Palace denies 'canceling' Aquino's Davao Oriental trip

AFTER THE STORM. Palace denies the turnover of houses for Typhoon Pablo survivors were cancelled due to President Aquino's 'cancelled' trip. Photo by Karlos Manlupig/Rappler

AFTER THE STORM. Palace denies the turnover of houses for Typhoon Pablo survivors were cancelled due to President Aquino's 'cancelled' trip.

Photo by Karlos Manlupig/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Sunday, December 8 denied reports that the turnover of houses for victims of Typhoon Pablo (Bopha) was postponed due to President Benigno Aquino III's purportedly cancelled visit 

In the first place, the President had no scheduled trip to Davao Oriental that day, the Palace said. 

"Wala pong nakatakdang pagtungo doon si Pangulong Aquino. Hindi po naitakda ang pagpunta ng Pangulo sa Davao Oriental noong nakaraang linggo dahil sa opisyal na pagdalaw, state visit ni Pangulong Thein Sein ng Myanmar at dahil din sa pakikipagpulong ng Pangulo sa mga miyembro ng Gabinete hinggil sa pagpapabilis ng iba’t ibang programa sa rehabilitasyon ng mga lugar ng kalamidad," Communications Secretary Herminio "Sonny" Coloma Jr told government-run radio dzRB. 

(President Aquino had no scheduled trip. He was not set to go to Davao Oriental last week because of the official state visit of President Thein Sein of Myanmar and also because of the President's meetings with Cabinet members about the fast-tracking of different programs for the rehabilitation of calamity areas.)

The turnover of houses for those who lost their homes during Typhoon Pablo eventually pushed through, according to Malacañang.  

On Wednesday, December 4, residents of Cateel waited for Aquino to grace the turnover ceremonies for their new houses. 

When it was clear that Aquino would not show up, Davao Oriental Gov Corazon Malanyaon told reporters that the turnover had been postponed because Aquino could not make it to Cateel. Malanyaon said it would push through once Aquino visits the province. 

Coloma said Malanyaon sent a text message to Social Welfare and Development Secretary Dinky Soliman clarifying the status of the turnover. 

"Nakipag-ugnayan po si Governor Corazon Malanyaon ng Davao Oriental at nilinaw po niya na natuloy ang turnover ng mga bahay sa Davao Oriental noong nakaraang araw po at wala naman pong katotohanan iyong ulat na hindi ito natuloy dahil sa diumanong hindi pagpunta ni Pangulong Aquino," Coloma said. 

(Governor Corazon Malanyaon of Davao Oriental coordinated with us and she clarified that the turnover of houses in Davao Oriental over the past few days pushed through and there is no truth to reports that it did not push through because President Aquino did not attend the ceremony.) – Rappler.com