By ElCid Benedicto
THE “recruitment” of former Senator Panfilo Lacson into the Cabinet of President Benigno Aquino III in the middle of his term has raised not a few eyebrows, especially after he was given the daunting task of rebuilding from the rubble the typhoon-devastated provinces in the Visayas, carrying the credentials of, besides that of a two-term upper chamber member, a former decorated military and police general. His re-entry into government service is proving to be a controversial one as issue of alleged overpricing of bunkhouses as temporary shelter for typhoon Yolanda victims in Tacloban City, he was supposedly tipped off, is being debunked by Palace officials.
Could the new rehabilitation czar be on his way of stirring a third faction in the already tension-filled Cabinet of Pres. Aquino?
On Tuesday, two of Aquino’s known strong allies in the Senate, appear to be on the side of Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Sec. Rogelio Singson on the issue on alleged anomalies surrounding the construction of temporary shelters of Yolanda survivors in Tacloban City. Senate President Franklin Drilon even vouched for the credibility of Singson, who vowed to quit his post if the charges will be proven to be true.
“I know for a fact that Sec. Singson would not stand for any shenanigans. He has shown zero tolerance for corruption since day one in office. His integrity and competence is unassailable,” Sen. Drilon said in a statement where he also described the DPWH chief as the “most honest, efficient and decisive Public Works secretary” he has seen throughout the last few administrations.
Another administration ally, Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero, seemed to be inclined towards Singson than Lacson on the issue although he was quick in pointing out that he’s not in a position to assert whether there’s even a tinge of truth to the allegations that has reached Lacson.
Sen. Escudero and Sen. Drilon, incidentally, happen to be identified with the known “opposing” blocs in Malacañang.
The Senate president is highly-associated with the “Balay” group of Interior Sec. Manuel “Mar” Roxas II while Sen. Escudero is known to be associated with the “Samar” bloc of Executive Sec. Paquito “Jojo” Ochoa Jr.
The rehabilitation czar neither within the inner circle of the said blocs, reported to be engaged in endless bickering and power struggle and has not been a member of the ruling Liberal Party (LP), only that he has been identified as “pro-administration” of Pres. Aquino while he was still in the Senate. Based on recent developments so far, the former senator neither have the backings of any of the two Palace blocs, based on the pronouncements of the two senators, his erstwhile colleagues in the Senate.
But given the track record of former Sen. Lacson as a lawmaker, he has established a reputation of not only a “crimebuster” but also that of being strongly against corrupt practices.
Access to Information
Probably unknown to many was the story about the former senator, who was still some few weeks into his office, firing two of his staff members immediately after learning that they were already entertaining some “under the table deals.”
He had, under his name, a string of exposes in the Senate of alleged irregularities of the Arroyo administration and these were coupled with documents to back up his claims. One thing that probably sets former Sen. Lacson apart from his former colleagues, was the fact that he continue to enjoy access over some classified information, probably owing to his deep connections with the intelligence community while he was still in the military and the Philippine National Police (PNP).
However, on the issue of alleged overpricing, some Singson supporters in the Senate have voiced misgivings on the allegations of overpricing saying that the usual 15% “mobilization expenses”, in which the 30% to 35% supposed commissions would come from, in such projects were managed to have been “waived” by the DPWH chief.
“If at all, the contractors might be cutting corners to earn about one or two (percent), but that’s not likely to happen under Singson. That’s why he’s confident in saying that it’s impossible that there’s overpricing in these projects,” sources explained.
But for former Sen. Lacson to go to the extent of having the issue investigated by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) by the PNP, it’s likely that he’s holding on some information from reliable and trusted sources.
As to how this latest saga on corruption under the Aquino administration would end up later on, the public would have to wait and see, at least until the issue is taken up and investigated in the Senate.
Neophyte Sen. JV Ejercito already announced plans of filing a resolution to effect the probe when Congress resumes sessions beginning Jan. 20.
Sen. Escudero himself admitted that the matter of the Senate engaging in a new inquiry is inevitable once a member of the upper chamber introduces a resolution to effect the conduct of the proceedings or even ask his finance committee to exercise its oversight functions to ascertain any possible misuse of government funds.
By Linggoy Alcuaz
MY FATHER, Manuel “Manolo” Tuazon Alcuaz, taught me most of what I know about Typhoons. They are created by the heat from the Sun interacting with the sea water. Somehow, this makes the air twirl in a Counter Clockwise direction (In the Northern Hemisphere). In the center of the twirling winds, the centrifugal forces create an Eye that is bright and calm because it has no rain and wind.
The same heat from the Sun is what brings (precipitates) the water up to the sky and creates the clouds that give us rain with or without a typhoon or even just a storm. The tail or rear of the Typhoon has more rain and water than its head or front.
In the Western Pacific of the Northern Hemisphere, typhoons generally turn to the Right. The Angle of this right turn increases as they approach Luzon during the “Habagat” or the Monsoon from the South West. Thus, many Typhoons threaten the Philippines but then turn right to the North East and hit China, the Ryuku Islands (Where Okinawa is) and/or Japan.
The tail of a Typhoon that crosses the Philippine Archipelago is at its South East. Thus, we who live in Metro Manila get more rain from a Typhoon that passes to our North even if it is farther away than one that passes to our South. This was true even in the case of Super Typhoon Yolanda who passed over Northern Panay which is nearer to us than the tip of Northern Luzon. Even those that pass through Southern Tagalog give us less rain than those that pass through Central Luzon.
The Usual Typhoon Season almost coincides with the Habagat Season – late May to Early October. Typhoons that visit as in the latter part of an extended Typhoon Season – late October to December, tend to cross the Philippine Archipelago in the Visayas or even as far South as Mindanao. This is due to the Amihan or Monsoon or Winds from the North East which tend to push South Eastward on the Typhoon and prevent it from turning too much to the right and to the North.
The Typhoons are born as Low Pressure Areas far out in the Pacific Ocean towards the West South West. In the Western Atlantic, they are called Hurricanes. In the East Indian Ocean, they are called Cyclones.
While the twirling winds have an average speed of about 150 km per hour near the center, the forward movement of the whole Typhoon is much slower at an average of about 20 km per hour. Thus, a usual Typhoon can travel almost 500 km in a day.
The slower a Typhoon moves forward the more rain it dumps on a particular place. Since Yolanda was faster both in terms of Center Winds and Forward Movement, we were saved from too much rain but took the brunt of double the average Center Winds.
