MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino may have visited typhoon-hit provinces today but for members of the House minority, the visits came too late.
“Late na rin talaga," quipped House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman.
Senior Deputy Minority Leader Danilo Suarez added: “Huli man at magaling, huli pa rin.”
Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay, for her part, said Aquino did not have to go to the calamity areas. She said the President could have spoken on nationwide TV last Thursday to assuage the fears of the people right after the typhoon Pedring ravaged Luzon.
"Pag presidente na nagsasalita, nagkakandarapa head of agencies," she said.
Magsaysay echoed House Speaker Sonny Belmonte’s argument that the President should have been more visible and overlooked his aversion to photo opportunities.
”No matter what the President does, malaking bagay yun. Kahit papaano moral support. I don’t know why they think it's a photo op. We’re not in a campaign period. You’re doing it in the course of your job as president. Kasi calamity yun eh...Kung may kulang, at least napaliwanag mo yung kulang. Siguro di nakita ng administrasyon, pag ama ka ng admin there are some things you have to do," she said.
Lagman noted the administration has failed to learn its lessons from its management of the Manila Hostage Crisis.
”The president was invisible during the rescue fiasco at Luneta. Ganun nangyari eh. Ngayon after [an] aftermath, ganun pa rin. The president has remained invisible.”
Magsaysay noted that when the administration first came to power, Presidential spokesman Edwin lacierda declared they would not make the mistakes of their predecessor during the devastation of tropical storm Ondoy in 2009.
“Kulang sa foresight ang administration ni PNoy. Mali because of underspending. Di nila binigyan ng funds for flood control and desilting. Walang desilting and declogging. I hope this thing will be a lesson to them," she said.