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By Mahar Mangahas
Both of this week’s two releases of the first findings from the fourth-quarter 2013 Social Weather Survey showed steadiness in the sentiments of the Filipino people, despite the horrendous suffering and damage recently wrought by Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”
By Julie Hall
Accustomed though it is to disasters, the Philippines has taken an extraordinary pummeling in recent months and endured more than its normal portion of pain and distress.
By Dante Dalabajan
The past few months were notable for the bad news that hogged the headlines. One—noteworthy for the amount of money it involved and the big names it has so far implicated—was the pork barrel scandal. Predictably, the scandal has moved the chattering classes to circle the wagons against the thieves of taxpayers’ money. But while it is indeed an issue of taxpayers’ money, it is equally true that it is an issue of money taken away from poor farmers and fishers who were used as a ruse to steal us blind.
It now appears that the Aquino administration is indeed neglecting the victims of Typhoon “Pablo.” The spotlight is now on the young students among these victims: They are starting the new school year in tents provided by Unicef, using school materials that reportedly have been “scavenged.”
This is in reaction to the editorial “Hunger” (Inquirer, 3/2/13) which stated that “The raid (last Feb. 26) on the regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Davao City would not have happened had national and local officials been sensitive to the situation of the survivors of Typhoon ‘Pablo’ from Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental.”
We commend as well as thank the Inquirer for giving a more accurate, rational and compassionate account of the protest of Typhoon “Pablo” survivors at the Department of Social Welfare and Development office in Davao (“Hunger,” Inquirer, 3/2/13).
The Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM) condemns the violent dispersal by the Davao City police of Typhoon “Pablo” survivors who massed up at the Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Office in Davao City, to demand the immediate release of relief goods due them. The excessive use of force on the disaster victims, which included the use of snipers and high-powered rifles, defies legal and moral justification.
The raid on Tuesday of the regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Davao City would not have happened had national and local officials been sensitive to the situation of the survivors of Typhoon “Pablo” from Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental. Complaining of hunger and neglect, the survivors belonging to the group Barug Katawhan forced their way into the office and made off with sacks of rice and other relief goods. (Spokesperson Karlos Trangia was reported as assiduously listing the stuff carted away, from 52 sacks of rice down to a single can of biscuits.) The police later wrested back the goods taken, resulting in injuries to a number of people.
By AMF Lagmay
, E Colmenares
, J Alconis
, J Mendoza
, J Santiago
, K Rodolfo
, L Minimo
, MJ Gonzales
, RN Eco
, RW Serrado
, T Herrero
On December 4, 2012, Typhoon “Pablo” (international name “Bopha”) made landfall in Mindanao. Classified as a Category 5 typhoon by US meteorological experts, Pablo packed winds with an average speed of 185 kilometers per hour (kph) and gusts reaching 210 kph. Pablo’s eye crossed Mindanao through Davao Oriental, Compostela Valley, Agusan del Sur, Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental.
By Carlos Isagani T. Zarate
The recent filing of criminal charges by the police authorities in Compostela Valley province against some survivors of Typhoon “Pablo” and leaders of people’s organizations who protested the lethargic relief operations in the devastated areas of Mindanao is nothing but a shameless, insensitive attempt to cover up sheer government incompetence. Worse, it is tantamount to criminalizing the hunger and misery of typhoon survivors.
First of all, I wish to recognize and express appreciation for the Inquirer’s professionalism and comprehensive coverage that highlighted the humanitarian impact of Typhoon “Pablo” in the affected areas of eastern and northeastern Mindanao. We would like to also thank the Inquirer for giving prominence to the story “Storm victims get $4M in fresh aid,” under the bylines of Ayan Mellejor and Allan Nawal (Inquirer, 1/20/13).
By Juan L. Mercado
The Year 2012 is now almost out the door. Was it an undiluted “Annus Horribilis” or “Year of Horrors”? Queen Elizabeth II dusted off that phrase in a 1992 address. Fire had gutted parts of Windsor Palace, and family scandals were capped by the Prince of Wales separating from Princess Diana.