There may be “fake news” surrounding the misuse of government funds following Super Typhoon Yolanda, but the public must not forget the government’s incompetence and negligence during the crisis, broadcast journalist and senatorial candidate Jiggy Manicad said yesterday.
Manicad issued the statement following a warning by former interior secretary Mar Roxas that the public should beware of fake news surrounding the Yolanda funds. Both men are running for a Senate seat.
Manicad, who worked for GMA-7 television network, said he and his crew were in Leyte when Yolanda hit.
“We thought we were going to die. We were the first and only network to go live then. To the horror of the victims in the hours, days following the typhoon, wala pa ring tulong. Konti pa lang ang rumeresponde (no help arrived. Few responded),” he said.
Manicad said reporters and officials of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, then headed by Roxas, “all knew the biggest typhoon on record was coming” but the DILG still missed on supplying water, electricity and food immediately after the typhoon.
“One could clearly point out the lack of structure and coordination. It took days sometimes just for bodies to be picked up, for some areas to receive water. The people were already stealing and hurting each other,” Manicad said.
On Thursday, Roxas’ spokesman Caloocan Rep. Edgar Erice said in a statement that the testimony of Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who was appointed Yolanda rehabilitation czar in 2013, clearing Roxas of fund misuse dispelled any fake news on the issue.
Manicad called on the government to “heed the lessons of Yolanda” in preparing for future natural disasters that could be aggravated by climate change.