PH activists advised UN Chief not to rely on government reports on Yolanda
By Gerry Albert Corpuz and Franklin Roosevelt Dimaguiba
Manila, Philippines- Here is Philippine activists unsolicted advice to UN Secrerary General Ban Ki-moon: Don’t let yourself be fooled by the Aquino administration. This regime is a republic of charlattans.
The militant fisherfolk alliance Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) on Saturday warned the visiting United Nations (UN) top executive to undertake consultative meetings with the survivors and other sectors affected by super typhoon Yolanda concerning the rehabilitation of ravaged communities in Eastern Visayas and 34 other provinces.
In a press statement, Pamalakaya vice chairperson Salvador France said UN’s Ki-moon should not rely on and instead closely scrutinize the rehabilitation program the government of President Benigno Simeon Aquino III intends to do in the next three to four years in Samar and Leyte provinces.
“Government reports on Yolanda are deceiving and tattered with sinister agenda. It would be sound and proper to consult people’s organizations, farmers and fisherfolk associations and cooperatives and advocacy groups working with Yolanda stricken villages rather than get reports from the national government and its agencies whose rehabilitation plan is checkered with narrow interest and cruel intention in the name of big business groups and greedy capitalists,” the Pamalakaya official said.
France said the Php 500 billion rehabilitation plan of the Aquino government appears like a business opportunity for transnational corporations and profit-making establishments rather than a clear blueprint for genuine rehabilitation anchored on social justice.
“The rehabilitation plan of Aquino entices foreign and local business groups to perform business in Yolanda stricken areas by offering them P 500 billion worth of business opportunities and bail out packages at the expense of Filipino taxpayers and the 99 million population,” the Pamalakaya leader noted.
The influential UN leader arrived on Friday for talks with key leaders of the Aquino administration. Ki-moon is scheduled today to Tacloban to assess the damage of super typhoon Yolanda damage and ascertain response needs.
The UN last week launched a $791 million aid appeal to take care of the survivors’ needs over the next 12 months, an amount that UN said will complement the government’s rehabilitation plan.
The Philippine government had launched an $8.17 billion plan to rebuild the lives of millions made homeless by Super Typhoon Haiyan and strengthen the disaster-prone defenses of the country.
Pamalakaya said the rehabilitation plan in Eastern Visayas will raise further objections due to the appointment of former Senator. ” Mr. UN Secretary General just remember the dark years of Martial Law.
We raise this specter of the 20 years of the US backed Marcos dictatorship in rallying the people to oppose the appointment of Senator Panfilo Lacson as head of the government rehabilitation program in typhoon ravaged communities in Eastern Visayas.
Let the dark and gory years of Martial Law remind all of us that the appointment of Lacson to the post is tantamount to placing Yolanda devastated areas under police state,” Pamalakaya asserted.