Quantcast
Latest Stories

Davao food protest over but DSWD suing leaders

By ,
,

A three-day protest “occupation” outside the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional office in Davao City might have ended on a reconciliatory note on Wednesday night, but Secretary Corazon Soliman is haling the agitators and looters to court.

In a Malacañang briefing on Thursday, Soliman said survivors of Typhoon “Pablo” were deceived into joining Monday’s rally that turned into looting of relief goods at the DSWD compound in Davao City.

“At least four said they were supposed to join the celebration of the [Edsa] People Power [Revolution] anniversary, and in return they’d get a sack of rice each from [Davao City Mayor Sara] Duterte,” she said, quoting a TV news report. Others were promised sacks of rice from Duterte after an excursion to a beach, she added.

“Congressman Teddy Casiño was there, joined the rally and even the singing because it was the Feb. 25 celebration,” Soliman said.

Some 3,000 angry residents from typhoon-hit areas in Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental began their protest on Monday afternoon to demand delivery of government relief services and the immediate release of   10,000 sacks of rice promised by Soliman during a 10-hour roadblock in Montevista town in Compostela Valley on Jan. 15.

The next morning, they knocked down a gate and stormed the office, taking away the sacks of rice and boxes of relief goods. Policemen forcibly recovered the goods hours later, prompting a riot that left at least 15 people hurt.

Deception in mobilization

“What we’re seeing here is a deception in their mobilization. That’s why those who had deceived them will have to pay. They were victims of Pablo; now they’re victims again,” Soliman said.

She said the protest leaders had been identified for the eventual filing of charges.

The minimum charges are looting and destruction of public property, she said.

In a closed-door meeting on Wednesday night, representatives from the DSWD and the militant Barug Katawhan vented their concerns, emotional reactions and prejudices to finally level off and work together in resolving the difficult situation faced by residents in typhoon-hit areas.

They agreed to fast-track the distribution of relief goods, signaling an end to the three-day “occupation,” and that no charges would be filed against each other and no one will ever retaliate.

“It was sworn and duly agreed by Barug Katawhan, PNP (Philippine National Police) Davao City and DSWD-11 that there will be no action for retaliation against each one, including fostering other means to cause a breakdown of what had been agreed on,” Soliman said.

They agreed to validate the inadequacy or insufficiency of relief goods, specifically the total number of families who did not receive the bags of provisions, and to fast-track the process, she said.

List of recipients

Assistant Social Welfare Secretary Camilo Gudmalin said the government would immediately release the rice after the list of recipients shall have been validated.

In the joint agreement, both parties said it was important to conduct validation in all villages if there are cases of inadequate delivery of relief goods and that this will be done with the local government units.

The DSWD also heeded the appeal of Barug Katawhan for an extension of the distribution of relief services and declared that it would be continued until June this year, instead of mid-March as earlier announced.

The agreement also stated that the protesters would be given 100 sacks of rice, which would be deducted from the committed 10,000 sacks of rice, as they return to their villages.

“We have not talked about any time frame, but we want this done immediately,” Gudmalin said.

Demands met

Barug Katawhan spokesman Karlos Trangia said the group was happy because all of its demands were met.

“We are happy that the DSWD finally listened to our calls and fulfilled all our demands. We claim this as a victory of the people. This is what we came for,” Trangia said.

All parties will immediately convene if there will be problems during the implementation of the agreement. Only Trangia, Cirila Anding and Grace Curso were authorized to speak for Barug Katawhan; Rev. Sarly Templado Sr., Noemi Dagala and environmentalist Francis Morales for Balsa Mindanao; and Assistant Secretary Gudmalin and regional director Priscilla Razon for the DSWD.

With the rally over, Soliman said social welfare personnel would double their efforts to repack relief goods and to implement a cash-for-work scheme for the typhoon victims.

Gudmalin said that in the process of reconciliation, everyone involved in the incident must forgive each other and hold no grudge.

Carried away by emotions

“Many were only carried away by emotions,” he said, explaining the series of violent encounters between policemen and protesters.

On Thursday afternoon, protesters Conrado Capili and Daniel Binang were released from jail only after the buses, which ferried the protesters back to their places of origin, reached the boundary of Davao City and Panabo City in Davao del Norte.

In Quezon City, the party-list group Gabriela on Thursday denounced what it described as Soliman’s pusong bato (heart of stone) in dealing with the typhoon victims.

“Soliman has no place in public office especially as head of an agency sworn to serve the poor and vulnerable. She should be kicked out of office for her ineptitude and malice in dealing with the Pablo disaster,” said Gabriela secretary general Joms Salvador.—With a report from Jeannette I. Andrade


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Corazon Soliman , Department of Social Welfare and Development , protest , relief goods , Typhoon Pablo , Violence




To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  2. Chinese lawyers say they were tortured by police
  3. Hair salon’s Kim Jong Un poster riles embassy
  4. Siquijor ‘healer’: For every cure, there’s a plant
  5. State seeks guilty verdict for Abalos
  6. Why college grads end up in the PNP
  7. Estrada: I will pray for my detractors
  8. Miraculous image makes Gapan City top site for pilgrimage in Central Luzon
  9. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  10. Five men from Cavite found dead in jeep in Batangas
  1. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  2. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  3. Netizens cry: 6/55 Lotto was rigged
  4. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  5. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  6. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  7. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  8. ‘King’ Yabut and I: Driver bares Makati dad ‘abuses’
  9. It was difficult having Japanese blood
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. UP back on top as ‘average’ student aces bar
  5. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  6. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  7. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  8. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  9. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  10. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
Advertisement

News

  • After quake, makeshift churches welcome pilgrims in Bohol
  • UN warns banana fungus spreading from Southeast Asia
  • Massive infra spending set
  • ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  • Cardinal Tagle to faithful: Join politics to clean it
  • Sports

  • Federer would skip tennis to be with wife, newborn
  • Manny Pacquiao in PBA? If so, he’ll wear No. 17
  • PSC sets Blu Girls US training
  • Power Pinoys settle for 7th place
  • Successful coaches to get raise
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • The truffled mac ‘n’ cheese, eggs benedict, chicken leg confit are excellent
  • Entertainment

  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • ‘Community’ star happy with return of show’s creator
  • Jealousy is kid stuff
  • Mommy-daughter adventure continues
  • Business

  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Number of retrenched workers rose by 42% in ’13
  • PH seen to sustain rise in FDIs
  • Gov’t subsidies to state firms fell in first 2 months
  • Technology

  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Tech company: Change passwords or suffer ‘Heartbleed’
  • Filling the digital talent gap
  • SSS to shut down website for Holy Week
  • Another reason to quit social media this Holy Week: your safety
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest
  • Milpitas, California kids wrap up a successful run of ‘The Wiz’
  • Netizens welcome Japan’s visa-free travel plan
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement