Presidential aspirants respond to Odette aftermath

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 17 2021 01:37 PM | Updated as of Dec 17 2021 04:35 PM

Presidential contenders in the 2022 elections mobilized their supporters on Friday to help bring aid to thousands of residents in areas pummeled by typhoon Odette. ABS-CBN News/File
Presidential contenders in the 2022 elections mobilized their supporters on Friday to help bring aid to thousands of residents in areas pummeled by typhoon Odette. ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA (UPDATE) — Presidential contenders in the 2022 elections mobilized their supporters on Friday to help bring aid to thousands of residents in areas pummeled by typhoon Odette. 

Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos, Jr.'s office said his and running-mate Davao City Mayor Inday Sara Duterte's “UniTeam” network of volunteers have prepared at least 20,000 relief packs for provinces in the typhoon’s path, including Samar, Leyte, Tacloban, and Masbate. 

More batches of relief goods are being packed for other areas, it added. 

“Nakamonitor ang aming opisina sa bagyong Odette at tinitignan natin kung ano pa ang mga kakailanganing tulong ng mga nasalanta. Sa kasalukuyan ay nakikipag-ugnayan na rin tayo sa mga lokal na pamahalaan para agad na maihatid ang mga tulong na ito” said the UniTeam. 

(Our office is monitoring typhoon Odette and we are looking at what other help is needed. At present, we are also coordinating with local governments to deliver this aid.) 

Vice President Leni Robredo, meanwhile, said her campaign volunteer center in Quezon City would be converted into a hub where relief aid could be dropped off. She said her team would also partner with Tanging Yaman Foundation to facilitate cash donations. 

Robredo said her office was also coordinating with the police, military and other units that can help with rescue operations. 

Her office said the Robredo People’s Council on Thursday also served champorado and sugar to at least 900 evacuees in Southern Leyte and Eastern Samar. 

“Walang krisis na hindi kayang lagpasan ang ating pagbabayanihan, aasahan ko po kayo,” Robredo said in a video message. 

(There is no crisis that our bayanihan cannot conquer. I am relying on you.) 

Another presidential contender, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, will send relief goods and other items needed by typhoon victims through 3 helicopters contracted by his office, his camp said. 

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso, meanwhile, called for a special session of the Manila City Council to pass a resolution allotting a certain sum of money intended for relief operations in areas badly hit by Odette.

Moreno also appealed to Manileños to initiate fundraising activities for the victims of the typhoon. 

For his part, labor leader Leody de Guzman said his fellow candidates "who have P3 to 5 billion on their campaign chest must allocate half of it to help Odette victims in Visayas and Mindanao."

"Baka maganda buhusan muna natin ng pondo ang ating mga kababayan na sinalanta ng bagyong Odette dahil nasa matindi silang pangangailangan," he said.

(It's better if we divert our campaign funds to relief operations for those affected by Odette.)

However, Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson described his fellow candidates' statements regarding Odette as "calamity politics," which he considers "abominable." 

"If it was done through private communication, I would have responded privately as well and offered whatever resources we can share at our disposal in a coordinated effort... Election or no election, we assist and help, period," Lacson said.

Odette saw winds of up to 195 kilometers per hour before hitting land on Thursday. It toppled power and communication lines, damaged homes and displaced hundreds of thousands of people. 

The typhoon is expected to exit the landmass via Palawan province and move out the country by Saturday.

— With a report from Reuters

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