Finally, my Father warned me of the 180 degree Turn (Reverse) in the Direction of the Wind before and after the Typhoon’s Eye passes and the Vacuum Effect of the Lower Pressure in the Eye of the Storm. He always warned us five children to leave small openings in our windows so as to let the higher internal (house) air pressure go out so as to achieve a balance with the lower external air pressure within the Eye of the Storm.
However, since we lived (and still live in) in Quezon City, he did not educate me regarding Storm Surges and Tsunamis. Also, at that time (the 50’s & 60’s), Flooding was hardly known of in Quezon City.
The few Typhoons who’s Eye passed directly over Metro Manila. I believe it struck at the beginning of a long weekend (Friday to Sunday) created by a Typhoon Holiday. Its Front or Head brought very strong winds from the North. After the Eye passed the winds reversed and came from the South. When they did, they fell our Giant Balete Tree in front of our Home on Balete Drive, New Manila, Quezon City. By the end of the weekend my Father was dead.
He had long wanted to cut the Tree because its roots were destroying our water and sewerage pipes. However, my elder siblings begged him not to. And so, he just cut its roots on its South side which is where our House was. He dug a hole in the Adobe along the North West side of our House and poured a solid “Buhos” underground wall. Henceforth, the Balete’s Roots (They are also Vines that come from the branches and take root in the ground and spread out far and wide.) would no longer be able to go beneath our Home like Serpents out to Strangle Us.
And now, fast forward from Yoling to Yolanda.
Yolanda came on Friday, Nov 8, 2013. The day after she bulldozed and cut her way through Eastern, Central and Western Visayas as well as parts of the Mimaropa Region, we (my wife Baby, daughter Cudchie and son Mikko, who still live on Balete Drive but no longer threatened by either a Balete or Rubber Tree.) tried to understand the Storm Surge Phenomenon.
I first heard or read about Storm Surges in relation to the Eastern Seaboard of the USA. The closest I experienced the effects of a Storm Surge was when Wind and Tide combined to cross Roxas Blvd. and flood the basements of several building including the Westin Plaza and the Diamond Hotel. The former is where the Bulong Pulungan is held on Tuesday lunch. The latter is where the former Kapihan sa Manila Hotel of PDI Columnist Neal Cruz is now held on Mondays.
Tacloban and the neighboring towns had a higher and stronger Storm Surge than even the more exposed Southern Towns of Eastern Samar. Yolanda achieved the fastest recorded Center Winds at its first Landfall in Eastern Samar. At subsequent Landfalls in Leyte, Northern Cebu, Northern Panay and Northern Palawan the Velocity of winds near the Center gradually went down. The highest Velocities were probably maintained for the Leyte Landfall because Yolanda’s path was South of the main Samar land mass and mountains.
Since the rotation of the winds was Counter Clockwise, the Higher Storm Surges that swept up (Northwards) the Leyte Gulf must have occurred after the Eye of the Typhoon passed the middle of the Leyte Gulf. Since the Northern part of the Gulf is narrowed by the meeting of Samar and Leyte Islands (Up to the San Juanico Strait), the “Embudo” effect occurred. Eastern Samar, Cebu, Panay and Palawan were spared the “Embudo” effect. However, Ormoc City is inside the South facing Ormoc Bay. This area must have been hit by a lower Storm Surge because by the time the Eye passed over Western Leyte, it had been slowed down by the mountains of Central Leyte. Also, Ormoc Bay is smaller than the Leyte Gulf. Thus, the “Embudo” effect is smaller.
A flashback in History: in October 1944, the US Navy’s Seventh Fleet (much bigger in numbers than today’s Seventh Fleet) defeated the Japanese Imperial Navy in the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Although, the Battles were fought from as far North as off Cape Engano in the North Eastern tip of Cagayan province and as far West as the China Sea off Palawan, as well as in the Sibuyan Sea, the most famous portion is what is called “Crossing the ‘T’ at Surigao Strait”. This was the Classic Dream Sea Battle of Admirals since time immemorial. It was the last time that Surface Fleets would fight it out cannon to cannon with Battleships and Gun Cruisers.
What a Dream Rescue and Relief Mission this must be for today’s US Navy!
by the Editors
MILLIONS of Filipinos suffered the wrath of super typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan). There are countless tales of death, loss and survival especially from Tacloban City, Leyte, which bore the brunt of the tropical cyclone.
Via a post on her Facebook account, Sheena Junia, 26, a close relative of OpinYon Chairman and President Ray Junia recounted how she had to surf the typhoon’s huge waves to save herself.
Here’s Sheena’s story:
She woke up around 5 a.m. of Friday, because of a loud bang on her door. It was the wind, much powerful than she was used to hearing. She could hear window glasses breaking from her neighbors’ houses. It sounded like the burst of automatic gunfire. Bad weather, she thought. She knew a strong typhoon was hitting the province. She saw it yesterday in the news. What she did not know was that it was going to be that strong.
Sheena tried to go back to sleep. She wanted to because she was too scared to listen to the howling wind. Maybe if she slept for a few more hours, it would go away. After two more hours of sleep, another huge bang on the door woke her up. This time, the wind was too strong that it knocked the door off, and then floodwater rushed in. She got up in a hurry. Her bed was submerged in water in seconds. It was now knee-deep inside her room. She hurried to get dressed but just after two minutes, the water has reached her waistline. It took her another two minutes to get her backpack and reach her new surfboard. It just arrived the day before. By then, the water was now neck-deep.
Surfing the Waves
Sheena mounted her surfboard and paddled her way out of the house. She couldn’t see anything. It was foggy, the water was black, and the wind was too strong that it was hard to keep her eyes open. But she kept paddling. She paddled against the strong current until she reached the entrance of their compound in Barangay Sagkahan Mangga, Tacloban City. She was hoping to find someone, but she could not see anyone or anything. Sheena said she decided to swim along the current which she knew would lead her to the back of the compound. There, she saw stairs that led to a door. She immediately paddled her way towards it, and tried to open it but it was locked.
She quickly stopped and noticed her bag was becoming too heavy, so she did away with some of its contents. They’re not important now.
If the water continued to rise, she might get trapped, she thought.
She knew she could not stay there, so she rode her surfboard again and paddled as hard as she could against the strong current to reach the front of the compound again. She saw a steel bar protruding from one of the broken walls nearby. She reached for it and held on to it tightly. Her surfboard kept her afloat. Every time the waves would hit her, she would fall off. But she was holding onto the steel bar so tight that she always managed to recover. She fell into the water about 4 times.
