UNA candidates skip evacuation centersBy Leila B. Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
COMPOSTELA VALLEY, Philippines—The United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) on Tuesday courted votes in typhoon-ravaged Compostela Valley but steered clear of evacuation centers.
Six UNA senatorial candidates made the rounds in Maco, Mabini, Pantukan, Monkayo, Montevista and Nabunturan towns, meeting with local officials and political allies and making stops at public markets and bus stations.
They said they decided not to go to the evacuation centers lest they be accused of using the evacuees’ plight to boost their candidacies. They said that distributing relief goods might also be considered improper or a violation of election rules.
But they did not hold back on criticism of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, saying the administration has failed to adequately care for the victims of Typhoon “Pablo” that hit Mindanao in December.
Senatorial candidate and Zambales Rep. Mitos Magsaysay said the UNA candidates had given relief goods and aid to the typhoon victims, and did so quietly.
Candidates Ernesto Maceda and Nancy Binay also believe disaster victims should not be used for political gain.