Unused donated funds for calamity victims, Aquino’s legacy of criminal negligence – Anakpawis

Typhoon Yolanda victims protest in January 2014, Tacloban, Leyte. Photo by Tudla Productions.

Typhoon Yolanda victims protest in January 2014, Tacloban, Leyte. Photo by Tudla Productions.

MANILA, Philippines – The militant Anakpawis Party-list expressed resentment over the unused donated funds for calamity victims since 2008 as reported by the Commission on Audit on the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) and blamed the Aquino administration for criminal negligence. OCD is under the Department of National Defense (DND) making it under the president’s supervisory powers and responsibility.

“Hindi mailalarawan ang galit ng mga biktima ng mga nagdaang bagyo sa kriminal na kapabayaan ng gubyernong Aquino, ang daming namatay, nagutom, nagtiis sa tent, sa mga kubol, nabaon sa utang at nawalan ng mga sakahan, at iba pang hirap, pero nakatengga pala ang mga pondong dinonate para sa kanila, kailangan itong panagutan ni Aquino,” (The rage of typoon victims is indescribable over the Aquino government’s criminal negligence, many have died, starved, endured living in tents, make-shift camps, went bankrupt and lost their farms and other hardships, but we are to discover that the donations supposed to help them are hoarded, the Aquino government should be held responsible for this mercilessness) Anakpawis Representative Fernando “Ka Pando” Hicap said in a statement.

Of the 12 incidents COA reported since 2008, 9 were weather-related since typhoon Frank in June 2008 to typhoon Yolanda in November 2013, the Bohol earthquake in October 2013, the Zamboanga siege in September 2013 and 1 classified as “various disasters.” Only P81 million of the P466 million donations were spent by the OCD, or a big chunk of 83% or P385 million are deposited in the Development Bank of the Philippines, already earning an interest of P1.7 million.

“Pati mga donasyon sa bagyong Ondoy-Pepeng, Pablo at Yolanda, hindi ipinamigay sa mga biktima, samantalang kinilala na nga sa buong mundo na napakalaki ng danyos ng mga ito sa mamamayan at sa bansa, may nalalaman pang pa-dema-demanda ang gubyerno sa mga biktima ng bagyong Pablo sa organisadong pagkuha nila ng relief sa DSWD office sa Davao, at ang ESA para sa mga biktima ng bagyong Yolanda, nagmamayabang pa ang DSWD na malapit na raw ang full accomplishment nito, samantalang magdadalawang taon na ang lumipas at matagal na itong hindi emergency,” (Even the donations for the victims of typhoon Ondoy-Pepeng, Pablo and Yolanda were not distributed to the victims, though, they were considered by the international community to be most damaging to the people and country, the government even had the stomach to file charges against typhoon Pablo victims when they organized to claim the relief from the DSWD office in Davao, and the Emergency Shelter Assistance for typhoon Yolanda victims, DSWD had the audacity of claiming distribution would be soon fully accomplished when 2 years had passed and it is long ago not an emergency assistance) Hicap said.

Anakpawis has long been demanding the due assistance to typhoon victims as they were majorly from the poor sectors such as the farmers, workers, fisherfolk, indigenous peoples and urban poor.

Hicap has filed a number of house resolutions concerning the rehabilitation efforts of the Aquino government on Yolanda-hit areas, such as the
• House Resolution No. 669, the investigation on the alleged over-priced bunkhouses constructed in Eastern Visayas;
• House Resolution No. 947, investigation on “no build, no dwell zone” policy;
• House Resolution No. 1950, investigation on the damage assessment of typhoon Ruby and Seniang on Yolanda-hit areas; and
• House Resolution No. 2322 that calls for a congressional investigation, into the delays in the implementation of the ESA program for typhoon Yolanda victims allegedly brought about by the DSWD unreasonably restrictive guidelines such as its Memorandum Circular No. 24.

Anakpawis said as it has been pressing for, not to donate through government agencies as they would likely not reach the calamity victims. A week from now, November 8, would be the 2nd anniversary of the devastation of typhoon Yolanda wrought in the Visayas.

“Kondenahin nating lahat ang kriminal na kapabayaan na ito, ito ay hindi maitatatwang patunay na isang malaking sinungaling si Aquino nang sabihin niyang inaalala niya ang mga biktima, hindi dapat bitiwan ng mamamayan ang paniningil sa kanya, laluna pag-alis niya sa pwesto,” (Let us all condemn this criminal negligence, this is irrefutable proof that Aquino is a big fraud when he claimed concern of calamity victims, the people must continue to hold him accountable, especially when he leaves his post as president) Hicap said. ###

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