Martin Romualdez: Roxas ‘risked his life’ during ‘Yolanda’
Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said that former Interior secretary and presidential candidate Mar Roxas “risked his life” to save people during Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”
Romualdez issued the statement the same day Roxas and the rest of the candidates of the administration-backed “Daang Matuwid” coalition visited the Yolanda-struck towns of Palo, Leyte and Barugo and Ormoc City.
The candidates, however, skipped Tacloban City, the storm’s ground zero.
“Let’s not inject politics anymore and stop the blame game by moving forward and continue on the rebuilding programs in Yolanda-hit areas. After all, politics simply has no place in the face of tragedy of such magnitude,” Romualdez said in a press statement on Wednesday.
Martin Romualdez, an independent senatorial candidate, is a cousin of Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, who lambasted the Aquino administration for deliberately leaving his city for political reasons.
The mayor, a nephew of former first lady Imelda Marcos, had a spat caught on video with Roxas during a meeting after the Yolanda onslaught.
The video went viral.
To recall, the video showed Roxas telling Alfred Romualdez: “You have to understand. You are a Romualdez and the President is an Aquino. If it’s not legalized, then OK you are in charge … . Bahala na kayo sa buhay n’yo (You’re on your own).”
Roxas vehemently denied uttering the remarks in that context, stressing that the video was maliciously spliced. Roxas then later showed a lengthier video to media.
Martin Romualdez, however, told Roxas to refrain from flaunting to the people, particularly the residents of Tacloban City, what he has done for the victims of Yolanda.
He acknowledged that Roxas was there in Tacloban City, along with Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin, when Yolanda battered Western Visayas in November 2013. The monster typhoon killed at least 6,000 people.
“In fact, Roxas stayed at the Leyte Park Hotel, one of the structures that was heavily damaged at the height of the onslaught of [the] super typhoon and stayed in Yolanda-hit areas to help return normalcy,” Martin Romualdez said.
“He (Roxas) did his honest best and risk his life to warn the people, but he and Sec. Gazmin were victims, too. Everyone, including them was overcome by Yolanda, the strongest tropical cyclone on record to make landfall in world history,” the senatorial hopeful said.
Martin Romualdez also thanked President Aquino for the help the government sent to his province and constituents.
“We appreciate that very much and we thanked the national leadership, including the President for all the help given to the people,” Romualdez said.
The Leyte House opposition leader added: “No one expected the magnitude of the disaster that struck Eastern Visayas and no one could have prepared for a disaster like that. Tacloban City unrecognizable after a huge storm surge washed away houses.”
“Tacloban’s local officials led by Mayor Alfred and the national government led by Roxas have done all to prepare and prevent deaths, but Yolanda was more powerful and strong,” Romualdez stressed.
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