Aquino asked to declare ‘martial law’ in Tacloban
City officials say the declaration of a state of emergency or martial law will prevent anarchy in the city

CHAOS. Widespread looting occurs in Tacloban city. Photo by EPA/Francis Malasig

TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines (UPDATED) – Tacloban officials are urging President Benigno Aquino III to declare a state of emergency in the city, and if needed, martial law, after the devastation caused by Super Typhoon Yolanda (international codename Haiyan).

Such declaration will prevent anarchy, according to Vice Mayor Jerry Yaokasin, who reported that widespread looting is already taking place.

Yaokasin made the appeal in a meeting with the President and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council here Sunday, November 10.

City Administrator Tecson Lim echoed Yaokasin’s concern.

The President, however, said the city council must first pass a resolution to that effect and establish there is threat of violence or anarchy. He added he is ready to act on the resolution as long as it’s endorsed by the city mayor and the representative of the first district, where Tacloban is situated.

Aquino was reported to have walked out of a briefing with local and national officials Sunday, dismayed with the level of response to the typhoon. He returned to the meeting shortly after. Communications Assistant Secretary Rey Marfil later denied Aquino walked out, saying the President only took a bathroom break.  

Chaos in the city

Tacloban was the hardest hit based on initial reports. At least 100 people died in the city, and more reports of casualties are expected as officials continue to assess the damage.

There’s widespread looting in malls and establishments as residents scrounge for food and any useful material to help them survive the aftermath of the typhoon.

Rappler reported on Sunday that gunshots were fired outside a jail near the city hall after some prisoners attempted to escape. According to one jail officer, they have recaptured the prisoners. 

The government has deployed additional police and military personnel to Tacloban to augment security forces in the city and aid in disaster response efforts. –


Get the latest info on the status of areas affected by typhoon Yolanda (international codename: Haiyan).

Help the victims of Yolanda. Visit Rappler’s list of ongoing relief operations in your area. Tell us about your relief and recovery initiatives, email or tweet us @moveph.

Visit for the latest updates on Typhoon Yolanda.


More from our coverage:

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.