What felt like forever standing there-falling off-standing there-and falling off again was just really about 10 minutes.
The water kept rising, and brought with it more wood and other debris every time she opened her eyes. Sheena saw a woman floating. The woman—in her late 20s or early 30s—was alive. She appeared calm. The woman looked at her. She looked back. They both knew none of them would be able to do anything. She had to let the woman float away.
Call for Help
Sheena was just about to lose all her strength when she saw a group of people. In that group was a pregnant woman and a child–breaking a door open from a balcony nearby. She called for help. Most of them did not hear her, or maybe tried to ignore her. After a few more calls, one of the strangers looked at her direction. That gave her some comfort. There was nowhere she could plant her feet. She held on a window grill to start her way. She moved from one window to another until she reached the spot near where the other people were.
She was holding on to the grill, and her surfboard. She had to let one go so she can reach out for the hand of one of the strangers.
She took a leap of faith, and ditched her surfboard.
“I almost fell and barely made it,” she said.
The water was continuing to rise when she got to the balcony. They needed to move to the next house which was bigger. They passed through gutters and scaffolds. They all made it safely to the house, even if she slipped a few times. A few scratches here and there but nothing she was worried about it.
Riding the Storm Out
They stayed there, watching people drown to death outside. They could not do anything. This went on until around 10:30 am when the wind died down a bit. They started to help whoever they can.
Around 11 am, the water started subsiding, slowly unfolding the devastation caused by the strongest typhoon ever recorded in recent times.
Sheena remembers seeing a lot of dead bodies. Almost all houses in her neighborhood were destroyed. She had to stay at a friend’s house for three days. For the next few days, Sheena went out with her friends to look for food. Her friends have always treated her as one of the boys, so she went out to loot with them.
She remembers going to Robinson’s or Gaisano–malls that had supermarkets. “Literal na hanap buhay,” she said. (We literally looked for anything that can help keep us alive.)
She’s not proud of it—the looting.
“We had to do it to survive,” she said.
Hunger and Thirst
She remembers being thirsty, and trying to buy a small bottle of tea for PhP200. But they would not sell it to her. She remembers trying to ride a pedicab offering to pay a thousand pesos, but the driver did not want money. They wanted water as payment. She had none.
Sheena arrived in Manila Tuesday, Nov. 13, night via a commercial flight. She now has fever. She feels weak. She said whatever happened to her is just starting to sink in. She said she does not want to go back to Tacloban, but she has not heard from her mother and grandfather who lived in Tolosa town.
If she does not hear from them in the next few days, she will come back to Tacloban and look for them.
Sheena used to operate airport vans in Tacloban for a living. She does not know how she’ll start again.
“I won’t be able to make plans until I know my family is safe.”
Sheena’s fight for survival goes on.
- Rappler Newscast Special Edition | November 16, 2013 (rappler.com)
- Surfing the waves of Haiyan for survival (rappler.com)
- INC conducts ‘Lingap sa Mamamayan’ relief and medical mission in Tacloban City (businessmirror.com.ph)
- After Yolanda: When prioritizing the living over the dead is just another option (examiner.com)
- Meeting a monster: First person account (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Typhoon Yolanda death toll nears 6,000, Justin Bieber visits Tacloban (theglobaldispatch.com)
- Romualdez recounts how gov’t withheld help in ‘Yolanda’ aftermath (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned (vixsterbee.wordpress.com)
- In the eye of the storm: TV reporter tells his story (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Politics, lack of command hound Tacloban (rappler.com)
by Mentong Tiu-Laurel
“PEOPLE are always blaming circumstances for what they are. But the people who get on in this world are those who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, they make them.” – George Bernard Shaw
We’ve see the tragic result of this nation complaining about its circumstances but incapable of defining what it wants and taking steps to making them happen. Vision and planning – strategic thinking, without this activity is just as Einstein described – insanity, repeating a thing over and over expecting a different result. The Philippines has a history of natural calamities and tragedies from Ormoc in 1990 with 5,100 dead to Sendon’s 1300 dead in 2011, and now Yolanda’s 5,000 and still growing number of casualties. It was not always like this, in Marcos’s time government had helicopters, amphibious vessels, and the disciplined government machinery – then Edsa I and the Yellows arrived on the scene.
In Yolanda’s wake we find this nation’s “dependent personality disorder” become a trait of the national psyche. A people bothered and blaming ceaselessly, many had in 2010 actually voted to power the inexperienced and clueless government they are blaming today. The circumstances they bellyache about today are also caused by two decades of Edsa I that a majority of the population also supported – including dismantling and privatization of the nation’s strategic assets (power, water, infra, etc.) to local oligarchs backed by global monopoly-finance-capital (Goldman Sachs, Salim, IMF, etc.) siphoning trillions out and leaving the people impoverished, a plundered economy and a government bereft of resources.
The bothersome mendicancy of the Filipinos and its government, was perfected since Edsa I for the resurgence of neo-colonial control by its traditional master – the U.S. which supports corrupt and inept political leadership (Amb. Thomas congratulated BS Aquino even before proclamation) performed with perfect ineptitude in the Yolanda crisis, allowing the “international community” to takeover all aspects of rescue and recovery to smother the last breath of national dignity and sovereignty. The petty Philippine “social media” joined in self-deprecating everything Filipino, contributing to CNN’s blog the insults damning all Filipinos as an incapable of changing their corrupt rulers.
Dependency pervades the Filipino mind, including its bewilderment on climate issues led by environmental groups controlled by Western interests and institutions. Remember W.H.O. peddling the 2009 Swine Flu panic for global Big Pharma’s multi-billions sales of vaccines; the panic was baseless. The IPCC, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is another, peddling a “consensus” on Anthropogenic (man-made) Global Warming (AGW) where there is none, while the global financial institutions rake it in on “cap-and-trade” of carbon credits. Haiyan/Yolanda became the “strongest” typhoon to dramatize the Warsaw Climate Change Conference and further instill in Filipinos the false AGW theory.
