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Aquino to blame for Sendong tragedy
In The Press Posted on December 30th, 2011.
ADMINISTRATION critics on Friday said President Benigno Aquino III had no one to blame but himself for not acting to stop illegal logging and other activities that harm the environment.
Gabriela Women’s party-list Rep. Emmi de Jesus called on the Palace to cancel all logging permits, saying the havoc wrought by tropical storm Sendong should be seen in the context of “large-scale environmental plunder.”
“Government programs for flood control, environmental protection and efforts in natural resources conservation are just window-dressing if large-scale logging permits across the country, not just in Mindanao, are not canceled,” De Jesus said.
“We hold President Aquino accountable for the tragedy that left hundreds dead and thousands homeless in Mindanao for his continued inaction for the protection of the environment.”
In other developments:
• The World Bank announced the immediate release of $500 million to help the government in its recovery and reconstruction efforts in Sendong’s aftermath
• President Aquino ordered P1.6 billion released to produce “flood maps” that will track the weather more accurately and ease the impact of natural disasters
• The University of the Philippines plans to bring singers and entertainers to Iligan and Cagayan de Oro to help the residents overcome their stress or trauma.
Isabela Rep. Rodolfo Albano called for a summit to produce strategies that will ease the effects of climate change. “We are now suffering the brunt of climate change,” he said.
“Our wet season is becoming wetter, our dry season is becoming drier, and there are even typhoons at summertime. Worse, hundreds of people die, thousands more get dislocated, and properties are destroyed.”
Albano pointed to the destruction wrought by Sendong, Quiel and Pedring, respectively, in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City, Central Luzon and Northern Luzon, Calabarzon, Mimaropa, Bicol, the Cordillera Administrative Region and Metro Manila.
He said his proposed summit should tackle not only climate change but the other factors that aggravate the effects of climate change including illegal logging, illegal mining, improper waste disposal and pollution. (Maricel Cruz, Roderick T. dela Cruz, Joyce Pangco Pañares, Rio N. Araja)