LP leader admits Roxas bid haunted by ‘Yolanda’
TACLOBAN CITY—Impressions left by the national government’s failure to immediately address the needs of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan) victims in Eastern Visayas are haunting the presidential bid of ruling Liberal Party’s (LP) standard-bearer, Mar Roxas, a top LP official admitted.
The government handling of the Yolanda disaster and its aftermath, especially in this city and Leyte, which have 40 percent of the entire voting population of Eastern Visayas, has become a political issue, said Raul Daza, LP chair in the region.
Daza said the LP plans to conduct an information drive to court votes and counter allegations that Roxas did little to help in the rehabilitation of Eastern Visayas provinces hit by Yolanda.
“It is really a challenge for us especially in Tacloban,” said Daza, a longtime LP official.
“But we will work hard to show that the President down to the last Cabinet member did everything that has been done to alleviate the suffering of the people,” he said.
Daza said Roxas is not lacking in support in Eastern Visayas, though. He said as of now, the LP standard-bearer enjoys the support of Governors Conrado Nicart of Eastern Samar, Roger Mercado of Southern Leyte, Gerry Espina Jr. of Biliran, Jose Ong of Northern Samar and Leopoldo Dominico Petilla of Leyte.
But the LP, said Daza, needs to work hard to make sure it also gets the support of voters.
Eastern Visayas has a voting population of 2.69 million with Leyte province having the biggest voting population share of 1.15 million.
“If the election will be held today, I still believe that the Ro-Ro team could win in Eastern Visayas, except perhaps in Leyte,” said Daza referring to the administration ticket of Roxas and vice presidential candidate Camarines Sur Rep. Leni Robredo.
Roxas, who was interior secretary when Yolanda hit Eastern Visayas, has been accused of failure to immediately aid Yolanda victims, especially those from Tacloban City.
The city, which has a voting population of 124,777, is considered the ground zero of Yolanda, the world’s strongest typhoon to make landfall.
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