OCD says no politics in Sept. 21 quake drill
The Office of Civil Defense (OCD) said on Monday that there was nothing political in its decision to hold a nationwide earthquake drill on Sept. 21, when opposition groups would hold protest rallies in Metro Manila.
“There’s no politics involved there. There’s none,” OCD spokesperson Romina Marasigan told reporters in Malacañang.
Marasigan dismissed suggestions that the OCD decided to conduct the drill on Sept. 21 to divert public attention from the rallies.
“We’ve been doing this for 10 years and we [do] not look at other (factors) except the availability of the pilot areas,” she said.
Marasigan urged the public to practice on Sept. 21 what should be done during an earthquake. “Let us all duck, cover and hold at the same time.”
The OCD usually holds quarterly drills toward the end of the last month of the quarter.
“We thought we should not do it on the last day of the month. So, we just thought of Sept. 21 notwithstanding whatever is celebrated on that day,” Marasigan said.
It just so happened that Sept. 21 is the anniversary of President Ferdinand Marcos’s declaration of martial law in 1972, but that did not have any bearing on the choice of the date, she said. —Philip C. Tubeza
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