Davao food protest over but DSWD suing leaders


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

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  • http://www.yellowmythbusters.gov.ph/ Weder-Weder Lang

    This is what Dinky Soliman gets for playing god. She played god with relief goods provided for by taxpayers. She played god with the sufferings of typhoon, flood and landslide victims. She was once admonished by Senator Santiago not to play god but Dinky Soliman was too proud. Pride comes before the fall. Dinky Soliman has not seen the last of it. Not just yet.

    • http://www.facebook.com/danilo.navarro.946 Danilo Navarro

      yan ang nangyayari pag nahaluan ng mga rallyestang ang hanap ay manggulo nag hahakot ng mga tao tapos isusubo sa gulo at sila ay nakatayo sa malayo upang di madamay kawawang mga kababayan iyan naman nangyayari pag di nasunod agad ang gusto nila uumpisahang utuin ang mga isinama para manggulo.. 

      • http://www.yellowmythbusters.gov.ph/ Weder-Weder Lang

        hindi na sila natuto kay Dinky Soliman, na dating organizer din ng gulo at ngayon ay nasa poder na at limpak limpak na salapi ang hawak.

      • batchmatters

        mukhang inggit ka lang bok, siguro ikaw naman ay nawalan nang malaki mula nang maupo sa pwesto si PNoy.

      • maypakialamtayo

        sayang, tsk,tsk,tsk, dapat kasi hihintayin ang team pnoy na mangampanya sa davao at isasabay ang pagmumudmod ng relief goods, itong kasing mga sulsul na’to perhuwisyo.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/W6OYQAQ3YNWGE4SIRA4IIQ4Y3Y joshua

         taam ka jan nakuha mo team pNoy ang magpapamudmod nung feeling concern.

    • batchmatters

      Even the distribution of relief goods has to follow certain procedures to make sure the goods would reach their intended recipients. Notwithstanding her crazy-colour hair, Dinky Soliman has proven every inch of her worth as a public servant, and making sure that her duties are done efficiently and responsbily does not equate it to playing god.

      • http://www.yellowmythbusters.gov.ph/ Weder-Weder Lang

        Prove her worth? Not to the hungry and the dying in Davao. If it makes you happy to worship her, knock yourself out.

  • beerhunters

    “When hunger knocks at the door, morals, ethics, & principles jump out of the windows”

  • Hey_Dudes

    As it is the supreme policy of the catholic church for Filipinos to go forth multiply as many as they can, perhaps before going to bed to do just that, many might want to think first – should they be devastated by natural or man made calamities, will they be able to feed the 5, 8,12 children who with them will be out on the streets awaiting financial help? Will it be easier to plan ahead with less to worry about in the event no one is there to tide you up during the crisis? Time to think about it fellow citizens.  If you do it may prevent you from resorting to looting so you can care for your big family.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W7TPARCYJFCSA3PBQAM3MVZO3E kurakut


  • Pok2

    Nakakatakot ito. Pag lumaganap ang kagutuman sa buong Pilipinas. Magiging isang madugong himagsikan ang mangyayari. Sana wag naman mag civil war.

  • Pok2

    Mr. President, tell the elites to be more compassionate before it’s too late. The people are already dehumanized in general due to stricken POVERTY which will trigger a CLASS WAR. The commies will take advantage of these. Be true to your DAANG MATUWID. Save our country.

  • Hey_Dudes

    Anak ng anak ng marami tapos kapag me delubyo at minalas, gobyerno ang inaasahan?  Ano ba yan?  Hindi bale sana kung ang gobyerno ay tulad ng America na kahit anong mangyari they are well enough to take care of things.  Kaya isang lesson yan bakit hindi kayo magtanim kahit kamatis lang o maghanap buhay kahit ano habang naghihintay kayo ng grasya?

    • CypherCaitlin

      Sir, inagos nga po ng baha lahat ng pinagpaguran nila, konting tulong lang sana para makakain..I’m sure na-experienced mo ang Ondoy las time…

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    Soliman should be investigated.  Relief should have been immediate but what happened another floodings hit almost the same area still awaiting aids.  

    She’s handling the disaster very ineffective.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_POBZSV5PGTGUS3YA2KR2NZI3HA Alex

      if she carelessly distribute those relief goods, she will be investigated by COA, now that she’s doing it carefully, investigation pa rin? she is handling government funds, kung ito direct donations from ngo and red cross walang problema kung ipamigay agad. the department is asking for the list of beneficiaries, yun lang ang requirement pahirapan pa rin? obviously me mga ngtatago among this crowd of victims, wlang makain pero my png arkila ng bus?

      i am not a fan of dinky, just a person considering how it is to be in her shoes at this situation.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/W6OYQAQ3YNWGE4SIRA4IIQ4Y3Y joshua

         kaya di un dinidistribute ni soliman kasi aantayin nya ung Team Pnoy ang magdidistribute nung mga bigas feeling concern kaya lang natunugan ung masama nilang balak remember nasa Mindanao din ung team Pnoy ung nangyari ung insidente. meron ka pang COA investigation un lang un gusto lang mag papogi ng team Pnoy sasabihin nila di suhol kungdi tulong sa mga nasalanta ng bagyo.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_POBZSV5PGTGUS3YA2KR2NZI3HA Alex

        galing mo naman umintindi, palibhasa puro politika nasa isip mo

  • koolkid_inthehouse


  • koolkid_inthehouse

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    Are you a nut case?  Mayroon din tulong galing sa ibang bansa.

  • Janch

    As always, meron din opportunistang gustong sumakay sa isyu.  

    Election Time!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_W7TPARCYJFCSA3PBQAM3MVZO3E kurakut


  • JasonBieber

    You gotta feel bad for those poor victims of typhoon ‘pablo’  in Davao. First they get ignored by the Philippine President and his DSWD Sec. then they aren’t given the sacks of rice that they are promised and after all that they will also be sued?

    If you are poor in the Philippines right now, you just can’t catch a break.

  • disqusted0fu

    The food protest may be over, but the sufferings of these typhoon victims are not. And it might last until May since some claim that the relief goods are being used by team Pnoy for their campaign. And to add insult to injury, the victims are going to face lawsuits. How convenient! Only KKKs have the right to say it’s more fun in the Philippines.

  • disqusted0fu

    The food protest may be over, but the sufferings of these typhoon victims are not. And it might last until May since some claim that the relief goods are being used by team Pnoy for their campaign. And to add insult to injury, the victims are going to face lawsuits. How convenient! Only KKKs have the right to say it’s more fun in the Philippines.

  • palakasantayo

    I thought Soliman did a good job of pacifying the rowdy claimants. I understand, it is hard to deal with people with empty stomach and hard also to deal with people who were there to protect the goods. Discipline people… discipline. Look at the Japanese people, .. in the aftermath of tsunami … did you see them fighting over goods? … No… they deligently followed the line and waited for thier turn to receive graciously what given to them. Filipinos by nature over-react a lot, highly emotional that sometime make them irrational. I agree with Soliman, let them go, let them cool off but, no more legal charges.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/W6OYQAQ3YNWGE4SIRA4IIQ4Y3Y joshua

    Sayang naunahan ang Team Pnoy sa pag dididstribute ng Bigas gagamitin sana nila un sa campaign sortie nila sa Minadanao kaya natunugan ang masamang balak ng Team Abnoy. Talagang pansarili lang ang iniisip. 

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