Meteorologist Dr. Ryan Maue at Weather BELL Analytics, LLC, Florida, formerly with Naval Research Laboratory, Twitted: “Over past 1,000 years, Philippines have been hit by 10-20 thousand tropical cyclones. Don’t be so arrogant to believe Man caused Haiyan.” And demolishes claims that Typhoon Haiyan was ‘strongest storm ever with the “‘Fact: Haiyan is 58th Super Typhoon since 1950 to reach central pressure of 900 mb (1 millibar = 0.145 lbs. /sq. inch) or lower from historical records’ — Maue: ’50 of 58 Super Typhoons with pressure of 900 mb or lower occurred from 1950-1987 — only 8 in past 25 years’” but Philippine media and crying Yeb Sano claims it is the strongest ever.
Bewitching PMSM, Phil. MainStream Media, serves Western propaganda and discounts China’s view, as in “US bombers enter China’s claimed air defense zone” highlighting U.S. spokesman Jen Psaki “This will raise regional tensions … “. ADIZes are not new, from Wiki: “An air defense command … was developed in 1950 … The Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) is an area – in which the ready identification, location, and control of civil aircraft over land or water is required … under … North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) … aircraft entering an ADIZ is required to radio its planned course…” Jets and missiles fly 60 km. per minute, crossing China’s ADIZ takes only 3 minutes.
From Yomiuri Shimbun: Nov. 27, 2013, “Countries such as Japan, the United States, South Korea and Taiwan have set their ADIZ in areas surrounding their airspace, asking aircraft that pass through the zones to give prior notice for the purpose of confirming whether such aircraft pose a threat.” But as far as PMSM is concerned the Western interpretation of news is highlighted and China’s ADIZ is treated pejoratively. PMSM is also biased for dumbing down the pubic, like making boxers heroes (like Pacquiao) and quibbling over his tax tiff with government while scant priority is given to meager salaries of weather experts who are thus leaving the country in droves for high paying foreign jobs.
News touted the World Bank’s $ 500-M loan for Yolanda assistance, but in July 2012 the Philippines lent $ 1-billion to Europe! Media trumpets that GDP will not be direly affected by Yolanda, yet the P 2-Billion the privatized NGCP’s (National Grid) will charge taxpayers for damage to its grid in Yolanda’s wake – that goes into the GDP “growth”. A business daily headlined “National government debt drops to P 5.61T” – fantabulous good news, but behind the lead is the real story: “The total national government debt, however, increased by 7.6 percent if compared to the P 5.213- trillion recorded in September last year.” Arroyo’s 2010 debt was P 4.9-T, Aquino added almost P 600-billion in three years.
The Filipino is really befuddled in his economics. The U.S.-Iran “detante” changing the face of Middle East politics has brought down world oil prices. U.S. gasoline prices have gone down as a consequence, equivalent to P 42/liter in peso terms, but in the Philippines gasoline is still P 52/liter while auto LPG has gone up by almost P 2.00/liter. People complain not about this but about the BIR’s Pacquiao tax persecution (reportedly because he didn’t drop by Malacañang after winning vs. Rios). Two top Inquirer columnists wrote about Pacquiao, i.e. “Being a hero” and “TKO” but nothing on these befuddling material issues (get it?). No wonder this nation is befuddled in almost all the important matters.
The Filipino nation is bothered, bewitched, bewildered and befuddled because it has no strategic view – a strategic vision – of what it wants, how to attain it and who can lead the nation with intellectual honest and executive ability. Observe the leadership choices in the past five elections and two coup d’états disguised as “People Power” – the social elite, the PMSM (mainstream media), the social media and its core of “civil society” political-socialites defined the circumstances. The people were hoodwinked to accept BS Aquino, they’ll be hoodwinked again with a new set of false hopes (especially one poe-seur) who are from the same storeroom of puppets of the Status Quo.
The People’s Struggle should be focused on clarifying this strategic vision and leadership. Keep reading this space for it. (Watch “Nature’s defence for shoreline communities” with environmental “Bakawan” advocate Jaime Layug: GNN Destiny Cable Channel 8, Skycable Channel 213, www.gnntv-asia.com Sat., 8 p.m. and replay Sun., 8 a.m.; tune to 1098AM, Tues. to Fri. 5pm; ; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com; and text reactions to 0923-4095739)
- Artists gives away their charity to all Yolanda victims (justinelaboriante14.wordpress.com)
- Pacquiao: Unpaid $18.3M taxes in the US? (rappler.com)
- Devastating Storm Search by: Marian Christine D’Costa (marianputi.wordpress.com)
- Filipino typhoon survivors cheer Pacquiao triumph (sfgate.com)
- Elabram for Haiyan Victims (heroesofyolanda.wordpress.com)
- Justin Bieber arrives in Manila, to visit Yolanda areas (rappler.com)
- Typhoon Yolanda death toll nears 6,000, Justin Bieber visits Tacloban (theglobaldispatch.com)
- PH, Japan to discuss possible defense pact (rappler.com)
- Folks Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered .. By Guido Volante (saveamericafoundation.com)
- Hell Hath No Fury Like A Woman Scorned (vixsterbee.wordpress.com)
by Ronald Roy
IF English dramatist William Congreve (1670-1729) were alive today, he probably would apply to Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago (MDS), alleged PDAF scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles (JLN) and Supertyphoon Yolanda his most famous quote (The Mourning Bride): “Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell to fury like a woman scorned.”
The much-awaited appearance of JLN before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee (SBRC) last November 7 turned out to be a big disappointment for viewers and listeners nationwide. For hours they held their breath — from the moment she stepped into the senate session hall escorted by a horde of policemen garbed in full battle gear, until adjournment — expecting holocaustic entertainment, but nothing like that happened.
I was amused for the first hour or so, then I got bored. Sure, I admit I was out for entertainment, but heck, I thought that a bloody confrontation between JLN and all of them was what we needed to be set free by the truth.
It’s baloney that the SBRC Chairman, Sen. Teofisto “TG” Guingona, Jr., purposefully convened the investigation “in aid of legislation”. But I do not blame him for having done so. Otherwise, he would have been criticized for having lent refuge to his confreres undergoing trial, including himself. For him it was a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t dilemma which would give him flack either way.
As for the forthcoming SBRC investigation of JLN’s husband, Jaime Napoles, there is no reason to expect any enlightenment coming therefrom, as he will be at least as clever a witness as his wife, if his being a PMA co-graduate and RAM buddy of Sen. Gringo Honasan is any indication. But the scheduled hearing will proceed just the same, the utter waste of people’s money and the investigation’s futility notwithstanding.
What I would have wanted to see and hear was a no-holds-barred SBRC session involving a furiously questioning MDS, a furiously answering JLN, and other senators furiously defending their integrity, such as in the following scenario.
