By MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA
Philippine President Benigno Aquino III (extreme right) conferred recently with Secretary Mar Roxas of the Department of Interior & Local Government when the former visited the super cyclone ravaged Leyte, Philippines.
Two days after Super Typhoon (international code name: Haiyan) had wrought havoc I overheard my two media friends Harold Barcelona (HB) and RJ Jimenez (RJ) emphatically discussing inside my car how devastating was the cyclone that not only killed and ravaged the people and properties in Samar and Leyte but obliterated the green landscape of the two provinces.
HB: RJ, ano ang mas malakas itong Yolanda ba o iyong Tsunami sa Japan noong 2011 o iyong Super Typhoon Katrina na nanalanta sa America noong 2008?
RJ: Walang sinabi iyong Katrina at Tsunami mo. World's strongest itong Yolanda.
HB: Paano mo nasabi?
RJ: E dalawang araw matapos ang dilubyo sa Tacloban City, Leyte nakita mo naman iyong pantalon ni Mayor Alfred Romualdez napunit at iyong underwear ni Mrs niya (former sexy actress Cristina “Kring-Kring” Gonzales) natangal sa sobrang lakas ng bagyo at sobrang hampas ng tubig. These incidents were even reported on the dailies where their constituents gave pants and short to them that came from the loot in some malls there.
Other Super Typhoons in the Philippines were Child’s Play to Yolanda
Watching in my boob tube, I was appalled how Yolanda (international code name: Haiyan) scourged these part of the Visayas provinces.
“Child’s play ang Cosme noong 2008 when it uprooted one-fifth of the mango trees and other mangroves in Pangasinan. Sa lakas ng hangin bahay namin na kulay pula naging puti (dahil natuklap ang pintura he he), some of our G.I sheets were swept by the wind, “I posted on a board at social media FaceBook.
Haiyan Aftermath Reminiscent of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
The damages left by Yolanda were reminiscent of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan after the U.S Bomber B-29 SuperFortress named Enola Gay dropped the lethal “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” atomic bombs that flattened the two cities and killed hundreds of thousands of people there.
President Aquino did not learn the evils brought by looting, robberies, rapes, snipers, and other malfeasances in Super Typhoon Katrina in the U.S.
In that tragedy in the U.S President George Bush 43 found his pants down when the areas like New Orlean devastated by Katrina saw anarchy because of the absence of the military and police. In frantic desperation the U.S government even sent mercenaries, er, military private contractors Black Water who with their assault rifles brought back peace and order there.
|History Repeats Itself: America's love for the Filipino people,|
in times of despair.The first "Leyte landing" 1944, and the second "Leyte
Incompetence of the Aquino Administration?
Days before the monster killer typhoon in Leyte and Samar ran berserk, President Aquino should have ordered the military and police contingent to take post by digging in or tie themselves on some concrete at the higher grounds there and implement law and order after the typhoon exited.
Even CNN (Cable News Network and not Catbalogan News Network, stupid!) assailed his turtle-paced resolve in expediting aid to other hard hit areas.
Anderson Copper, self confessed member of the third sex, and CNN host of the eponymous program “Anderson Copper 360” and other foreign reporters lamented the inefficiency of the Philippine military unlike their counterparts in Japan when the tsunami there scourged the country.
Copper said after the tsunami ravaged the Fukushima region, sea of Japanese soldiers who were wielding stick combed the rubble as they searched for dead and trapped survivors just two days after the mayhem.
He deplored that after five days in Leyte he still seen the same cadavers sprawled in the sidewalks.
“What happened to the government? I’ve been personally driving government vehicles to and from here. There is no war, why not the president (Benigno Aquino III) sends three battalions of soldiers here to put order,” cried by Tacloban City Mayor Romualdez when he was interviewed by CNN.
Oo nga naman. Despite the government failure to learn from Katrina and Fukushima, why not the government send these more than two thousands of soldiers through Navy ships where each could load a thousand or more men, and use landing crafts, just like what Generals Douglas MacArthur and Carlos P. Romulo had done when the Americans liberated Leyte from the Japanese, to ferry them from the sea to the sea shore.
Super Typhoon defines Aquino Presidency
I’m beginning to believe the pose to President Aquino by Christiane Amanpour (the dead ringer of Spanish actor Antonio Banderas) of the CNN that Super Typhoon Haiyan would define his presidency (let’s include presidential wannabe and Interior Secretary Mar Roxas whose incompetence was aggravated by his apologist wife ABS/CBN reporter Korina Sanchez after she “clashed” with Copper on the veracity of the latter reports).
Here are some perceptive observations of my Face Book friends two days after Yolanda exited the Visayas:
From Glory Ann Balajadia –Cefre of Guam: “Actually Filipino radio hosts in Guam have been commenting three days before Haiyan lands in the Philippines. They said that the government should provide transportation to evacuate the people in the affected areas to Mindanao or Luzon. The government should work with NGO's or Red Cross, while others to provide food at the evacuation center. The evacuation seems to be very expensive but the consequences like deaths would be very dear. Just like what they are doing in the United States where they transfer the populace to safer places and return them after the storms. We in Guam, who are frequently visited by typhoons, were quick to heed and follow protocols. Typhoon Yolanda was similar to our super typhoon in 2002 but since there was no Face Book during that time nobody got a tab of it”.
The beauteous Balajadia –Cefre explained that the other saving grace of her tiny island Guam against the wrath of nature was its stringent building code.
“The Philippines vis-à-vis the changing climate should be strict on its building code to save lives and properties,” she opined.
Here’s another one from former California, USA resident and now Ilocoslovakia Norte resident Jayvee Valenzuela who commented on my bitching and whining about the incompetence of the Aquino Administration at FB.
“I used to live in Corpus Cristi, a small, fishing town off the coast of Texas where typhoons happen once or twice a year. Since they were so frequent, they built typhoon shelters made of steel that during the year was unoccupied but whenever there was a storm, the people could go there to sleep and stay safe until the typhoon or hurricane passed. Every year we read the damages wrought by typhoons in the Philippines just like adequate sewage systems that should be built in places where flooding is common. There should be typhoon shelters along Eastern Luzon and down south where Typhoons are common. I mean really, with the money stolen via the PDAF (priority development and assistance fund or pork barrel), there should be enough money to finance such projects. That's what I would do if I were the president of this republic. Imagine having that as your legacy instead of corruption that defined your presidency!”
Dozens of C-130 Hercules as Work Horse after Typhoon Haiyan
In the first two days of the post Super Typhoon Yolanda you probably saw the four propellers camouflage or gray painted C-130 Hercules. Now you asked: Why the military used C-130 and not the bigger Airbus or Boeing commercial jets in transporting relief goods in those devastated places in the Visayas?
C-130 Hercules, made by U.S based - Lockheed company in the 1960s, can take off and land in a short runway unlike those huge jets I mentioned and those bigger military jets like C-17 Globe Master and the biggest of 'em all military cargo plane the Russian made Antonov AN-225 that landed in Cebu.
As a son of a former air force man, I’ve been riding not only in the C-130s but the Vietnam war vintage C-123 and the World War II C-47 (commercial version was DC-3) cargo planes since elementary grades in the late 1970s. Son of a gun I and the roughly 200 other passengers mostly military men assigned in Mindanao stood jam packed sorrounding some steel caskets of dead soldiers, or six-by-six truck, or Armored Personnel Carrier, for two hours from the war torn Cotabato City to jungle asphalt Nichols (now Villamor) Air Base in Pasay City.
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