Romualdez to PNoy, Mar: Let's reconcile this Christmas
TACLOBAN, Philippines - The mayor of Tacloban makes the first move to reconcile with the President and his Interior secretary.
The three had a word war over who was to blame for the dismally slow response in the aftermath of Yolanda.
Voltaire Tupaz reports.
MAR ROXAS, DILG SECRETARY: You have to understand you are a Romualdez, the president is an Aquino.
President Benigno Aquino sides with Secretary Roxas. He accuses Mayor Alfred Romualdez of spending more time talking to the media than managing the tragedy in Tacloban.
The Romualdez family is the longtime political rival of the Aquinos, an enmity that goes back 30 years. But in the spirit of Christmas, Romualdez wants to end their bitter word war over the alleged mishandling of the Yolanda tragedy.
ALFRED ROMUALDEZ, TACLOBAN CITY MAYOR: Tayo lang ang nagpapakita ng parang family feud sa buong mundo. Nakakahiya na. (It's only us who are displaying our family feud. It's a shame.) I move for honest and sincere reconciliation to everybody, but because what we do, the decisions we make, involve the lives of other people, we have to be careful.
More than a month after the devastating typhoon, victims are looking for more permanent solutions.
AMELIA ALCAIN, TYPHOON VICTIM: May-ada naman kami tent, iton kinahanglan balay na gud na permaninte. Kay di man (safety) kun sugad la hini. (We already have a tent. What we need now is a permanent shelter. Our condition now is not safe.)
By January 2014, Romualdez will present a plan to rehabilitation czar Ping Lacson - to whom he gives the benefit of the doubt.
ALFRED ROMUALDEZ, TACLOBAN CITY MAYOR: I think he’s a logical person and he thinks rationally and he will see that the ones performing and the ones doing the study are not just the local government.
Just the same, Romualdez is optimistic that the national government will still help Tacloban despite what has been said, no matter how insulting.
For Yolanda victims in Tacloban, the feud between Mayor Romualdez on one side and Secretary Roxas and the President on the other is the least of their concerns. All they want for Christmas are food, shelter, and goodwill to help them recover from the disaster.
Voltaire Tupaz, Rappler, Tacloban. - Rappler.com
The Long Road to Tacloban
Rappler has set up a base in Tacloban to gather stories in Leyte and Eastern Samar, especially in the towns and villages that sufficient aid and most media have yet to reach.
On November 14, they set out for Tacloban – by land – from our headquarters in Pasig City. The 36-hour trip took them through the provinces most heavily devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). Here, they shared with us what they saw along the way, capturing images of destruction and despair, narrating stories of anguish, hope, and heroism.
Their journey continues. They are finding people. The stories keep coming. Their and these people's voices are here.
Follow their story here
Help the victims of Typhoon Yolanda (international codename: Haiyan). Visit Rappler's list ofongoing relief operations in your area. Tell us about your relief and recovery initiatives, firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us @moveph
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Want to help? Read these:
- #ReliefPH: Victims of Typhoon Yolanda need your help
- #YolandaPH (Haiyan): Filipinos worldwide heed call to action
- Why Paypal may lock Haiyan relief accounts
- Yolanda (Typhoon Haiyan): Aid, donations for international community
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- #YolandaPH Person Finder: Looking for friends, relative in affected areas?
- Help map cell signals in areas affected by Yolanda