Marcos commemorates ‘uncounted dead’ from Yolanda, questions official estimates
MANILA, Philippines — After nearly a decade has passed since Super Typhoon Yolanda hit, President “Bongbong” Marcos still doesn’t buy that 6,000 people died from the powerful cyclone.
Marcos Jr. on Tuesday commemorated the “uncounted dead” from the tragedy, stressing he believes more fatalities than the official estimates.
“I come here because I must commemorate [that] uncounted dead that up to now we do not know how many that number is. We must come to these commemorations so that we will remember those who were told not to remember,” he said during his speech at the 9th-year commemoration of Yolanda in Tacloban City.
“If you remember, during the count of the casualties, the count was stopped. And we knew that there were still thousands out there. And for those thousands, those countless thousands, we come here, we commemorate. Because if we no longer commemorate [them], their memory dies. And it is only up to us to keep that memory alive,” Marcos added.
He acknowledged how Tacloban residents continue to grieve for their loved ones lost during the typhoon’s onslaught.
“In a way, we were told to forget about them. And we will not forget about them. And we cannot forget about them. And I know you do not forget about them. And that is why we continue to commemorate Yolanda and we continue to grieve our dead. Because we not only grieve the dead that are here, but we also grieve for those who we do not even know how many they are, who they are, and where they are,” he said.
Marcos also said the commemoration demonstrates the “strength and courage of Filipinos” amid tragedies, saying Tacloban itself was able to be “built back better.”
“It always gives us hope that even if there are tragedies and disasters in other places, we know the Filipino spirit will never be quelled, the Filipino spirit will always burn bright and bring back normal life to their communities,” he said.
In a separate media interview, the President said he has since questioned the number of fatalities from Yolanda, saying it was not only over 6,000.
“I have questioned it from day one. I have questioned – 6,000 plus ang sabi nila? It’s not 6,000 plus,” he said.
However, he said it was already “too late” to determine the true number of casualties from the tragedy.
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