Thursday, June 20, 2024
HomePress ReleaseMayor Baste Duterte Rebuts President Marcos’ Remarks on Yolanda Recovery Efforts

Mayor Baste Duterte Rebuts President Marcos’ Remarks on Yolanda Recovery Efforts

Mayor Sebastian “Baste” Duterte has disputed President Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s recent assertion that the Duterte administration made no progress in aiding Super Typhoon Yolanda victims. Marcos criticized both the Duterte and Aquino administrations last Monday, alleging they had failed to implement effective post-Yolanda recovery measures.

Super Typhoon Yolanda, which hit Eastern Visayas and parts of Luzon in 2013, is one of the most severe natural disasters in Philippine history. Mayor Duterte responded strongly to Marcos’ comments during a press conference in Tacloban City on Sunday, underscoring the substantial efforts made by his father, Rodrigo Duterte, when he was president.

The younger Duterte recalled that as then-mayor of Davao City, Rodrigo Duterte led relief and rescue operations immediately after Yolanda struck. He brought a team of doctors, paramedics, and 911 ambulance units to Tacloban, providing essential aid. Additionally, images of Mayor Baste actively participating in the rescue efforts during the typhoon’s aftermath had circulated widely online, showcasing the Duterte family’s direct involvement in disaster response.

The dispute arose while Mayor Duterte was in Tacloban for the Hakbang ng Maisug Peace Rally, originally planned for May 25, 2024. The rally faced challenges as heavy equipment was used to block access to the Remedios T. Romualdez (RTR) Park, the event’s venue. Despite receiving permission from the local government, the rally was rescheduled to May 26, 2024, due to Tropical Depression Aghon.

Mayor Duterte expressed frustration over the obstacles to peaceful protests, drawing comparisons to a similar incident in Dumaguete where heavy machinery was used to block a prayer rally. He emphasized the peaceful nature of the Hakbang ng Maisug movement and urged for the people’s voices to be heard.

Despite the rally being canceled on Sunday, Mayor Duterte expressed hope to return to Tacloban to hold the event. He invited the public to attend and listen, reaffirming the non-violent intentions of the Hakbang ng Maisug initiative.

In a separate press conference, President Marcos defended his remarks, stating that Eastern Visayas has not fully recovered from Yolanda. He claimed that substantial recovery efforts only began under his administration in the past two years, blaming previous administrations for the delay.

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