign this.

Aquino added that what he expected was for Romualdez to take care of the distribution of relief goods and the rehabilitation of the city while the national government would provide the relief, spearhead cadaver recovery, establish and maintain peace and order, and clear all streets. “Nothing came of the agreement,” said Aquino.

Romualdez claimed, however, that the national government withheld assistance as a result of his refusal to sign the document.

Aquino said his conscience was clear on allegations of incompetent government response to the tragedy that hit Tacloban City .

Aquino said the government needed to clear the air on what the local government can do and how the national government can help.

“My conscience is clear,” he said, adding the national government did the best it could under the circumstances.

Also, the President said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council law allowed him to remove the mayor if he is “no longer able to function” but he did not do so.

“The bottom line is they are in charge, they are the primary responders and if they are no longer able to discharge their functions then it is national government’s responsibility to fill the void,” he said.

But he said that had he implemented that, the government would have been criticized for persecuting one who is identified with the Marcos family.

“So let’s bend over backwards. We asked the local government to make specific requests so we would not be accused of not doing our jobs,” he said.

In the meantime, he said the government still has many more affected areas other than Tacloban to attend to.

“The task really is daunting ... That’s why we are saying it will take about P130 billion to put everybody at least in a better situation than where they were,” he said.

Aquino noted that the national government had to be cautious on its actions because the local government is the primary responder, and the national government has only to provide support.

Presidential deputy spokesman Abigail Valte also defended the move of President Aquino’s youngest sister Kris Aquino in Tacloban City that earned criticisms among the netizens while he was in Tokyo, Japan.

Valte said the actuations of President’s sister was nothing but usual even before her brother became President.

“You know, I think whenever the sisters of the President go out, you know, they have their own activities also, meaning they have been doing this even actually before the President assumed office,” Valte said.

Reports have never ended that relief operations in Tacloban City and in the Leyte province had been politicized which severely hampered distributions, causing the typhoon victims to flee the area and went to Manila and Cebu City.

Kris Aquino, who campaigned at the last days of May 2013 local elections against mayor Romualdez in Tacloban City, defended her brother from severe criticisms.

Valte said the defense of Kris Aquino was normal in the circumstances.

“You know, I think, we cannot hold it against the sisters. Of course, it’s just natural that they defend their brother. Their brother happens to be the President of the Republic. I think, we should not be judged for that,” Valte said.

The death toll has already breached to 6,000 as of Friday 13, the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC) reported.

President Aquino, since day one of the post-super typhoon ‘Yolanda’, had not convinced the people that he true to his words of providing relief support to the people of Tacloban and Leyte, as compared to other local areas.

Mayor Romualdez, a cousin of incumbent Senator Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos, had narrated before the Senate how his people had their ordeal to beg for help from the national government.

President Aquino is expected to arrive in Manila from Tokyo, Japan Saturday night.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), meanwhile, confirmed that the death toll from super typhoon Yolanda had reached 6,330.

The nDRRMC in its 6 a.m., update disclosed that 24 more cadavers were recovered in Tacloban City.

Majority of the fatalities were from Eastern Visayas at 5,679 (5,184 in Leyte; 265 in Eastern Samar; 224 in Samar; and 6 in Biliran). In Tacloban, 2,418 bodies have yet to be identified.

Meanwhile, the missing persons remained at 1,779: 1,671 in Leyte; 38 in Samar; 24 in Palawan; 20 in Eastern Samar; 15 in Antique; 5 in Cebu; 4 in Iloilo and 1 each in Guimaras and Capiz.

At least 27,468 were wounded after the typhoon crashed into central Philippines last November 8.

Some 3,423,501 families or 16,074,392 individuals were affected by the typhoon, with 3,921,577 people displaced.

The NDRRMC also said that about 550,916 homes were totally destroyed while at least 588,881 houses were partially damaged.

The cost of damage from the typhoon, meanwhile, rose to P35,547,986,330.67 (P18,226,835,334.29 for infrastructures and P17,321,150,996.38 for agriculture products).

At least P1,095,137,479.67 worth of relief assistance has been provided to the affected families by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), local government units, and non-government organizations.

As this developed, newly-appointed presidential assistant for rehabilitation and recovery Panfilo “Ping” Lacson visited several typhoon-hit areas in the Visayas on Friday.

Lacson’s first stop was Guiuan, Eastern Samar where he saw firsthand the devastation left by super typhoon “Yolanda,” which struck central Philippines last November 8.

Lacson also talked to officials and survivors in Palo, Leyte then headed for Ormoc and Tacloban.

Lacson also visited Eastern Visayas last Friday to assess the extent of typhoon damage and meet with local officials of several affected local government units.

In an interview with media, Lacson stressed that they target to implement the actual implementation of the rehabilitation either February or March as they are still threshing out some minor details.

He assured that there is enough fund for the rehabilitation amounting to around P170 billion.

Nonetheless, Lacson said that he was thinking of utilizing the “adoption system” as he underscored his plan to integrate the private sector in rehabilitation efforts of typhoon-hit areas.

Lacson said he mulled holding a summit with the private sector to get their actual commitment “to help directly in the rehabilitation.”

“We won’t meddle in the handling of their funds, they will go direct to the places they want to adopt and rehabilitate,” he said.

He added that what they have to do is “synchronize, integrate all the efforts and coordinate with all these people.”

Funds from foreign non-government organizations that are interested may be transferred directly to foundations.

Lacson announced that they already have development sponsors for Guiuan, Eastern Samar, Ormoc City in Leyte and northern Cebu. Gina Peralta-Elorde


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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