More than two years after Typhoon Yolanda, Leyte Congressman and Senatorial aspirant Rep. Martin Romualdez has defended presidential candidate Mar Roxas on his role in the Yolanda relief operations.
Wanting to end the blame game, Romualdez came out saying the Liberal Party standard bearer “did his honest best and risked his life” during the onslaught of typhoon Yolanda that hit Tacloban in November 2013.
He said Roxas as the Interior and Local Government Secretary back then, together with National Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin were both in Tacloban when Yolanda struck.
“He did his honest best and risked his life to warn the people, but he and Sec. Gazmin were victims too. Everyone, including them was overcome by Yolanda, the strongest tropical cyclone on record to make landfall in world history,” said Romualdez.
“We coordinated. In fact, Roxas was billeted at the Leyte Park Hotel, one of the structures that was heavily damaged at the height of the onslaught of super typhoon and stayed in Yolanda-hit areas to help return normalcy. We appreciated that very much and we thanked the national leadership including the President [Benigno ‘P-Noy’ Aquino III] for all the help given to the people,” Romualdez added.
Rep. Romualdez, a known opposition congressman, also insisted on removing politics in the Yolanda issue. “Let’s not inject politics anymore and stop the blame game by moving forward and continue on the rebuilding programs in Yolanda-hit areas. After all, politics simply has no place in the face of tragedy of such magnitude,” Romualdez said.
“Tacloban’s local officials led by Mayor Alfred [Romualdez] and the national government led by Roxas have done all to prepare and prevent deaths, but Yolanda was more powerful and strong,” he added.
Prior to this, Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez also vindicated Roxas and the national government when he apologized for the harsh words he lashed out against them.
Yolanda remains a major issue for Roxas. While Roxas maintains he was there during and after Yolanda, critics have always insisted he was only there for photo ops. He was also hounded by the issues of slow response and misuse of the Yolanda funds. He even drew flak on social media when his Yolanda experience was translated into the comic book “Sa Gitna ng Unos.”