Viral: Mar falls off motorcycle in Samar
Aurea Calica (The Philippine Star) - December 9, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - A photo showing Local Government Secretary Manuel Roxas II taking a spill has created a buzz on social media, with some netizens bashing him yesterday.

Roxas, who is leading the national government frontline team in Eastern Samar that was battered by Typhoon Ruby, was photographed falling from a motorcycle after an inspection of the damage in Taft, Samar. The photo was posted Sunday night.

While some said they did not care, Makoy Pare (@ShowbizBro) tweeted: “That moment when DILG secretary Mar Roxas rides a motorcycle without a helmet, tapos sumemplang siya…”

Pinoymommy (@pinoymommy) tweeted the roads must be slippery and hoped Roxas was not hurt, to which journalist Christine Herrera ( @cfherrera_mst) quipped: “Slippery when wet.”

Ibba Rasul Bernardo, who identified himself as CEO at Sari Software Solutions, posted on Facebook: “I’m not a huge fan of (Secretary) Roxas but kudos for riding during a storm to try and help out. With all sorts of debris scattered on the road ain’t easy. I hate to nitpick but being the former (secretary) of the Department of Transportation and Communications he should know better than to not wear a helmet (for) safety and it violates a law that he’s supposed to uphold.” 

Some jeered at Roxas, believing it was a political act from the administration’s presumptive standard-bearer in the 2016 presidential elections.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte appealed to the public not to put color to Roxas’ freak accident.

Valte said not all roads were passable because of trees that fell and other blockades, thus Roxas deemed it best to ride the motorcycle.

“The trip from Borongan to Dolores is 65 kilometers… And sometimes the mode of transportation is the only way to be able to move forward. We should be thankful the secretary was not hurt,” she said.

Gov’t social media accounts

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) has created various social media accounts to coordinate information exchange and response on the effects of the typhoon.

Managed by the NDRRMC’s Ruby Response Cluster, the Twitter (@rubyresponse) and Facebook accounts (Ruby Response Cluster) allow Internet users to request or share information in connection with the typhoon.

A separate web page in the Official Gazette ( said the social media accounts would be the central hub to which all typhoon-related concerns may be coursed.

Based on the infographic on the website, all information sent through the hotlines and other communication tools of the government will be encoded into a unified information system by a data capture team, composed of civilians and government workers.

From there, the information will be forwarded to traffic or action officers, who will then relay it to a concerned government agency that will initiate response.

Government agencies and civil society organizations have initiated #RubyPH and #RubyResponse hashtags to coordinate information exchange on the Internet. 

Netizens’ help

Sen. Bam Aquino cited the role played by netizens in mitigating the effects of natural calamities such as typhoons. 

He said netizens can help disseminate relevant news to others though social media by using the right hashtags to get the message across.

“Let us share relevant information to our social media circles – storm signal warnings, emergency tips, monitoring of rescue operations, and call for volunteers for relief operations,” Aquino said.

“We can harness the vast power of social media and the Internet to help save lives of fellow Filipinos who are in danger during calamities and other incidents,” he added. –With Christina Mendez, Janvic Mateo


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