‘Pablo’ victims ‘loot’ shops to survive


NEW BATAAN, Philippines — Hungry and homeless typhoon survivors appealed for help Saturday as the ravaged southern Philippines mourned its more than 500 dead and desperate people in one hard-hit town looted shops in search of food.

Four days after Typhoon Bopha struck the major island of Mindanao, officials have struggled to bring in food and relief convoys through roads that had been blocked or swept away by floods and avalanches of rock, logs and mud.

About 4,000 residents in the destroyed farming village of Maparat had eaten the enclave’s surviving chickens and were left with scavenging fallen coconut fruits, said nursing mother Virginia Dodres, 38.

“I tried to breast-feed Mica, but they’re dry from lack of food. So I gave her coconut water, and now she’s down with colic,” mother-of-four Dodres told AFP as she comforted her crying one-year-old daughter.

All the houses had been carried off by floods and survivors were sleeping 80 to a room on the bare concrete floor of the local elementary school.

They share the toilet’s two stalls and are doing their washing and bathing at a nearby spring, which is also their only source of water.

Dodres said church workers with two big pots of porridge arrived Saturday bearing the first relief aid to Maparat, located a few kilometres (miles) from the devastated town of New Bataan. The food was gobbled up within minutes.

The village of flattened coconut and banana plants is linked by a muddy footpath to the main highway, where residents hung a hand-painted arrow with a crude sign on canvas that read: “Evacuation Area. Please Help Victims.”

Rescue officials said Mindanao’s east coast accounted for all but 40 of the 546 known deaths from the strongest typhoon to hit the country this year.

More than 500 other people are missing.

At least 211,000 people are taking refuge at crowded government-run shelters, according to the civil defence office in Manila.

Military trucks brought scores of coffins into Maparat early Saturday, as unidentified corpses retrieved from under rubble piled up at a government yard.

Cedric Daep, a public safety specialist, said desperate survivors looted shops and warehouses in Cateel, a hard-hit town on the Mindanao coast in the early aftermath of Bopha’s landfall there.

“The food aid took so long to arrive that the locals broke into whatever building (was) left standing in search of something to eat,” said Daep, who was sent to the south to help organise the disaster response.

Officials said damage to roads and bridges by floods and landslides trapped 150,000 people for three days in Cateel and the nearby towns of Baganga and Boston, where they said 97 percent of buildings were flattened or unroofed.

A Philippine Navy patrol vessel with 31 tonnes of emergency relief and 132 volunteer aid workers reached Baganga on Thursday, navy spokesman Omar Tonsay told AFP, saying he had not heard of the Cateel looting.

Daep said the region suffered its last strong typhoon in 1922, and had little expertise in coping with them.

“You have to organise (pre-disaster) evacuation, relief distribution systems, and putting up temporary shelters… They were not prepared,” he said.

Daep said survivors needed a reliable supply of food, safe water, shelter and clothing.

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  • Hey_Dudes

    There’s no need to take that path.  Everyone just need to  go to your nearest catholic church  CBCP I am sure will take care of your needs.

    • foreignerph

      Nah they are too busy to fight and plot against the Health bill. First things first!

    • boyfarmer

      Yes, in calamities such as this, the Catholic Church reaches out to the victims

  • Romeo

    They just go to the nearest government offices sure they will take care of all their needs, but too bad  they are too busy to fight and plot the passage of RH bill. first thing first. (idea extracted from Hey_Dudes and foreignerph..peace)

  • $18209031

    Ayan na , mag riot kayo dyan . Saan na ang mga taga luzon ? Mga pera ng bayan , ipalabas na !!

  • boyfarmer

    There is no typhoon in Mindanao except in the upper portion of Surigao, that is what we always say. Even Misamis and Cagayan de Oro was once typhoon free. but the route of the typhoons has been changing course, it is getting lower and lower towards Davao del Norte, and Comval, thus we are not prepared. This may be caused by global warming and climatic change. Davao City is still typhoon free, there was only cold weather and slight rain when typhoon Pablo wreck havoc in the coastal areas of Cateel, Surigao and Comval. . .

  • Guest

    When these “victims” start to loot, can you still call them “victims”? 

    • beerhunters

      lets emulate the japanese people for their discipline!! no incidence of looting during the recent tsunami that hit their island and that even destroyed one of their nuclear power plants.

      • taongaba

        They were not as hungry as these people…

  • AER84

    What is the matter with you people – discussing inane topics like the RH bill, you are mouth pieces of that idiot of a bishop. The people of Mindanao were complacent because typhoons have never hit there really (except for the Northeastern tip – Surigao) and never in this magnitude. Read wikipedia – there is a scientific basis for cyclones not occuring near the equator (idiots).

