There are two sides to every coin.
When President Aquino stated that our Mayor was unprepared for Haiyan, that was his side of the story. He pointed fingers like a 5 year old child, his middle finger pointing to our beloved mayor. People rallied behind our childish president, and insulted our mayor too.
Let’s flip the coin.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a long time, then you’d know that my first interview as a writer was with the Mayor himself. To say I was in awe by his presence and his train of thought would be an understatement. He was a man with dreams of making Tacloban the best. He took what his predecessor left him and turned it into gold. Tacloban became a model of a great city, a place that boomed with such greatness than it was before. National malls and investors came in, with people moving to Tacloban in hope of a better future. When I was talking to him, he was a man with a purpose, a man with drive. Tacloban became a Highly Urbanized City under his reign.
He was on his final term when Haiyan struck. And it couldn’t have been more of a bad timing.
A week before Haiyan, the officers of Tacloban already began to make plans on how to cope with the storm. They planned out evacuation centers, relief goods and consulted with the mayor about preparedness. On the night before, people were evacuating to the places they were assigned to, complete with the needs of the people such as food and water. Everything was set.
Then all hell broke lose.
After the storm, rumors of the Mayor going around Tacloban in his motorcycle surfaced. His house was practically washed out, his family all in danger. He was a survivor of the storm, and I think a lot of people forgot about that fact.
He then went to his office, only to be faced with other officers and policemen who were still dazed after the storm. Some of them were missing, some were struggling to put a roof over their heads. When he was denied again and again by our president, he was frustrated. When the interior secretary, who is the right hand man of the president, told him to step down and let the national government take over, he said no. He didn’t see the need to step down because as far as he was concerned, the President of the Philippines was also the President of Tacloban. The national government could take over Tacloban without him resigning as Mayor.
And so it began.
The people of Tacloban struggled to eat, as the food from relief went to the provinces where the national government took over. It seemed that the President was leaving Tacloban to fend for itself, all because our Mayor was his political enemy. It was a struggle for Mayor Alfred, as he tried to lift Tacloban on his shoulders. He was either outside his office as he did what he could to save his citizens, or he was fighting demons in the form of out President and his right hand man. It was a feat that no leader had to go through, but he didn’t back out.
Today, there was a hearing to talk about the response to Haiyan. His statements were heartbreaking. Here are some of them: (Mar Roxas is the interior or DILG secretary)
And the reactions of those who were on the President’s side were insensitive. Just like the president. They reacted as if they were there during the storm. Just like the president.
If you can’t understand some of the comments, they’re criticizing the mayor as incompetent. As if they could do better.
So now, the two sides of the coin has been shown to the public and no the public is left to their own opinions. As for me, I stay by our Mayor’s side. I was in Tacloban 8 days after the storm. I can justify to what our Mayor has poured out, as my family and I did not receive any help from the national government the whole time that we were there. If the President really wanted to help, then it would have been felt by our family who struggled everyday to find food for us.
Which side of the coin are you part of?
To those who want to read about the Mayor’s typhoon experience: http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/focus/12/09/13/ghost-tacloban-weeps-recalls-typhoon-horror