Two C-130 planes will head to Samar after Ruby
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine military has prepared to fly two C-130 cargo planes to Samar immediately after Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit) leaves the Philippines.
Once cleared to fly, military aircraft will proceed to Samar to bring relief goods and provide the necessary services, Armed Forces chief General Gregorio Catapang Jr said in a briefing less than 24 hours before the typhoon was expected to hit land.
"Two C-130 planes will come in from Villamor Airbase and Clark Airbase. They will go initially to Samar to assess the situation and bring in relief goods and services for the people of Samar," Catapang said.
Catapang added this is assurance that relief will come. "We want to tell our people that relief goods will be coming. There's no need to loot or take the law into their own hands. We will immediately provide the needed relief goods as soon as the weather clears," Catapang said.
Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas is now in Borongan, Samar as part of the government's advance party in the province where Ruby is projected to make landfall. Catapang said the military will follow the cue of Roxas, who will be "orchestrating things to be done in the area."
Cebu was also identified as the operational hub for Typhoon Ruby. It will be faster to move relief goods from Cebu to nearby provinces in the Visayas.
No more looting
Government preparations are focused on the vulnerable provinces of Eastern Visayas on the same path of Typhoon Yolanda, the world's most powerful typhoon to hit land. It flattened parts of Central Visayas and killed more than 6,000 people.
Catapang also assured businessmen that the ugly incidents of looting that happened in the aftermath of Yolanda because of slow government response will not happen again.
Catapang said troops and military trucks, V-150s in particular, have been roaming to assure businessmen that no looting will happen.
The AFP raised the red alert status on Thursday. "We are on red alert. The entire armed forces is being mobilized for this typhoon," Catapang said.
Areas outside the center of the typhoon path – including Tarlac-based Northern Luzon Command, Palawan-based Western Command, and Metro Manila's Joint Task Force NCR – were also ordered to "prepare for the worst," said Catapang.
"I told them to prepare a plan, a worst case scenario plan, just in case doon dumaan sa AOR (area of operations) nila," he said. – Rappler.com