Why Mar Roxas’ photo was in a Cabinet meeting slide

Pia Ranada

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Why Mar Roxas’ photo was in a Cabinet meeting slide
Mar Roxas' previous statement about the lack of command and control during the Yolanda crisis is quoted during a Cabinet meeting presentation on the creation of a new disaster response agency

Netizens did a double take when a photo of the Cabinet meeting on Monday, July 9, showed a slide presentation with the face of former interior secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II.

The photo, posted on Facebook by Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol, showed a smiling Roxas wearing a yellow and black Liberal Party shirt. The text beside the photo was illegible.

Two sources present at the meeting told Rappler that Roxas was mentioned in connection with disaster management. In particular, a presentation about the need to create a new disaster response agency used remarks he made in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

“He was just quoted on his statement about the lack of command and control during the Yolanda crisis. Nothing bad about him,” said one source.

The second source confirmed this.

The Roxas quote was used to illustrate the many problems that arise after a calamity when there is no coordination among government agencies.

Roxas was interior secretary when Yolanda ravaged swathes of the Visayas during the administration of Benigno Aquino III. 

Duterte hit Roxas, one of his rivals for the 2016 presidency, for his supposed incompetence in post-Yolanda relief efforts.

Roxas placed second in the presidential race, losing to Duterte by 6 million votes.

The proposal to create a stronger agency for disaster management had been tackled even before the Duterte administration.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director Ricardo Jalad himself is pushing for the establishment of a department to be named the Civil Defense Authority (CDA) to be given both policy and implementing powers. 

The goal is to streamline all disaster management efforts for quicker response to human-made and natural calamities. – Rappler.com

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Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is Rappler’s Community Lead, in charge of linking our journalism with communities for impact.