TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – Vice President Jejomar Binay and other opposition figures mark the second anniversary of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) by criticizing the Aquino administration for the slow rehabilitation program.
The opposition standard-bearer, Binay visits typhoon-hit Leyte to campaign and to check on the condition of the survivors. Two years after the tragedy and on the eve of presidential polls, politics and a blame game still mar the response to the disaster.
Ayee Macaraig filed this video blog.
Super Typhoon Yolanda or Haiyan becomes a rallying force that unites opposition figures.
Vice President Jejomar Binay, Senator Bongbong Marcos, Senator Gringo Honasan and Leyte Representative Martin Romualdez come together here in Tacloban and criticize the Aquino administration for what they call a second disaster for Yolanda survivors – the supposedly slow and disorganized rehabilitation program.
On the second anniversary of the monster typhoon that killed over 6,000 people, the anti-Aquino politicians lead the commemorative events where administration officials are a no-show.
Binay blasts what he calls disastrous management, but also faces questions on the gap in permanent shelter and his role as former housing czar.
JEJOMAR BINAY, VICE PRESIDENT: Ang naipagawa ay di namin kasalanan sa NHA. Ang pagpapagawa ay depende sa pag-release ng pera ng DBM, ni Secretary Abad. Ang nairelease namin yun ang naipagawa pero ang hindi naipagawa ay wala kasing binibigya na pera.
Leyte residents say their communities are able to recover, thanks largely to NGOs and international donors.
Many are still undecided on which presidential candidate will hasten the recovery program still at 51% two years on.
To some, administration standard-bearer Mar Roxas left a mark as former interior secretary over his pronouncements and alleged incompetence during Yolanda.
REYNALDO DIAZ, RESIDENT OF TABON-TABON, LEYTE: ‘Di raw makakatikim ng boto si Mar Roxas, particularly in Tacloban. Na-devastated, na-Yolanda kami tapos yun ang sasabihin niya, maraming namatay, dapat ‘di ganoon ang words na lalabas sa mouth niya na, ‘Bahala na kayo.’
Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez apologizes to President Aquino for the harsh words exchanged in the aftermath of Yolanda.
Then and now, dynastic and party rivalries figure into the response to the disaster.
As Yolanda becomes part of the 2016 election debate, the challenge for candidates is to make disaster risk reduction a policy issue, instead of resorting to the usual blame game that only ends in tragedy.
Ayee Macaraig, Rappler, Tacloban. – Rappler.com