Lacson says Romualdez cousins supporting anti-gov’t protesters
MANILA, Philippines – Secretary Panfilo Lacson on Monday accused the Romualdezes of “hijacking the rehabilitation efforts” of the government by being uncooperative and supposedly supporting anti-government protesters.
“Just two days ago, while commemorating the first anniversary of ‘Yolanda’ (international name: Haiyan), anti-government placards were seen stocked at the back of the city hall of Tacloban,” Lacson said during the multi-stakeholders on the rehabilitation efforts in areas struck by the supertyphoon.
“We even discovered anti-government protesters and rallyists being carried to and from mass action sites using a truck bus garaged in the property of the Romualdez compound in Barangay 62-A in Tacloban City,” he said, after detailing the challenges he faced when working with Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez.
At the press conference, Lacson claimed the Romualdez family was picking up rallyists “from as far as Samar, areas that were not hit by Yolanda.”
“When I found out that the truck bus belonged to them, in their faces I told (through text message) them, ‘FYI plate number so and so after dropping off the rallyists, the truck bus was seen parking inside your compound,’” he said.
“And they did reply to my SMS (short message service or text). They said, ‘Next time we’ll be more circumspect.’”
Lacson later told INQUIRER.net that it was Leyte Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, cousin of Mayor Romualdez, who replied to him.
“They (cannot) deny it because I have the plate number and we have pictures of the truck bus parking, after dropping off, parking at their place,” he said.
“Why do they have to carry protesters from farflung areas, areas that were not even hit by the typhoon, to protest in Tacloban?”
Lacson had been referring to Tacloban City as sui generis or in a class of its own.
He said it was only in the city that there were protest rallies while other local government officials kept thanking the national government and development partners.
“But in Tacloban they commemorated the Yolanda anniversary with protest rallies. That makes Tacloban sui generis, it is in a class of its own. And it is unfair for us observers to base their judgment on what is happening on the ground on what is happening in Tacloban, he explained.
There has been a lot of controversy between the Aquino administration and the Romualdezes after the onslaught of Yolanda.
Aquino blamed the local government for not being able to respond to the disaster but Romualdez said he was a victim of politics.
Romualdez is a member of the opposition and the nephew of former first lady Imelda Marcos, wife of the late Ferdinand Marcos who was accused of masterminding the assassination of Aquino’s father, former senator Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr.
Originally posted at 03:47 pm | Nov 10, 2014
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