Robredo extends financial aid to kin of sea mishap victims in Iloilo, Guimaras
(Updated: 6:25 P.M./August 12, 2019)
MANILA, Philippines — Vice President Leni Robredo has extended financial assistance to families of passengers who perished in the tragedy at the Iloilo Strait last August 3.
In unannounced visits on Monday, Robredo sympathized with the families of several of the 31 people, who died in the three motorboats that capsized at sea, in Iloilo and Guimaras Island.
Robredo did not determine the amount of financial assistance that she gave to the grieving families but said: “Mayroon kaming kaunting financial help na ibinigay ngayon, pero may mga kailangan silang asikasuhin na mga papeles, pati iyong psychosocial na services.”
“Gusto lang natin masiguro na makumpleto iyon, kasi iyong mga survivors na kausap natin sa loob, ano pa din, tingin natin maraming tulong iyong kailangan,” the Vice President also said during her visit to victims’ wakes on Monday.
“Marami naman iyong tumutulong, pero tingin ko never enough, ‘di ba, lalo kapag nawalan. Lahat na assurances na sa mga susunod na araw nandito tayo, kailangan nila iyon,” she added, acknowledging the pain being felt by the families.
Like Robredo, President Rodrigo Duterte also provided cash assistance, amounting to P50,000, to the victims’ families last August 7. But his trip to Guimaras was canceled due to bad weather.
Robredo, accompanied by Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas, went to the wake and met with the families of Jhairus James Alejado, Adora Java, Jen Lloyd Salanatin, and Jhaeron Mars Salanatin in Mandurriao District in Iloilo City.
She also met with families of fatalities and survivors of the tragedy and local officials at the municipal hall of the capital town of Jordan in Guimaras.
In a short message in Guimaras, Robredo said she could relate with the grief of the families as she recalled the death of her husband former Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo.
Jesse died on August 18, 2012, when the light aircraft he was riding crashed into the Masbate Sea. Two other passengers died while another survived.
“Noong bumagsak iyong eroplano na sinasakyan ng asawa ko, bumagsak po siya sa dagat at tatlong… tatlong araw – tatlong araw na hindi nakita iyong kaniyang katawan. Kaya alam ko po iyong dalamhating pinagdadaanan ninyo (When my husband’s plane crashed into the sea, it took three days to find his body. So I know the grief you are undergoing),” she said.
“Ako, isa lang iyong nawala sa amin pero parang gumuho iyong aming mundo. Alam ko po na pareho rin iyong nararamdaman nyo. (We lost just one family member and the world seemed to have collapsed. I know this is how you feel, too).”
“Magiging mahirap iyong susunod na araw. Naalala ko po noong asawa ko, iyong pinakamahirap iyong pagkatapos malibing kasi parang hinahanap mo na iyong buhay na wala iyong mahal mo sa buhay (The next days will be difficult. I remember when my husband died, the hardest was after his burial because you seem to be continuing with your life without the love of your life),” Robredo said.
Thirty-one passengers of the motorboats Chi-Chi and Jenny Vince died when these capsized after being hit by a squall or sudden strong gusts of wind.
The motorboat Keizah, which was not carrying passengers, also capsized with all its crew members rescued.
The tragedy is considered the worst in living memory by Guimarasnons.
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade last week ordered the relief of four Coast Guard and two Maritime Industry Authority officials pending results of an investigation being conducted on the boat accidents. /kga
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