^

'We will extend help first before any probe'

- Delon Porcalla () - December 19, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - First things first. Malacañang said yesterday it would focus first on extending help to the victims of flashfloods in Mindanao before any investigation on where the culpability lies for the tragedy that left hundreds dead.

“At this point, we should not focus first on accountability but rather on helping the victims. Liability can be determined later. We have conflicting reports,” Undersecretary Abigail Valte said in an interview over state-run radio station dzRB.

Valte said there have been adequate warnings from as early as Dec. 14, but that the residents refused to heed the government agencies’ advisories.

“We have people on the ground saying that there was an adequate warning but the residents did not heed it,” she said.

“I also remember there was an interview of Congressman Rufus Rodriguez of CDO (Cagayan de Oro) that yes, they were warned and this happened,” she said.

She refused to say whether heads would roll on this particular issue.

“Let’s see. At this point, as I said, allow me to reiterate that we would like to concentrate first on rendering assistance. The usual assessment will come after,” Valte said.

Meanwhile, President Aquino will be holding a Cabinet meeting today to map out plans on how to extend assistance to Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City, which were hardest hit by the flashfloods last Friday.

The President will also most probably visit Cagayan de Oro and Iligan tomorrow following visits made by the Presidential Management Staff in the areas devastated by typhoon “Sendong.”

Valte confirmed the presidential visit, although she still had no idea when this would be.

“It will be forthcoming. We just cannot tell you about the schedule but the President wants to make sure that the national agencies that are coordinating with the agencies on the ground have a concerted plan and concerted actions in place,” Valte added.

Already, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said they have sent or airlifted via C-130 military plane potable water to Cagayan de Oro yesterday, adding that Maynilad Water Inc. has offered 1,500 pieces of 500-milliliter water bottles to the area as well.

The Philippine Red Cross, for its part, has offered its water bladders.

Valte reassured the victims that help is on the way, and that the national government has deployed search and rescue teams to the affected areas, where the Armed Forces and the Philippine National Police are also coordinating with local government units for relief operations.

ARMED FORCES AND THE PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE CONGRESSMAN RUFUS RODRIGUEZ EDWIN LACIERDA MAYNILAD WATER INC ORO ORO AND ILIGAN ORO AND ILIGAN CITY PHILIPPINE RED CROSS PRESIDENT AQUINO PRESIDENTIAL MANAGEMENT STAFF VALTE
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with