Yolanda survivors to Duterte: We demand justice
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – Yolanda survivors and activists of the People Surge Alliance of Disaster Survivors in Eastern Visayas urged President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday, November 8, to prioritize issues still neglected and unresolved three years after Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
With the devastation that struck Eastern Visayas, the demands for justice over the persisting crises and accountability remain elusive for disaster victims.
Representatives from Gabriela, Northern Samar Small Farmers’ Association (NASFA), KAPAWA, KAPAS, ACT-EV, ACT Teacher Partylist, LFS-EV, Katungod Sinirangan Visayas and other civic groups presented their concerns during the protest.
Secretary General of People Surge Marissa Cabaljao stated that protestors came from areas as far as Northern Samar, Southern Leyte, Western Samar, Leyte Province and Biliran Island.
“Nagpadala tayo ng representasyon ng mga Yolanda survivors upang ihapag yung mga demanda tungkol sa kalagayan ng mga nasalanta ng bagyong Yolanda at iba pang mga kalamidad matapos ang tatlong taon,” Calbajao added.
(We sent representatives of Yolanda survivors to lay down the demands about the situation of those affected by the super typhoon and other calamities after three years.)
Disaster survivors demanded that the current administration address the pervading hunger, poverty, and militarization in the affected communities.
The protestors also called for food, shelter, agriculture and livelihood assistance, free public services provision such as that of resettlement areas, and moratorium on projects and programs that threaten displacement of survivors.
“May patuloy na diskriminasyon sa kung ano ang dapat na matanggap ng mga nasalanta ng bagyong Yolanda na mga ayuda galing sa gobyerno, lalo na yung Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA),” Calbajao, who is also the organizer of the event, stressed. (There is a continuous discrimination on what relief Yolanda victims should receive, especially the ESA.)
The survivors want the former administration to be held accountable for the perpetuated injustices and criminal neglect committed to them – such as the alleged failure to give access to free, safe, decent and adequate shelters for many survivors.
Yolanda ravaged the Visayas in November 2013, leaving more than 6,000 dead and billions worth of damage. Eastern Visayas, where the storm made landfall experienced the full force of the super typhoon. – Rappler.com