Dinky: 'Agitators' deceived typhoon victims

by Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 28 2013 03:58 PM | Updated as of Mar 01 2013 05:58 AM

MANILA - Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD Secretary Dinky Soliman is determined to file charges against leaders of groups in Davao City she believes instigated the ransacking of relief goods in the agency’s office.
Soliman said that it appears that organizers of the attack had deceived victims of typhoon Pablo into joining the demonstration by telling them that they were to join a celebration of the People Power revolution anniversary and go to a beach outing and would purportedly be given a sack of rice by the mayor.
She cited television interviews of the typhoon victims.
“’Yun hong mga lumabag ng batas, pangunahin po ay ang mga namuno nito na mga taga-Davao City. Kilala, identified sila, may mga leaders ho na taga-Davao City pinag-aaralan po namin na kasuhan sila. Dahil sa aming tingin, may basehan pong para sabihin na may konting panlilinlang na nangyari,” Soliman said in a press briefing at Malacañang.
“Ang amin hong nakikita meron talaga pong hindi matapat na pagmo-mobilize na nangyari. Kaya sa amin hong tingin kailangan managot yun mga nanloko sa mga nabiktima nga ng Pablo na, bibiktimahin pa natin ng ikalawang beses. Kaya’t para sakin kailangan po silang managot,” she said.
Soliman said that lawyers are looking into what charges can be filed against the leaders of the instigating groups.
“One very clear na na-violate is nag-loot and destruction of public property. Pero kailangan naming pag-aralan paano isasampa ‘yan at kung kanino, kasi amin ngang dini-determine ‘yung leadership sa Davao City,” she said.
Soliman explained that the agency could not simply give in to the demand to release 10,000 sacks of rice without asking for a distribution list and distribution plan.
“Bakit po mahalaga na makuha namin ‘yung listahan? Kasi nga po meron na po kaming 233 thousand plus na listahan, gusto po naming ikumpara. Pangalawa, accountable po kami sa COA. Hindi po namin puwedeng i-release ‘yung 10,000 sacks of rice na hindi po namin alam kung saan po pupunta. Alam ho ninyo, malapit-lapit sa 12 million pesos po ‘yon. Kawawa naman ho ‘yung aming mga fund people kasi sila ‘yung makakasuhan,” she said. 
“So ang nangyari po, habang aming pinaliliwanag ‘yan, 11 o’clock sinira ‘yung gate namin at pumasok po ‘yung mga nagra-rally, kinuha ‘yung mga bigas at ‘yung mga delata doon, naka-food pack na ‘yon. ‘Yon po ay nakalaan na pick-up-in ng LGUs ng Davao del Norte para sa biktima ng Typhoon Crising. ‘Yon po ay nandoon kasi ang amin nga hong para sa Typhoon Pablo (ay) nasa DPWH warehouse. Doon na po kami humingi ng tulong sa pulis dahil 20 pulis lang ang nandoon dahil hindi naman ho namin inaasahan na mangyayari ‘yon.”
“Ang alam namin sa mahihirap, matagal na namin tinutulungan, hindi po sila ganun. Hindi po sila nagnanakaw. Mababait na tao po ang mahihirap. Meron lang palagay ko nakapag-agitate sa kanila,” she said. 
The DSWD, representatives of Barug Katawhan, Balsa Mindanao, among others, have agreed on the following points, ending the demonstration:

  •  “A need for validation in every purok, sitio for every barangay to determine the inadequacy and sufficiency of relief goods received.”
  • “This will be a coordinated effort of Barug Katawhan, Balsa Mindanao, the provincial local government unit, the municipal local government unit, and DSWD Region XI,” she said.
  • “Validation should immediately determine the total number of families who did not receive enough goods as basis for the distribution of relief goods.”
  •  “The relief operation will cover 6 months from December 2012 to June 2013.”
  • Soliman said the DSWD is committed to go beyond June 2013 if necessary but the agency strives to “normalize” the lives of the victims so as not to rely on food packs in a very long period of time by helping provide jobs.
  • “The Barug Katawhan, DSWD Region 11, the provincial local government unit, the provincial social welfare and development office, the municipal local government unit, and the municipal social welfare and development office, the barangay local government unit and Balsa Mindanao have agreed to fast track the validation on the numbers of families who did not receive enough goods; the sitios and puroks in the barangay which did not receive or failed to receive sufficient relief goods; and Barug Katawhan will provide the list if there are indeed areas which did not receive or which obtained inadequate relief goods.”
  • “On the request of the members of Barug Katawhan to bring home a little volume of rice when they return home, it was agreed that 100 sacks of rice will be provided them.”
  • “It was sworn and duly agreed by Barug Katawhan, PNP Davao City and DSWD 11 that there will be no action for retaliation against each one including fostering other means to cause breakdown to what have been agreed.”
  • “Should there be problems in effect to this signed agreement only the following have the authority to discuss the matter.”

Soliman said that 1,173,354 food packs have been distributed to 233,354 families affected in Region XI.
P1,196,754.90 worth of non-food items have been distributed. The DSWD also has a cash-for-work program to provide jobs.  
DSWD is also building temporary shelter for the victims, with the aim of constructing permanent shelter in safe zones.