AFP ships, choppers, trucks bring flood aid
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY—Uniformed men in Navy ships, Air Force helicopters and Army trucks brought relief goods for victims of Tropical Storm “Sendong” here, playing Santa Claus to people brought to their knees by the country’s deadliest disaster in recent years.
The first to arrive was BRP Dagupan, of the Philippine Navy, at the port of Macabalan bringing 400 coffins and tons of relief goods and thousands of bottles of water.
Lt. Gen. Victor Felix, head of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division, said victims who refuse to go to evacuation centers were priority in water distribution.
As BRP Dagupan docked, a 25-truck convoy from the Eastern Mindanao Command in Davao City arrived with relief goods, too.
Maj. Jacob Obligado, civil-military operations chief of the 10th Infantry Division, said the goods were collected from donors in Southern Mindanao.
“Everyone gave their share. This is the true spirit of bayanihan,” said Obligado.
In Iligan City, two government helicopters delivered relief goods to hinterland village Digkilaan.
Brig. Gen. Roland Amarelli, deputy commander of the Philippine Army’s 1st Infantry Tabak Divison, said delivery of relief goods to upland communities would continue.
Two trucks of the Philippine Navy were also in Iligan City to bring relief goods.
At the City Hall here, however, only a handful of officials were present during the distribution of relief goods.
Lito Wapin, social welfare project officer, said each family was expected to receive a package of bread, sandwich spread and juice. “Hopefully, there will be some slices of ham,” he said.
Some of the victims, however, said they were just happy they were alive. “Our neighbors were not so lucky,” said evacuee Angelie Soria.
Some others were overcome with sadness. “It’s as if there’s nothing to celebrate,” said Delfina Ranara, 79. Bobby Lagsa, with a report from Richel V. Umel, Inquirer Mindanao
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