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Mob rule in Tacloban City

/ 03:34 AM November 12, 2013

Had help immediately come to Tacloban City after it was battered by “Yolanda,” the strongest typhoon in the world to date, there wouldn’t have been a breakdown of law and order in this Eastern Visayas city.

Stores and malls were looted, the San Miguel Brewery plant was ransacked and bank automatic teller machines (ATM) were destroyed by rampaging mobs.

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Looters and vandals ruled the streets prompting a city official to propose that martial law be imposed in the capital of Leyte province.

Hunger and sickness led to mob rule.

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People in Tacloban hadn’t had anything to eat since Friday, when the giant howler battered the city.

Private and government hospitals were turning away many of the sick and injured because they couldn’t be attended to.

The government couldn’t put its act together on how to deal with the monstrous situation.

President Noy, irked over the big number of casualties of Yolanda, reportedly walked out of the meeting of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) on Sunday.

As this column is being written (Sunday), Tacloban’s Daniel Romualdez Airport was set to reopen, but only to small turbo-prop aircraft.

The delay in the reopening resulted in food and medical aid coming in trickles.

Tacloban has been isolated from the rest of the world as roads leading to the city are impassable due to fallen trees and debris.

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If martial law is declared in the city, soldiers and policemen should be under orders to deal harshly with the looters, vandals and persons who harm others for no reason but to satisfy their animal instincts.

Violence is the language that the mob understands.

Normalcy will only be restored in a lawless society if authorities meet force with force to uphold the law.

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My friend Richard Skaggs has e-mailed me promising to send aid to Yolanda victims.

Skaggs, a former producer in Hollywood and president of Omstar Environmental Products and Omstar Productions based in Los Angeles, sent me the following e-mail:

“I’ve contacted some business associates who have agreed to help the victims of the typhoon in the Philippines.

“Listed below are the names of people who have committed to help in the relief effort:

“Gino Grajeda, vice president of Omstar Productions in Hollywood; Bob Mayon of the Screen Writers Guild; Jan Hellsund, general manager of Omstar Environmental in Los Angeles Harbor; Pastor Glenn Oyan and others who have agreed to help coordinate donations from our contacts in the film and environmental industries.

“I left a message for (actor) Steven Segal at his home regarding our relief efforts. Mr. Segal is currently on location shooting and has visited the Philippines numerous times and I believe would be interested in this effort.”

In my phone conversation with Skaggs, he said he was trying to get in touch with Air America to ferry relief goods to the Philippines.

He said he was mulling over the possibility of bringing into the country military food rations distributed to US soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq for victims of Yolanda.

Skaggs is a former US Marine.

He has been to Manila several times promoting D-1280x, a US-made fuel additive which greatly minimizes black smoke from vehicles and reduces fuel consumption by cleaning up engines.

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TAGS: looting, mob rule, Supertyphoon Yolanda
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