Human rights organization Karapatan today said, “The BS Aquino government’s so-called relief operation in calamity areas is equally disastrous as typhoon Yolanda. It’s been almost a week since the typhoon struck but people still cry for water, food, medicine and shelter. People who survived the typhoon are dying because of the government inability to respond to the situation.”
“Ill-equipped in responding to the disastrous condition of the victims and survivors of typhoon Yolanda, the BS Aquino government turns its ire against the people, especially in Tacloban City, by deploying hundreds of police men and soldiers to contain ‘lawlessness and looting’,” said Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay.
Palabay further said that soldiers and police men, hundreds of them, were deployed in Tacloban City. Curfew was imposed and checkpoints were set up. “What’s next? This is another case of BS Aquino’s victim-blaming, not knowing it was his government’s inutilitythat drove people to find ways, on their own, to survive the situation,” she said.
Karapatan finds BS Aquino’s statement on November 10 “inappropriate and arrogant.” News reports quoted Aquino saying armored vehicles, as well as members of the Armed Forces, will be deployed in disaster areas to show ‘state power’.
“Amid the disaster, BS Aquino still finds time in attacking the victims, calling them looters and lawless. Meanwhile, Aquino’s spin doctors, apologists and paid hacks are busy urging people to stop criticizing BS Aquino and his government while alternately painting the typhoon survivors as zombies and security risks,” Palabay added.
Karapatan said the government is playing up lawlessness and looting among the victims of Yolanda to divert the nation’s attention and cover up its failure to immediately and effectively respond to the situation of the typhoon victims. “International and local aid are pouring in. It’s best the government focuses its efforts to facilitate aid provision to reach the intended beneficiaries as soon as possible instead of making up excuses and meeting people’s restiveness with restrictive and later, repressive measures,” said Palabay.
“As in the past, the Filipino people’s compassion and unity are manifested amid crisis. We call on the people to turn our collective frustration and anger into actions to demand accountability and for positive and meaningful change in the country, including a government responsive to the needs of the poor majority. We also thank the peoples of the world for their concern and support as we call on the people to be vigilant in ensuring these donations end up with the intended beneficiaries,” Palabay ended.
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