After JLN has taken her oath to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, Chair TG allows MDS to fire the first salvo. MDS: “Do you know who I am?” JLN: “Yes, you are Sen. Miriam Defensor…Defensor…what’s your surname na ba?” MDS: “Don’t play games with me!” JLN: “I’m sorry that I cannot remember your name. But why do you ask me, ma’am, don’t you know your own name?” MDS: “Hoy, buang ka, ha?!” JLN: “Buang ka rin!!” MDS: “Gaga ka! I can have you cited for contempt, and that means we can jail you!!” JLN: “E, kung hindi ka naman mas gaga, sa kulungan na nga ako nakatira!!” MDS: “Hoy, if you do not stop your kabastusan, I will shoot you!!” JLN (taking off her bullet-proof jacket):”Go ahead, shoot me!!”
Instantly, security details have completely surrounded JLN with firearms aimed at MDS, the senators and the gallery. Pandemonium ensues. Everyone is screaming and taking cover, Chair TG fires a 45 cal. pistol in the air, and order is gradually restored. Session is suspended for 15 minutes, after which he yields the interrogation to a lady colleague (LC).
LC: “Can you tell us if anyone here has in any way diverted his pork barrel allocation to his pocket?” JLN: “Yes, ma’am, you. I personally gave you your kickback in your bedroom.” LC: “What?! Let me remind you you’re under oath!!” JLN: “Precisely, that’s why I am telling the truth, ma’am.” LC: “$&@%#!!!” JLN: “$&@%# also!!!” Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
I am certain that if the foregoing imaginary scenario had happened, the general public would have appreciated a clearer picture of the pork scam. More importantly, it would have quickened the pace of imprisoning guilty parties. Incidentally, some people suggest the PDAF and DAP scandals will continue to wreak havoc on us for karmic reasons.
Hmmm…I wonder if the fury of Yolanda, the Category 5 Supertyphoon, is karmic.(In Hindu and Buddhist theory, karma is the sum of a person’s actions in this and previous states of existence, viewed as deciding the fate in future existences). How then can Yolanda be explained?
What foreign experts say
Courtesy of the Inquirer, WASHINGTON — Nature and man together cooked up the disaster in the Philippines. Geography, meteorology, poverty, shoddy construction, a booming population and xxx climate change combine to make the Philippines the nation most vulnerable to killer typhoons, according to several scientific studies, xxx and Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) was one mighty storm.
What P-Noy says
Tacloban City was ruled by anarchists after Yolanda battered it. Vandals and looters smashed open stores and the San Miguel Brewery plant to take everything they could get their hands on. Clearly, there was a breakdown of law and order — a “lawless violence” condition that justified martial law under his mother’s Constitution.
Well, P-Noy is reported to have said to a local city leader, who proposed the imposition of martial law, ” Ha?! Bakit, buhay ka pa naman, e! “, thereby betraying a childish bias against anything reminiscent of Ferdinand E. Marcos.
What a reader says
Expressing the sentiments of many citizens, a reader texted: “I’m ashamed to be a Filipino. A CNN team reached Leyte ahead of our national officials by coming one day before Yolanda struck! Then something extraordinary happened: The President disputed CNN’s estimate of 10,000 people dead with a more accurate count of around 2000 dead. 10,000 fatalities would have drawn a lot of assistance, but he chose to be honest!!
On balance, you’re okay, Sir!
(http://musingsbyroy.wordpress.com | 09186449517 | @ronald8roy | #musingsbyroy)
- Miriam to Napoles: Tell all before senators kill you (rappler.com)
- Senate probe comes to nil (manilastandardtoday.com)
- Full text: Enrile on Miriam’s lies, ‘deep-seated animosity’ (rappler.com)
- ‘Yolanda’ death toll now 5,500, says NDRRMC (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- The Scam Queen at Philippine Senate (wildandfreeandme.wordpress.com)
- Pacquiao brings momentary cheer to Yolanda survivors in Tacloban (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Napoles should admit guilt first – De Lima (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Shutterstock’s Pixels of Fury Gets Furiouser: New Dates and Locations + Recapping The Fury So Far! (shutterstock.com)
- The Fierceness of Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago (natividadplance.wordpress.com)
- Rappler Newscast | November 7, 2013 (rappler.com)
by Herman Tiu-Laurel
IN the midst of the tragedy of the 6th category mediocrity and incompetence that is BS Aquino and his government team the volunteerism of many Filipinos gave hope.
Taipan Millan, a young citizen with a group of his peers mobilized members of civic and business groups like the Rotary Club of Caloocan and companies like Frabelle Fishing Corporation to ship food and relief goods to various parts of Leyte and Samar that were not being reached by the mainstream foreign and government relief operations getting clogged up on the roads and airports.
Fishing vessels Chrysanthemum and Brilliant Star leaves Sangley for Tacloban while Woodrose from Navotas goes to Ormoc, Sogod, Tacloban, Biliran, Tanauan and Guian, and Verbena leaves Navotas for Sogod only.
One of our OpinYon writers, Liza Gaspar sought help to locate her Aunt Noemi and family in Brgy. San Isideo, Sta. Fe, Leyte. We’ll ask Frabelle Fishing to radio their ship captains to help in the search when arriving in the different disaster towns. Others who have need to search for anyone there can text us at our numbers below which we will relay to the ships.
The Spirit of Struggle
As the nation struggles with the crisis in the Visayas other daily struggles continue. The rise in Meralco power rates in November-December due to ill-timed maintenance operations of Malampaya raises the question: “Doesn’t the DoE have an obligation to keep power rates steady and at continuously affordable rates anymore to help people and enterprises maintain predictable overhead cost?” The authorities used to ensure such steady supply to make home and business planning possible by maintaining a balance in the power supply mix.
In the midst of the continuing struggle heroes often go unsung, but this week we will sing our hymns of praise to Mang Naro (Genaro) Lualhati, one of the leaders of LAMP (Lawyers Against Monopoly and Poverty) who in 2003 won the P30-billion refund of the income tax Meralco had been charging to consumers (which it is still doing).
Mang Naro passed away last week at the age of 92 leaving behind his message through his son Antonio, that the struggle for people’s justice against the power plunder of Meralco and its cohorts in the ERC and Congress should be sustained.
