Philippine President Blames Local Tacloban Government for Relief Efforts Failure
When I first watched Christiane Amanpour’s CNN interview of President Benigno Aquino on CNN, I thought the president did an ok job of saying the politically correct things. It wasn’t the best interview in the world, but it wasn’t that bad neither. I’m sure all you critics have your own different analysis and opinions on this, but again, that’s just what I though, that it was ok. The only one thing really stood out for me in a negative way, was how it seemed like the president was blaming the local government for their lack of response.
Here are a few instances where it seemed as if President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino was pushing the blame a bit too much on the local government:
“Typhoons are not an unusual occurrence for the Philippines. We get visited by about 20 of them every year. … We have been able to demonstrate as a government and as a people collectively that we can take care of each other. And the government’s immediate response has been reassuring to the vast majority of people. Our ability to take care of our problems rather quickly, except in this case the foundation of our efforts rely on the local government units and of course, unfortunately, two or three of them were simply overwhelmed.”
“Our system says that the local government unit has to take care for the initial response. Unfortunately – – for instance in the case of Tacloban, police there assigned there are about 290 and only 20 of them were available when the disaster struck. Employees of the city government have been also affected, have been tending to their own families. And there have been very few who have been reporting for work. Hence, the national government had to not just augment what the local government could do, but actually replace a lot of the personnel with personnel from other regions to take care of government’s vital functions.”
”Well, we have deployed an additional 2,000 personnel to these affected areas to restore order. And again, the problem is, the main government unit, which is the local government unit acting as first responders failed to respond appropriately, then there was that breakdown. People became desperate and that’s why we are trying to fast track the situation where the national government takes over the local government functions so that order is restored and people are gained the confidence that their needs are being addressed and will be addressed fully.”
See the full interview here below:
CNN interviews Philippine President Benigno Aquino (PNOY) on super typhoon YOLANDA / HAIYAN
It made me irk a bit as I thought, well, of course they would not be able to respond, they were LITERALLY swept away by the floods and winds. In fact, a storm of this magnitude should have been better prepared for on a national level… But what do I know, I’m just a normal citizen.
One thing I wondered though is whether or not this blame game is politically motivated?
As I pondered on that question, I stumbled upon this older video clip of Kris Aquino, the president’s celebrity sister, campaigning in Tacloban city, for a different candidate. The current officials in Tacloban City are candidates from the other political group, not affiliated with President Aquino.
Kris Aquino campaigning in Tacloban City
What are your thoughts on this?
Anything worth thinking about or probably nothing?