Typhoon Pablo victims say elections will not change their situation



HUNDREDS OF Typhoon “Pablo” survivors occupy the highway in Montevista, Compostela Valley, demanding more aid. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

NEW BATAAN, Compostela Valley, Philippines — Victims of typhoon Pablo here do not believe that the outcome of the election would change their situation. Neither do they expect that they can leave the tent city after new officials have been elected.

Renato Tabino, 45, whose family is among the 25 others that are still staying in the “tent city” at the back of the Catholic church here, said that the candidates could not provide their needs.

Tabino said his vote would not be based on the promises made by the candidates, but on their capability and track record.

“Besides, they cannot really help me this time,” Tabino added.

What used to be Tabino’s four-hectare farm and home in Barangay (village) Andap is now part of a big river that was formed after the typhoon. Tabino is still waiting for the construction of a new home in a relocation site.

“The houses are donated by NGOs (non-government organizations), not by politicians,” Tabino said, adding that the same groups have been helping them since the typhoon destroyed most of their village on December 4.

For 23-year old Roselyn Estrada, only two local candidates will get her vote for being there when help was most needed.

“I will vote for these two because they have been true to their promises and I saw them at that time,” said Estrada.

Another typhoon victim, Diosdado Pungaon Jr., said he still had to decide on whom to vote.

“No one came to help,” he added.

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