On the second day of the “TINDOG VISAYAS: Lakbayan laban sa Kagutuman at Militarisasyon” here in Metro Manila, Yolanda survivors from Eastern Visayas stormed the residence of former President Benigno Simeon Aquino III in Times Street, Quezon City to demand accountability over his administration’s criminal neglect against the victims, alleged corruption of Yolanda funds, incompetence and its poor disaster preparedness and rehabilitation efforts.
“If Noynoy thinks that he’s off the hook, then he’s badly mistaken,” said Dr. Efleda Bautista, Chairperson, People Surge, the largest alliance of calamity survivors all over the country.
“Thousands of our brothers and sisters died during the onslaught of super typhoon Yolanda because of the many loopholes in the disaster preparedness measures implemented by the government. After Yolanda, we were faced with a criminally negligent administration who indulged in so much politicking instead of giving us immediate relief and assistance,” Bautista added.
“We were victimized by the Aquino administration, a few times over. First, is the questionable use and misuse of billions of donations and government funds supposedly provided for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of Yolanda-hit areas. With the outpouring of foreign aid and the P20-billion rehabilitation supplemental budget in 2014, and the P23.84 billion Disbursement Acceleration Program allocations for disaster projects, why is that we still even have to haggle with for example the Emergency Shelter Assistance, as if our very survival is negotiable?”
“Aquino and his cohorts saw the people’s misery as nothing but a very lucrative business venture as evidenced by the privatization of the implementation of its already flawed rehabilitaion program. While disaster victims languished in coffin-like resettlement houses, Aquino and his gang bagged millions of the rehab fund,” said Bautista.
“We will never let this pass and even if his term as president has already ended, he still has time left to be served—in a cold, hard cell where criminals and corrupt officials like him should be,” said Bautista. “The same goes out to then secretaries, Dinky Soliman (DSWD), Mar Roxas (DILG), Jericho Petilla (DOE) and rehab czar Panfilo Lacson. We demand that President Duterte mete out the necessary and just punishment for these top-ranking officials who made Yolanda survivors lives’ a living nightmare. A lot of our brothers and sisters died, a lot of rehab fund disappeared from thin air– these people have to answer for that,” ended Bautista.
DR. EFLEDA BAUTISTA
Chairperson, People Surge