MANILA (UPDATED) - Ilocos Norte Gov. Imee Marcos had nothing but good words for President Aquino for helping her province during times of typhoons.
Marcos and Aquino had a light moment during the pictorial of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) general assembly at the Manila Hotel.
The two stood side by side along with Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas and other local officials during the group photo opportunity. Marcos and her group posed for two shots before giving way to the next group.
It was the President who invited Marcos to stand beside him.
Marcos said she and the President were ribbing Mindoro Oriental Governor Alfonso Umali after the latter was dragged into the controversy on Delfin Lee's arrest as well as his alleged pork barrel transactions as congressman through the National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR).
Marcos told media men that President Aquino responds to her text messages quickly whenever she has to ask help during disasters.
She admitted though that there was "tampuhan" between her relatives and the government over the response to super typhoon Yolanda's destruction in Leyte.
Leyte’s top officials include her cousins, Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez and Rep. Martin Romualdez. The Romualdez-Marcos and Cojuangco-Aquino clans are long-time political rivals.
Marcos and Aquino were both congressmen during the Arroyo administration.
Aquino has been criticized for the slow response of his administration to the effects of typhoon Yolanda.
Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma welcomed the light exchange between the two but was evasive when asked if it was a sign of reconciliation between Marcos and Aquino.
"Sa akin lang, kung makikita kong nakangiti at masaya ang ating mga pinuno ng bansa, ‘di ba dapat tayo ay magalak din?" he asked.
Roxas assured the public there is a program for government to reconstruct the areas affected by super typhoon Yolanda.
President Aquino rallied local executives to prepare for the rainy season this year.
“Bago po magtapos po, alam ninyo tatlong buwan na lang, babalik na naman tayo sa ating rainy season kung saan magdadatingan ang mga bagyo, alam po natin na shinare [share] na po sa inyo ang mga mapa ng ating disaster-prone areas. So, sana po tutukan natin ‘yan habang may oras pa tayo, sana masabi natin, “Ginawa na natin ang lahat ng dapat magawa.” “
He also made special mention of the governor.
“Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway [TPLEX]. Last year, we completed the section spanning Tarlac City, Gerona and Paniqui towards the [north]. In December 2015, we expect to finish the whole road until the foot of Kennon," he said.
The President gave an assurance that the national government will release necessary funds to local government units. However, he noted not all LGUs have complied with the requirements to avail of the funds worth P600 million.
"Mayroon ho tayong inaasahan kasing mga tinatawag na program of works, na 271. Ito po ay pagbabalik ng kanilang mga munisipyo, mga palengke, at mga civic center. So far po, ang nag-submit na ng kanilang mga program of works na siyang pagmumulan ng kanilang, parang, dahilan o rason para mai-release ‘yong pondo, eh sa out of 271, 228 na po ang nag-submit ng program of works, nagkakahalaga po ng 600 milyong piso ito at dahil nai-submit na po ninyo ang program of works, kino-commit ho ng DILG na mairelease ang pondo ng ten days mula noong pag-submit n’yo."
Aquino, meanwhile, praised LMP president and Javier, Leyte Mayor Sandy Javier for helping other areas devastated by Yolanda.
Javier was not badly damaged by the howler.
"Minabuti po ni Sandy Javier at iba pa nating mga mayor sa Leyte, Samar, at sa iba pang lugar na kung sila hindi diretsuhan, talagang todo sinalanta ni Yolanda, dinamayan kaagad na walang pagtutulak ang problema ng mga karatig-lugar at ‘yung iba pa'y mas malayong mga lugar. Pagkatanda ko nga ho, sa pagtutulungan ni Sandy at saka ng MMDA, nagkaroon ng adoption ang atin pong Metro Manila Council ng kanilang mga sister communities and municipalities para maidagdag ang tulong, ang kakayahan, ang kagamitan, nitong kanilang mga sister cities, para mapabilis ang pagbalik muli mula sa dinatnan sa Yolanda.”