MANILA (Mabuhay) – Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. on Thursday told government officials, including Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, to be more “flexible” during disasters, after accusations that the Cabinet member brought up clan politics in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).
During a joint congressional assessment of the government’s response to Yolanda, Marcos said the government should probably change its standard operating procedure of strictly having “first responders” when disasters strike.
“Hindi mo na dapat sasabihn na ikaw ang first responder. We’ve been hearing that. Siguro ang SOP dapat baguhin at dapat gawing mas flexible,” Marcos said.
“Dapat hindi strict. Kung sino ang may kakayahan, kung sino ang nandoon, sila ang reresponde,” the senator added.
In response, Roxas told members of Congress that the government was not too bureaucratic during Yolanda’s aftermath.
“I don’t want to leave the impression na kami po ay nag-burokrasya. Kami po nila [Defense] Secretary Volts [Gazmin], nagresponde kami,” he said.
Marcos’s cousin, Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, said Roxas asked him to cede control of the city to the national government instead of immediately responding to the needs of the typhoon victims.
Roxas belied Romualdez’s claims, saying the mayor took his statement out of context.
Roxas is a party-mate and close ally of President Benigno Aquino III, a member of the rival political family of the Marcoses. (MNS)