LEGAZPI CITY, 8Nov2015 (BicolToday.com) — Youth group Anakbayan held a candle-lighting protest in Manila Friday, two years after super typhoon ‘Yolanda’ struck the country and killed thousands. The group called for justice and protested the Aquino government’s “criminal neglect, corruption and exploitation of typhoon victims.”
“It has been two years now after Yolanda, but the people are suffering from the bigger disaster that is the Aquino government. Instead of helping the victims, the government pocketed the funds allotted for the victims and paved the way for private contractors and big businesses to profit from the misery of our kababayans,” said Vencer Crisostomo, national chairperson of Anakbayan.
Recently, the government admitted that funds for Yolanda victims have been kept idle in bank accounts and have yet to be released like the P18 billion “emergency shelter assistance” funds. The Commission on Audit also said at least P382 million local and foreign cash donations for the victims were kept idle and locked in the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s bank accounts while P923M were kept idle in the Office of Civil Defense.
“The continuing neglect for the welfare of victims of Yolanda shows the heartlessness of the Aquino ‘tuwid na daan’ government,” he said.
He also assailed the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meeting and said it is “using the disaster victims” to further its anti-people and neoliberal agenda.
“The failed Yolanda rehabilitation aimed to benefit big business and corrupt bureucrats is proof of the failure of the APEC-type model of ‘disaster management’ and ‘disaster resiliency’. Is this what they are set to adopt for the region? To use the disaster victims for their neoliberal agenda is an insult to Filipinos especially the Yolanda victims,” he said.
One of the main topics of the APEC meeting set in the Philippines next week is “disaster risk reduction and resiliency.”
“Biktima na nga, binibiktima pa ulit. Hindi na nga tinulungan, ginagamit pa. Aquino and Roxas should be jailed for their crimes against the Yolanda victims,” he said. [BicolToday.com]