    Unfortunately, weather patterns are changing – God has nothing to do with it – if anything it is because of man. Global warming is happening people. It is changing weather patterns everywhere – not just here in the Philippines. Australia and the USA are experiencing the worst droughts ever. The US Eastern seaboard also had a super hurricane (a typhoon that occurs in the Atlantic) recently – more super cyclones (hurricanes/typhoons) are expected to happen there – just as it will happen here. So get off your pontifical arses and get real.

    My hope is that going forward, all Filipinos will work to improve their environment, prepare their homes and work places to withstand weather disturbances (like super typhoons), and just be decent and warm human beings. Mindanao is no longer immune to typhoons – we must bring ourselves to at least the level of Japan if not surpass them in this regard (and yes far as we are from the Japanese standard – they still were not able to withstand the effects of a major earthquake despite their much vaunted infrastructure).

  • isaac


  • It’s No Time To Doubt Now

    I love Blessed Mama Cory and National Hero Papa Ninoy. I love their only begotten son our beloved President PNoy. It bears repeating that just last week, our dear leader PNoy achieved the almost impossible 7.1% GDP growth rate singlehandedly. If not for our beloved President PNoy, the Philippines would not even figure in CNBC or Bloomberg or become the darling of global investors. Through the combined forces of Blessed Mama Cory and our national Superhero Papa Ninoy and their only begotten son dear leader PNoy, we have been able to stave off superstorms so far. But because there are too many critics, cynics, detractors, skeptics and naysayers, the forces of evil are gaining some upperhand. The evil little girl who is really a lifesize voodoo doll has been conspiring with Bishop Pabillo to summon the unfriendly forces of nature to wreak havoc on this land. As if nine years of voodoo economics by that evil voodoo little girl has not brought enough damage. As if the phantom bridges to nowhere and the phantom roros and nautical highway to nowhere have not been wasteful enough. Thanks to the forgiving nature of our dear leader PNoy who did not launch a witch hunt to burn the evil voodoo little girl at stake. At any rate, this is no time to doubt now. Let us heed the call of our beloved President PNoy and stop assigning blame for the sake of national solidarity amidst this crisis. Let us uphold the Anti-Cybercrime Law and forever silence the noisy enemies of our dear leader PNoy. Let us fortify our beloved President PNoy’s mandate and help him consolidate his power by putting into office Bam Aquino and Ting-Ting Cojuangco. Let us give our rockstar President PNoy our unwavering support so that he can propel this country to greater heights. Now is not the time to doubt.

    Sa Daang Matuwid, wala kang talo. Go with the flow. Go With Daang Matuwid.

    and may I humbly suggest:
    vote straight LP in 2013
    Ninoy 2.0 = Bam Aquino

    • Albert Einstien

      MALING MALI….papano ka IBOBOTO ng tao…LABAG agad sa BATAS yan early campaigning na ginagawa mo po…baranggay councilor ka muna me KONTING experience man lang…..i will not VOTE for you BAM…! ..NO TO POLITICAL DYNASTY!

    • taongaba

      Isa pang BS aquino.

  • surigao_miners

    Busy ang mga SENATORS natin nag debate tunkol sa RH BILL na yan kaya wala sila pakialam sa mga typhoon victims! si PNOY nakipaglaro ng PSP kay joshua! ayan na ang mga binoboto natin mga walang silbi!

  • Melanio Calayeg

    That’s normal to do in order to survive not unless the Government move fast to the affected region and deliver the needed food and medicine to the victims of Typhoon Pablo….Chaos will likely to occur….

  • TheGUM

    I just checked the Weather Underground (Wunderground) forecast and there is a possibility that Typhoon Bopha will loop back and affect Northern Luzon.  It is currently at Category 3.  Pagasa should watch this development very carefully and issue appropriate warnings.  This typhoon behavior has happened before in the area of the West Philippine Sea, during 2006, if I’m not mistaken.  So, let’s not let our guard down, yet.

  • Fulpol

    first time happened in the modern Philippine history… under the presidency of BS Aquino III amid a high marking GDP growth…

    what a dismal sight….

  • Fulpol

    LGU’s were totally devastated… national government should act fast..

    politicians are running away to stay away from hungry people… they might be eaten alive…

    • suroy_suroy

       Maybe they are more interested in watching the fight in Las Vegas??

  • Fulpol

    thousands and thousands… how can you feed them?

    NFA warehouses should dispose their stocks.. Alcala should abandon his goal not to import rice…

    CCT of Soliman will temporarily suspended in order to use the fund to help the victim…

    and GDP growth must fully utilized to rebuild the torn places…

    and local politicians should spray themselves with insecticides so that people will not eat them alive…

    chaos… chaos… amid high GDP growth, amid high hope to the gov’t… 

  • Jesse_Bruce_Pinkman

    Title should have been

    Pablo “victims” loot shops to “survive”.

    This is the big difference between Filipinos and Japanese. Even if Japanese people are in the verge of dying, they will choose to die rather than steal.