Beware of Gift Trojan Horses
While Filipinos have to accept any and all offers of aid and support now, they should also be wise and wary. An Internet blogger reminds us citing, Claro M. Recto “walang libre sa kano” U.S. writer, David Swanson in “Let’s Take Advantage of Suffering Filipinos!” sarcastically headlines a report on a USA Today columnist proposal to “…use the U.S. military to aid those suffering in the Philippines—as a backdoor means of getting the US military back into a larger occupation of the Philippines…. While the Philippines’ representative at the climate talks in Warsaw is fasting in protest of…the earth’s climate”.
Swanson also headlines, “How the US can dress up war as disaster relief to the Philippines”. The U.S. is puffing up its aircraft carriers and military relief role to: 1) justify to Americans massive US military spending and, 2) its pivot to Asia. Deprecating BS Aquino and RP government highlights incompetence to justify U.S. insertion. Meanwhile jet setting Pinoy anthropogenic global warming alarmist Yeb Sano waxes melodramatic using the Leyte tragedy to fast and reinforce false “man-made global warming (GW)” theory. Go to Center for Research on Globalization’s list of funding for the fraud.
The Next Disaster
It’s not “if” but “when” the next natural disaster will strike the Philippines and our families in the line of another super typhoon or an Intensity 9 earthquake. Government should lead in getting every barangay to fabricate heavy equipment at the lowest cost–see Open Source Ecology for free plans on how ordinary people can make hydraulic cranes, forklifts, bulldozers to free people from heavy debris; instead of PhP60 billion CCT going to waste. Learn from Cuba which buses threatened communities by the hundreds of thousands to safe grounds, as in Katrina with only two deaths compared to U.S. 1,800 deaths.
I am not leaving the fate of my children and grandchildren to mediocrities in government or the NGOs. I am buying used car jacks, crowbars ad steel cables for every room my houses my children’s homes. I constantly monitor seismic news and typhoon news. Dusan Zupka of the U.N. International Secretariat for Disaster Reduction opined, “I would dare to say that Cuba is a good example for other countries in terms of preparedness and prevention.” The people’s welfare is top priority for the revolutionary Cuban government, in the Philippine the people is last in priorities.
It’s from Peque Gallaga: “We cry desperately for demonstrable government response–we get almost next to nothing. It is increasingly apparent that local media goes hand in hand with self-servicing Malacañang press releases…What our leaders tell us is contradicted by …by the victims in these areas who are slowly able to give us the true picture of the realities of the situation….I read Marvin Xanth Geronimo who was there when Yolanda struck: that TV personalities and politicians like Mar Roxas and Ted Failon going to Tacloban for the photo op. They never helped;… Korina Sanchez calling Anderson Cooper “misinformed”. Cooper was in Tacloban. Korina was not…
“All those people who charge us for criticizing, for being negative, for Aquino bashing – I am done with these people. In a very Yellow Army way, they try to hide behind an illogical argument that we cannot help if we criticize.…. This man (Aquino) who is totally unprepared for the most difficult job in the country.
So my friends, as far as I’m concerned, you choose him or you choose the people. But if you instruct me again to stop bashing this man … I will unfriend you in Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram, and out in our leaderless streets.” As bad is a business newspaper’s headline lately, “7% growth rate still possible” says rating agencies when Yolanda proves their growth are meaningless to the people.
(Catch Herman Tiu Laurel’s weekly show at GNN Destiny Cable Channel 8, Skycable Channel 213, www.gnntv-asia.com Sat., 8 p.m. and replay Sun., 8 a.m.; tune to 1098AM, Tues. to Fri. 5pm; ; visit http://newkatipunero.blogspot.com; and text reactions to 0923-4095739)
- WHAT IF? A Doomsday Scenario (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- Navotas fishermen deliver aid to ‘Yolanda’ survivors (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Korina Sanchez reports from Ormoc, Anderson Cooper still in Tacloban (entertainment.inquirer.net)
- Philippines destruction ‘a great human tragedy’ as more than 10,000 feared killed (thestar.com)
- With 10,000 believed dead, Philippine typhoon ‘a great human tragedy’ (ctvnews.ca)
- More than 10,000 feared dead as Typhoon Haiyan slams Philippines islands (theprovince.com)
- Philippine typhoon deaths climb into thousands (news.yahoo.com)
- Anderson Cooper: We honor Filipinos’ strength (globalnation.inquirer.net)
- Anderson Cooper to Korina Sanchez: Go to Tacloban (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Anderson Cooper-Korina Sanchez tiff goes viral on the Internet (technology.inquirer.net)
by Raymund L. Junia
I GREW up in the biggest barangay of this small town, Tolosa, Leyte. This barangay, and the town proper, faces the Pacific Ocean. In our side of the country, a typhoon is no stranger. We’re used to typhoons. But this does not mean, we neglect any typhoon’s fury. I find the debate on storm surge interesting, the term not being understood. One journalist described it as a new phenomenon. Ted Failon, who comes from Leyte, admits he does not understand the meaning of storm surge. That really surprised me.
In my elementary days in the barrio, I remember every time there was a typhoon, we had our own “coast guards”. They took turns in watching the sea level and ready to issue a “bandillo” (public warning) on the rising of the sea level and imminent flooding of the barangay. There being no satellite warning on TV then, this was the method of early warning to prevent deaths from big waves and rising sea levels—a storm surge.
That many lives were spared and saved from Yolanda’s fury in my town, I think this primitive early warning system did it. Although folks way back home say San Miguel saved lives in the middle of Yolanda’s strike. On San Miguel saving the town, I very much agree. Our patron saint had always come to the rescue of this town. Another interesting fact is, until this writing, people in most Yolanda-ravaged areas are still asking where is government?
The dead littered the streets of Tacloban and nearby towns until the sixth day after the typhoon. Relief has not reached barangays and towns just 20 kilometers from Tacloban City. Relief was active only in media but zero at the ground. Media was well managed but not the relief operations. Media was managed not to tell the truth. Malacañang’s problem was that it could not manage foreign media like CNN, ABC news and others. They could not control social media also.
How media was managed could be seen from the reaction of ABS-CBN channel 2 over reports by CNN of absence of government at ground Zero. Korina Sanchez embarrassed herself in her refuting reports by CNN’s Anderson Cooper. She was swarmed in social media by accusations of her impartiality in defense of Pres. Aquino leadership and for lying bare faced on the true situation in Leyte.
Easily, Korina Sanchez stood out as a disgrace to Philippine journalism.
