MANILA (Mabuhay) – Malacañang welcomed the appeal for reconciliation of Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma said it is good such effort is made during this Christmas season, which is a season of peace and goodwill.
He said President Benigno Aquino III is the leader of every Filipino. He said the President is always open to communicate with the people.
Romualdez earlier said he is willing to end the word war with Aquino and Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas after accusing the two of politicizing relief and rehabilitation efforts in Tacloban after the devastation brought by super typhoon “Yolanda.”
He told a congressional hearing that Roxas asked him to “legalize everything” by passing an ordinance allowing the national government to conduct relief and rescue efforts in the city.
“I told (Roxas): why is it illegal? As far as I know, the President is the president of the Philippines and he is also president of Tacloban City. I don’t see anywhere in the law, that you need a letter or ordinance from me for you to come in and do what you are doing,” he said.
“He answered me: ‘You have to remember: we have to be very careful because you are a Romualdez and the president is an Aquino,’” he added.
Roxas later accused Romualdez of lying and twisting his facts. He said President Aquino was being very careful about being seen as taking over Tacloban when the mayor is a known political enemy of the President.
“Ito yung sinasabi ko sa kanya. ‘You have to understand. You are a Romualdez and the President is an Aquino.’ He is being very careful in just taking over because he does not want anything to be misconstrued. Ang sinasabi ko nag-iingat kami (kasi baka masamain),” he said in an ABS-CBN interview.
“Ayaw niya bigyan ng kulay at kung anong spin. Ito na nga ang nangyayari. Ito ang gusto kong iwasan, na one month later bigla na lang magbabago ang storya. Kaya ko sinasabi na: ‘Pwede ba, kung gusto niyo na magtakeover ang national government, pwede ba isulat niyo na lang? Sabihin niyo hindi niyo kaya, na wala kayong kawani.”
Roxas confirmed that the national government actually took over the peace and order situation, cleanup, rehabilitation and bringing of relief goods in Tacloban even without Mayor Romualdez’s letter.
“Ang sinasabi ko lang – nag-iingat nga dahil mamaya sasabihin nila na nambraso o nang-agaw ng kapangyarihan ang national,” he said.(MNS)