Close to 12,000 protest gov’t neglect of Yolanda survivors in Visayas
AT LEAST 11,850 protesters staged separate protests in the Visayan provinces of Iloilo, Capiz, Aklan, Antique, Negros Occidental, Bohol and Cebu for their own State of the Nation Address.
Some 3,000 converged at the Iloilo Freedom Grandstand in Iloilo City, where a program was held and they burned an effigy of President Aquino wearing clothes patterned to the United States flag and sitting on the back of a yellow-colored pig.
In Estancia town, 153 kilometers northeast of Iloilo City, about 1,000 mostly survivors of the Nov. 8, 2013 Supertyphoon “Yolanda” joined a protest rally decrying the failure of government to distribute housing assistance to survivors, especially the Emergency Shelter Assistance amounting to P30,000 for each of the families whose houses were destroyed, and P10,000 for those with damaged ones.
The protesters led by the partylist group Bayan Muna and Bangon marched along the main streets of the city before holding the rally at the municipal plaza.
In Capiz, about 3,500 protesters many of whom were survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” march on the streets of Roxas City before converging and holding a rally at the Roxas City Bandstand.
In Aklan, around 2,000 protesters held a rally on the capitol grounds in Kalibo town before marching to the Pastrana Park.
Church and environmental groups in Antique led a protest at the capital town of San Jose that was joined by about 300 rallyists and anti-mining advocates demanding accountability for the deaths of 19 workers in two major accidents in the past 29 months at the Panian open mine pit of the Semirara Mining and Power Corp. on Semirara Island in Antique.
In Cebu, about 700 rallyists gave President Aquino a failing grade of three out of 10 for his administration’s performance during his six years in office.
Jaime Paglinawan, Bayan Central Visayas chair, said the Aquino administration failed to address poverty, oil price increases and violations of human rights, and also failed to extend enough help to rebuild the lives of the thousands who were displaced by Yolanda.
In Negros Occidental, at least 1,000 protesters led by Bayan gathered at the public plaza in Bacolod City to slam Mr. Aquino for being a “failure.”
“For us the promised change for the better has not been felt in the five years that Aquino has been President,” said Bayan Negros secretary general Christian Tuayon.
In Bohol, at least 350 farmers, fishermen, urban poor and students from different cause-oriented groups converged at the corner of the CPG Avenue and B. Inting Street in Tagbilaran City to belie the claim of Mr. Aquino that the lives of the Filipinos improved during his term as president.
They gave the President a failing grade of 1 out of 10, especially in the sector of agriculture as farmers continued to suffer from low productivity due to lack of support from the government. Reports of Nestor P. Burgos Jr., Carmel Loise Matus, Jhunnex Napallacan, Carla P. Gomez and Leo Udtohan, Inquirer Visayas
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