CNN is the new shining example if not the hero in true journalism and Channel 2 lost much of its credibility.
Enough lies please.
- Anderson Cooper to Korina Sanchez: Go to Tacloban (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Anderson Cooper’s report irks Korina Sanchez (entertainment.inquirer.net)
- Anderson Cooper-Korina Sanchez tiff goes viral on the Internet (technology.inquirer.net)
- Korina Sanchez : a Slipper Where Her Mouth Is! (aliwanavenue.com)
- Anderson Cooper Responds To Korina Sanchez’ Comment; Urges Her To Visit Tacloban [VIDEO] (entervrexworld.wordpress.com)
- An unlikely place for a graveyard (mindanews.com)
- Storm surge science: the funneling effect in Tacloban from typhoon Haiyan (VIDEO) (washingtonpost.com)
- Korina Sanchez reports from Ormoc, Anderson Cooper still in Tacloban (entertainment.inquirer.net)
- Korina Sanchez Lambasted by Netizens For Slamming CNN News anchor Anderson Cooper (entervrexworld.wordpress.com)
- WHAT IF? A Doomsday Scenario (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
by Frederick Fabian
WHAT if a disaster of cataclysmic proportions hits Metro Manila, home to more than 15 million Filipinos—and the seat of the nation’s capital?
Thousands of lives will be lost and casualties can run to millions. It will be a harrowing sight that will surely bring the nation to its knees. That is, if we consider the potential disasters on a grand scale, such as the recent earthquake in Bohol and typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) that razed big parts of Leyte to the ground.
What if, instead of the Visayas, Yolanda took a path straight through the heart of the National Capital Region?
The resulting storm surge would drive the waters of the Laguna Lake inland and inundate the lakeside barangays of Laguna and drown millions of people. The loss of lives and damage to property would be triple the Visayas count.
What if the Marikina Valley Fault System shifted and triggered a massive earthquake? Are we ready to deal with such a scenario?
The Philippines, after all, is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of the world that is susceptible to earthquakes and volcanic activity. The island republic is also considered one of the world’s most dangerous places, because we are a constant recipient of typhoon landfalls more than any large country in the world.
As grim as it may sound, an inconvenient truth is better than a comfortable lie.
The Marikina Valley Fault System extends from San Mateo, Rizal and runs through Makati, Marikina, Parañaque, Pasig and Taguig. It has been observed by Phivolcs and other scientific experts as a potential origin of large-scale earthquakes that can reach a magnitude of 7 or higher within Metro Manila.
A possible death toll, as predicted by experts, can reach 35,000, with an estimated 120,000 injuries. The earthquake will also require the evacuation of three million people from the potential disaster areas.
In a research done by the Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS), funded by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in 2004, it was revealed that a 7.2 magnitude earthquake can destroy 40% of residential buildings, fatalities numbering 114,000 and fires that will result to 18,000 more casualties.
While the eastern side of Metro Manila will suffer the brunt of the event, damage and consequential damage can affect the rest of the NCR. Dr. Norman Tungol of Phivolcs has advised that Metro residents, especially those living near the faultline, to be prepared for the worst, because earthquake prediction is not an exact science.
Aside from structural damage, another risk looming over the people of Metro Manila would be the possibility that reservoirs such as the Angat Dam would be damaged and cause flooding. Building collapse can cause electrical short circuits, petroleum and LPG leakages from storage tanks, among others, that would trigger fires, according to a report by online news site Bulatlat.com. Places susceptible to fires are Valenzuela, Caloocan, and the southern parts of Quezon City.
Newsfeeds in Facebook were filled with complaints and angry callouts about the incompetence of President Benigno Aquino III and his lack of political will in dealing with the recent typhoon. The complaints are well-placed and unquestionably valid: at the same space of the few hours when CNN correspondent Anderson Cooper was reporting on the lack of organized government efforts in Tacloban City, President Aquino was on the air with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that everything is under control despite contrary evidence.
It wouldn’t be too far-fetched to say that the President is being cold to the plight of the people of Leyte, if his actions in the past week after the storm is to be gauged. After all, PNoy has been distant and detached from the real-life drama happening in Tacloban and surrounding towns, preferring to do a form of remote-control governance rather than be physically present where the people are suffering, where they are mourning the dead and where the children are going hungry. That appears to be too much for his constitution.
It seems that it is not something a privileged, upper-class-raised Noynoy can handle. How can a sheltered rich boy, the scion of Philippine political icons and hacienda landlords, possibly bear the harrowing sight of devastation and desperation when it’s taking place in front of him? The crisis is far from the safety and comfort of his Malacanang office. We can just imagine that he will treat the residents of Metro Manila the same way. Humans are creatures of habit, and if anything, the President is one. He has a terrible habit of placing the blame on someone else, as if he lacks the capability to own up responsibility.
Incompetence Is Matter Of Fact
As many rational and well-informed Filipinos would tell you, Malacañang has always been incompetent where it counts. Some may dismiss it as mere cynicism and pessimism. But several counts of wrong decisions and late responses to a crisis is an indicator not just of incompetence, but of impotence. We all know that this is not the first time that the Aquino administration has shown that it is incapable of delivering in crucial times. From the 2010 Manila Hostage Crisis, the growing unemployment rate despite his claims of economic growth, the 2011 vetoing of the budget provision for disaster management, to the mishandling of the pork barrel issue, the list just goes on.
Reputable news analysts and weather experts have predicted that the NCR can become the next ground zero based on past scientific data and environmental factors. There is more than enough evidence to support the possibility that significant parts of Metro Manila can and will be subjected to massive damage that can equal that of Tacloban and nearby Leyte towns. According to former Manila Chronicle newsman and science/technology writer Alan C. Robles, “a storm like Haiyan could bring the Philippine capital to its knees.”
In his interview with MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino, the official confirmed similar concerns by saying that it will be just like Tacloban, which was decimated to the ground when Yolanda struck. Tolentino confidently stated it will just be the same, if not worse, although he noted that some structures in Manila are better built to withstand typhoons. He significantly added, “It will also cause societal disruption.”
Welcome To Floodland
Metro Manila is 638 square kilometers in area, composed of 16 cities, one municipality, and has up to around 15 million people living in it. It is surrounded by bodies of water and flood-prone areas such as Barangka in Marikina, Pasig areas near Rosario, central parts of the city of Manila (Blumentritt, Maceda, España, etc.), and parts of Roxas Boulevard in Pasay.
