VM Duterte visits CPP anniversary celebration

Dec. 27, 2012

Duterte only affirmed what the communist movement has been saying all along: that “imperialist logging, mining and agri-business plantations” exacerbate climate change and hasten the earth’s degradation.

Davao Today

COMPOSTELA VALLEY, Philippines — The whirring helicopter sound interrupted a young guerilla fighter who was finishing his opening speech during the celebration of the Communist Party of the Philippines 44thyear anniversary December 26.  Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte later hopped off from the chopper after it landed on a basketball court where about a platoon held an earlier formation.

Magpasalamat kita nga wala kita gipakyas, naa karon ang higala sa mga masa, sa rebolusyonaryong kalihokan nga nagpakabana pud sa mga masang mag-uuma ug lumad nga nabiktima dili lang sa bagyong Pablo, apan nag-una sa imperyalismo nga maoy hinungdan niining kalamidad,” Ka Enroy, one of the New People’s Army (NPA) fighters announced to an audience composed of company-sized guerillas and about 500 peasants.

Against a desolate landscape of mountains badly devastated by typhoon Pablo in this remote town, Duterte said, “Nakigduyog ko sa panahon sa inyong kalisud.”

The NPA is right

Asa nato ihampak ang malas nga niabot kanato karon?” Duterte asked the crowd.

Duterte only affirmed what the communist movement had been saying all along: that “imperialist logging, mining and agri-business plantations” exacerbate climate change and hasten the earth’s degradation.

Tama ang gisulti sa NPA.  Hinungdan kini sa pagguba sa atong kinaiyahan,” Duterte said as he noted the situation in other countries like Ukraine where the freezing temperatures, as low as minus 20 degrees Celsius, left at least 37 people dead.  He said carbon dioxide emissions from countries like America, Europe and China greatly contributed to the destruction of the earth’s surface.

“Mao na ning gaantos ta sa kabuang sa mga dato nga nasud.  Okay lang sila kay daghan silag kwarta. Tag-as ilang building, dili sila maabot sa baha.  Ilang istruktura semento, samtang kita dinhi, huyang kaayo (ang mga istruktura),” Duterte said.

Before he left for Davao City, Duterte promised the community here to extend help by sending food, and chainsaws and nails to help the people rebuild their houses from the fallen trees.  He also gave PHP 100,000 cash for the residents and coursed through the money to the NPA.

In an earlier statement, Ka Oris, spokesperson of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP)-Mindanao, said gas emissions was due to the unhampered consumption of fossil fuel by imperialist countries “in the name of super profits.”

Based on the 2008 United Nations estimates, the top 10 CO2-emitting countries from the burning of fossil fuels and cement manufacture are China, United States, European Union, India, Russia, Japan, Germany, Canada, Iran and United Kingdom.  They emit 67.07 percent of the world total CO2 emission while the Philippines emits only 0.28 percent.

Ka Oris, in a separate statement, has scored the Aquino government for “playing blind” to the real reasons of the recent disaster blaming small miners and farmers but allowing “the unhampered operation of multinational large-scale mining and plantations that continue to destroy the environment.”

Inept and inadequate

Meanwhile, disaster preparedness and government response are disappointingly inept and inadequate in some areas of this province.

In one of the sub-villages here, residents complained against the government for the lack of food, and absence of medical aid and shelter after they were hit by Pablo.

“Nobody from the government came here to check our situation,” said Elmer Agang, 39, a farmer in Sitio Bongkilaton, Compostela town.

The Agangs are one of the 76 families whose houses were ravaged by the strong winds brought by Pablo.

“Most of our things were gone.  We need kitchen utensils, blankets, banig (sleeping mats), mosquito nets.  We badly need roofs,” this father of four kids said.

Bernadeth Goay, 49, said their house was blown away while their farm was totally destroyed.  “Hurot gyud.  Balik mi sa uno.  Wala na gyud mi kapanguhaan,” she lamented as she complained that no help has come their way.

“Even our village captain didn’t personally come here to check our situation,” she said.  “If we didn’t line up for the relief goods from private organizations outside our sitio, we won’t have anything to eat,” she added.

Like the Agangs and the rest of their neighborhood, the Goays need help to sustain their food and rebuild their houses.

Despite the millions of financial aid from private entities and foreign countries, many still cry out in protest in areas badly hit by Pablo.

According to Ka Oris, foreign financial aid for relief and rehabilitation has found its way into the pockets of some bureaucrats.  He added, just like what happened to the victims of Sendong last year, “certain politicians have taken advantage of the situation to use typhoon Pablo’s victims as a showcase to advance their political interests for next year’s elections.”  He furthered, the situation is also being used to create clean image for the AFP doing “humanitarian relief work” for Oplan Bayanihan.  (Marilou Aguirre-Tuburan/davaotoday.com)


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