    Of course, we cannot blame these people. They need to survive, much like the animals would steal and kill just to survive. Japanese are not like animals, they have dignity and respect.

    How disappointing.

    Also, why did the relief aids arrive so late? This government is also decrepit and dysfunctional.

    • LuwigVonMises

       i wish you were one of those victims. to think you or anyone else would do anything different. and for you to label filipinos to be a lesser class of people from the japanese who came here and every place they went, rape and kill the young and old alike during the war for what because they think they are superior. well the end of the war prove them to be a bunch of baboons. that is not the kind of people you should say to be better than the filipinos.  … after what happened to them, you dare call them animals. shame on you!

  • Fulpol

    in a very DIVISIVE nation, how could they help?

    how would expect the people who love Gloria to help?

    how could you expect the people who was attacked by BS Aquino III to help?

    how about those who are not member of Liberal party?

    how could you expect China to help?

    a test of unity amid ultra divisiveness….. where’s the unity? where’s the help since election is coming? funds will be used in campaigning, instead of helping…

  • Fulpol

    US right at this moment already send their ships and helicopters to use for delivering relief goods…

    but no words from US yet..

  • Fulpol

    BS Aquino III is very popular.. he should rally people to help.. 

    but what help could he expect if he is the source of divisiveness? if he is the source of too much politicking…  politicians hoarded their LGU’s fund for the coming election instead of using it to help..

    • jeffrey_01

      those politicians hoarding their LGUS fund are JACKASSES.  They’re politicking in time of disasters.  Donkeyhole like you should not comment about divisiveness.

  • dodong1

    paano makakapunta yang mga senatong ang mga korgrestong eh kalahati sa kanila nandito sa Vegas nagpapakasasa sa pera ng bayan..babae, alak at sugal ang inaatupag ngayon… nag aantay sa laban ni Pakyaw bukas…

    • Jesse_Bruce_Pinkman

      Senatong ang Tongressmen

      • dodong1


  • LuwigVonMises

    so where are those politicians who brag about being a hero? who say they would do everything for the people… i am certainly sure when the disaster is far gone each one of this bloodsucking politicians brags about being some kind of hero for these people. when even today where these people are in dire needs, this politicians are no where to be found.


    THAT’S one event, in my opinion, when stealing isn’t immoral.  Les Miserables has that theme in its story.  When a disciple of JC stole a fruit from the stand of a fruit vendor, he also justified stealing with hunger….the preservation of life being the first thing in law. The least government can do is to reimburse owmers from whom goods were stolen.  Not easy to do but doable.  Just a sad fact that when disaster or catastrophe in a grand scale comes to happen, most rules are ignored.  Come to think of it, the globe has been reeling in disasters one after another…Sandy in NYS, flooding in INDIA and CHINA, earthquakes, tsunamis, fire, etc….. wars, nations against nations, sons against fathers, brothers against brothers, multiple killings, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Libia….could the 4 horsemen be far behind?  Will the INCA calendar prove its omen?  Let’s now all brace up and listen to the great Arguelles, Reyes, and Pabillo on what their last words on this.

  • Jose Rizal

    Nasaan na si Noynoy at ang kanyang matatamis na BOLADAS?

    • malek_abdul

      I saw Noynoy giving away relief good and P10,000 cash to the victims with casualties in these hard hit barangays of Compostela Valley. It is not right to put blame on the president just because he maybe unpopular to you especially in these hard times. Why can’t you just do your share to help.

  • Malik62

    Sooner or later the hungry people of Manila will loot Malacañang

    to survive.

  • Your_King

    These people are desperate and its sad. The Aquino Administration and his government are not doing near enough to give these people a choice. This is the only way they can survive…its not good to loot and steal but Aquino’s lack of help and support to these areas are giving victims no other choice.

    • jeffrey_01

      Read more news what the president’s responses to the disaster.  Local plannings are zero and only after the fact that insufficiencies appeared.  Local politicians should show leadership instead of going to US to watch Pacquiao fight while the country is suffering from its miseries.

      • Your_King

        The President’s responses to the disaster can be summed up in 2 words…not enough!Hasn’t done enough to help these victims to the point that they are either looting for food or begging for it. Local politicians and the President should all work together to help these areas affected by typhoon ‘Pablo.’

  • jeffrey_01

    Desperados.  I will do the same thing to survive.  The local government should compensate for the looted goods.

  • Klepto

    These people are just doing what their government and their politicians are doing: STEAL

  • TagaDumantay

    Ang daming niyog na natumba, e di kuhanin ang ubid ng may makain. Yong ubod ng saging kinakain din sa ibang bansa, bakit di natin subukan kainin. Dagdag laman tiyan din yan. Ang gusto yata ay de lata. Kilos kayo dyan pag umasa sa iba, mamatay kayo sa gutom. Ang mga kalalakihan, wag ng patambay tambay sa center, lumabas kayo at gumawa ng paraan. 

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