The NCR is practically sandwiched between Manila Bay, facing the China Sea on the west side and Laguna Lake on the southeast. Another factor to consider is the northeastern part bordering the province of Rizal.
In recent years, the mountainsides there have practically been denuded and logged to the ground, and residents in the lower parts of Antipolo City near Marikina have experienced damaging floods due to the accumulated rainwater from Rizal flowing into the river.The Angat Dam and the Pampanga river basins are also hazards to Metro Manila if a super typhoon of the same scale as Yolanda hits. In 2012, disaster management official Edgardo Ollet admitted that the dam “has cracks and needs major repairs”.
One can imagine that the combined force of incessant raining and a highly possible super typhoon is all it would take, and a deluge of epic proportions is just waiting to happen. Meanwhile Dr. Mahar Lagmay of DOST’s Project Noah was also asked by Robles, and he was positive that another super typhoon can happen in the near future. Dr. Lagmay even put it this way: “It’s Russian roulette”. It may not hit now, or any time this week, or the next, but the chances are very high that it can and will happen. Scientists do not need to reiterate those facts to us, as it is already evident in our history as a country: tropical storms are regular occurences. The sad truth is that we as a society have not learned so much from past disasters. As philosopher George Santayana would put it, those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
Lessons In Foresight
Pecier Decierdo, a physics teacher who works for Mind Museum and science advocacy director for civil organization Filipino Freethinkers, has provided pointers that the public should always keep in mind when it comes to handling disasters. He stated, “More storms make landfall on the Philippines than on any other large country on Earth.”
This one fact demands that the science curriculum in the country should be tailored to produce basic education graduates who understand how tropical storms roll.” According to him, allowing an inadequately informed population to live in a storm-prone country is a massive inhumanity.
A public dialogue on disaster management should be top priority, so that people will be more capable and well-informed in handling the effects of natural disasters in our lives, rather than wait for government to dictate disaster measures. Decierdo remarked, “We should talk about the weather more”. It is known that the country has an insufficient number of meteorologists, and that the public does not regard due status to meteorologists and weather scientists, which results to having underpaid and overworked PAGASA employees.
Underpaid weather specialists and undermanned and ill-equipped weather stations result to inaccurate weather forecasting, which lead to deaths and losses that could otherwise have been prevented.
Using 2009’s Ondoy devastation as basis, we can expect that a Haiyan-scale super storm will bring in not just the strongest winds, but the force of floodwaters rushing in and submerging two-story buildings. Business and commerce in the metropolis will definitely be halted. Makati’s main thoroughfares would be clogged, and being a neighbouring city to flood-prone Pasay, it just makes it worse.
Roxas Boulevard, site of Manila’s significant commercial activities and facing Manila Bay, would be the one of the most damaged for obvious reasons. Metro Manila is located in a catchbasin between Manila Bay and Laguna Lake, which means that there is no exit for excess water pouring in from both sides. According to urban planner and master architect Paolo Alcazaren, most of the drains constructed since the Spanish period have either been lost, covered up, or clogged with garbage.
A super typhoon hitting Metro Manila will definitely paralyze the country’s economy,because it will be more than the sum of the past typhoons of the last five years.
This doesn’t mean that we should just be fatalistic and embrace the apocalyptic end times, because something can actually be done.
This is where disaster experts come in. In an interview with Rappler’s Marites Vitug, Kathryn Hawley of Asia Foundation advises that it’s best to prepare for a worst-case scenario and hope that it doesn’t happen. Measures such as stockpiling of water and food, strategic assigning of resources, land use regulations, low-cost housing programs, public awareness campaigns and poverty reduction strategies can help absorb the shocking blow of an imminent catastrophe.
A super typhoon hitting Metro Manila will definitely paralyze the country’s economy,because it will be more than the sum of the past typhoons of the last five years. If not a super typhoon, the threat of the Marikina Fault System is imminent. Combine that with mounting government negligence, festering corruption, and lack of public preparedness. It is a tragedy waiting to happen, and we cannot just stand by and ignore it. It is time to learn by foresight rather than hindsight.
Disaster readiness is the only way to reduce the “what ifs?”.
- This week: WHAT IF? A Doomsday Scenario (opinyon2010.wordpress.com)
- ‘Yolanda’ survivor faces uncertain future in Metro Manila (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- 82,757 Metro Manila road accidents in 2012 (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- #TalkThursday: Risk mapping Metro Manila (rappler.com)
- Study: 37,000 may die if 7.2 quake would hit Metro Manila (balitaktakan.wordpress.com)
- NASA: Haiyan/Yolanda’s strong side could affect Metro Manila (crofsblogs.typepad.com)
- ‘Metro Manila’ for ‘Yolanda’ survivors (entertainment.inquirer.net)
- [Pink Scene] TFP Cancels 2013 Metro Manila Pride Celebration (geeky-guide.com)
- Island-hopping ‘Yolanda’ to be felt in Metro Manila (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- How prepared is Metro Manila for a strong quake? (rappler.com)
The OpinYon Relief Ops is asking everyone to join us in helping our fellow Filipinos affected by Typhoon Yolanda in Leyte. You can send donations in either cash or kind (canned goods/old clothes/blankets/non-perishables) to Musikgarten Manila in Robinsons Galleria, EDSA corner Ortigas Avenue, or the OpinYon Editorial Office in San Pedro, Laguna. Please share this poster as much as you can so more people can help. Thank you very much! Let’s match our words with deeds.
- My Heart Bleeds For The Victims of Typhoon Yolanda (arlene1956.wordpress.com)
- Palompon City Ravaged by Typhoon Yolanda (+Video) (theepochtimes.com)
- Tacloban Takes Direct Hit from Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) (jacksaunsea.wordpress.com)
- Let us help victims of typhoon #YolandaPH (mokongperspektib.wordpress.com)
- Philippines Appeal for HELP. (icookonboard.wordpress.com)
- DPWH personnel displaced by ‘Yolanda’ go back to work for typhoon rehab (newsinfo.inquirer.net)
- Tanauan, Leyte: Unknown Number of Casualties, Massive Damage From Haiyan (theepochtimes.com)
- Unity Amidst Typhoon Yolanda’s Fury (filipinismo.wordpress.com)
- Ormoc City, Tolosa, Dulag: Power Outages, Damage in Leyte After Typhoon Yolanda Hits (theepochtimes.com)
- #YolandaPH (rowjie.wordpress.com)