Progressive groups’ statement of sympathy and action for victims of typhoon Yolanda

November 12, 2013

KPPM logoProgressive groups mark November 13 as “International Day of Solidarity and Action” for the victims of Yolanda. Below is their statement:

The Koalisyon ng Progresibong Manggagawa at Mamamayan (KPMM) extends its heartfelt sympathies to millions of our countrymen who are victims and survivors of Typhoon Yolanda, one of the world’s strongest typhoons that ravaged several areas in Eastern, Central and Western Visayas, and Southern Luzon. We also extend our deepest condolences to those who have already lost their loved ones, and wish continued strength upon those who are still searching for their missing kin while struggling to survive the harsh conditions that they are forced to endure during this period.

Our mass organizations of the urban poor, workers, women, overseas Filipinos and their families, youth, and government employees are mobilizing its members and allies, nationally andinternationally, to assist in the ongoing relief operations for the victims of super typhoon Yolanda.The organized masses are acting swiftly to gather help and extend solidarity to their fellow poor and oppressed, who are always the hardest hit by natural disasters. It is heartbreaking that the typhoon wreaked havoc on the lives and livelihoods of families living in some of the poorest provinces in the country, which have long been neglected by the national government.

We call on Pres. Benigno Aquino III to utilize funds at his disposal for the immediate rescue and relief of typhoon victims. It is alarming that victims are being deprived of the basic needs for survival, such as potable water and food. It is alarming that the plight of thousands of Filipinos in many typhoon-ravaged villages still remain unknown, days after the typhoon.

On the other hand, we are enraged that President Aquino had the temerity to address the nation before th typhoon to boast that the government is expecting zero casualties as it is prepared to deal with the calamity.Obviously, it was all just empty rhetoric meant to divert public attention away from the pork barrel scandal rocking his administration. We remain steadfast that calamities like these should not be used to justify and retain the PDAF and DAP.  The important thing is to release the resources of government NOW.

Today, dead bodies are piling up fast, and the government is slow to even acknowledge this fact and tries in vain to downplay the casualty count.Obviously little of our resources were used to safely evacuate our countrymen and ensure that they have the basic necessities for survival. Shamefaced, Aquino has tried to place the blame elsewhere, and has shown only how his government is ill-prepared to face this increasingly desperate post-typhoon scenario.

We mark November 13 as the International Day of Solidarity and Action for the victims of Yolanda. We will hold candle-lighting ceremonies, relief drives, and solidarity actions for the victims of Yolanda. We warn the Aquino government not to abuse or misuse public funds intended for the victims. It is not unlikely that government officials, from the national to the local level, will use this calamity as yet another opportunity for corruption. As we are mourning and assisting the victims, we are also wary and vigilant against this rotten and utterly disastrous system of governance.

The Koalisyon ng Progresibong Manggagawa at Mamamayan (KPMM) is an alliance of different mass organizations such as organizations of workers, women, youth and students, government employees, migrant workers and their families, and the urban poor. Here are some of their calls for relief and assistance:

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