‘Pablo’ survivors block Compostela Valley road

(The Philippine Star) - January 16, 2013 - 12:00am

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Close to 1,000 survivors of super typhoon “Pablo” blocked yesterday morning the national highway linking Davao City to the eastern part of Mindanao, stranding commuters in the town proper of Montevista in Compostela Valley.

The protesters purposely set up the road blockade to seek the attention of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Soliman who was then on her way to Barangay Andap in New Bataan town for ceremonies marking the 40th day of Pablo’s onslaught that claimed the lives of more than 1,000 people and left 500 others missing.

Soliman was accompanied by the ambassadors of Spain, New Zealand and Australia and officials of other international funding agencies.

“The ambassadors were able to proceed to New Bataan passing through another route and not through the national highway in Montevista where the protesters blocked the road,” said Priscilla Razon, acting DSWD-Region 11 director.

Compostela Valley Gov. Arthur Uy and Razon said the protesters belong to militant groups such as the Kilusang Mayo Uno, Anakpawis and Bayan Muna who complained that relief goods have not reached Pablo victims in Davao Oriental, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur and Davao del Norte.

The protesters also demanded that all large-scale mining companies on Mt. Diwata pull out immediately while all logging permits in the area should be cancelled.

The protesters also asked the government to make the Valderama group of companies accountable for the devastation in the southeastern part of Mindanao as a result of Pablo.

They agreed to lift the road blockade provided they would negotiate only with Soliman and Uy.

They also asked that electricity be fully restored in Pablo-hit areas, and decried the lack of government support in terms of construction materials for the affected families.

Uy said the protesters also demanded that they be given relief goods that they themselves would distribute in the affected areas without the help of the local governments and the DSWD.

ANAKPAWIS AND BAYAN MUNA ARTHUR UY AND RAZON BARANGAY ANDAP COMPOSTELA VALLEY COMPOSTELA VALLEY GOV DAVAO CITY DAVAO ORIENTAL DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE AND DEVELOPMENT KILUSANG MAYO UNO MINDANAO NEW BATAAN
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