A few hours after typhoon “Ruby” made a landfall in Eastern Visayas, national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condemned the Aquino government’s measures and said the latter learned the “wrong lessons” from the country’s experience with supertyphoon “Yolanda.”
The labor group said providing a stark contrast to the government’s measures are the mass evacuations and other preparations undertaken by ordinary Filipinos and local governments in areas that are on Ruby’s path.
“The Aquino government’s actions in the face of Ruby are no different from its actions in the face of Yolanda. It left ordinary people on their own, protected the interest of big capitalists, and prioritized publicity operations,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.
The labor leader cited reports from disaster victims’ network People Surge which say that the government refused to give food relief to many evacuation centers, demolished poor people’s homes near the coastal areas, and sent military and police forces to protect the malls in Eastern Visayas.
He said Pres. Noynoy Aquino and Department of Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas were always on radio and television in trying to make it appear that they are on top of the situation without actually helping ordinary Filipinos in affected areas.
“The least the government could do is help ordinary Filipinos who are already helping themselves. It is however still too obsessed with attacking the poor by trying to prevent what it called ‘looting’ and upholding its ‘no build zones’ to actually do something to help the poor,” Labog added.
The labor center also condemned the Aquino government for refusing to release the huge international aid donated to the victims of supertyphoon Yolanda before typhoon Ruby hit the country.
“It is revolting that so little of the international aid that poured in in the aftermath of Yolanda made an impact on the lives of ordinary Filipinos in Eastern Visayas. There was no rehabilitation one year after the supertyphoon struck and no food relief hours before Ruby struck. The people of Eastern Visayas are in a worse situation now,” Labog stated.
The labor leader said unlike Aquino, employees of the country’s weather bureau PAGASA showed hard work and competence in studying typhoon Ruby’s path and updating the public non-stop about the typhoon’s path and effects.
Reference: Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson, 0908-1636597