I was not in Tacloban when Yolanda happened, I was not even home yet, but I have relatives and friends who were unfortunate to have witnessed such devastating calamity – unfortunate because they had to go through something so horrifying but on the other hand, I guess they were so blessed as well to have survived and be given the chance to start over when that storm surge indiscriminately took away thousands of lives. Few months after that, I went back to the province for the first time after my semester in UP Baguio ended and was so disheartened by the state of Tacloban when I arrived: the air was filled with stench I cannot even fully describe, the soil was dark and filled with bits and pieces of garbages, there were infrastructures you can barely call a house, tents and make-shift comfort rooms were scattered everywhere. The city was basically torn into pieces.

And now months after the nightmare, a presidential candidate boasts of his accomplishments in order to secure the votes of the public by highlighting his so-claimed heroic aid to the people of Tacloban during Yolanda in every debates he attends to. What is even worse is that his supporters, or so he denies spearheading the publication, decided to write a comic book glorifying these claimed acts and this presidetiable lauds its supposed accuracy.

If you are truly sensitive to the plight of the victims, how can you even fathom to boast of the help you supposedly gave to Tacloban when it is your job in the first place as the DILG secretary? How can you take advantage of such heartbreaking incident as a campaign propaganda for the national elections to work on your favor?

In the first place, how can you even mention Yolanda when the victims themselves, at least the people from Tacloban that I know, despise the slow and inefficient rehabilatition programs (or lack thereof) of our own government after the storm surge hit the province? Even reports from CNN blatantly mentioned how problematic were the coordination and control of our government in response to the disaster.

But there you are, drawing whichever cards can work in your favor just because you need it. The way you frequently use the storm surge in Presidential debates must have irked a lot of victims I know. You burden them with statistics when the reality they face is far from the numbers you claim. But well good luck to you and your plans – I will be looking forward to the number of votes that the people of Tacloban and the rest of the provinces hit by Yolanda, who are supposedly very appreciative and thankful for your heroism, will be giving you this election.


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