ANAKBAYAN NEW YORK DEMANDS JUSTICE ON THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF TYPHOON HAIYAN

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 8, 2016

Reference: Janella Lopez, Chairperson of Anakbayan New York

Email: anakbayanny@gmail.com


ANAKBAYAN NEW YORK DEMANDS JUSTICE ON THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF TYPHOON HAIYAN

On its 3rd anniversary, Typhoon Haiyan’s devastating effects are still remnant around the Philippines. On November 8, 2013 Super Typhoon Haiyan killed over 6,000 people, affected 11 million, and left more than four million displaced from their home. Even after three years, relief and rehabilitation for the victims of the typhoon is still ongoing.

Lack of immediate government aid and prevention is the primary reason for ongoing efforts to rehabilitate and provide relief for the victims of Typhoon Haiyan. Former President Benigno S. Aquino III was heavily criticized for his slow response in providing aid. Over 10,000 victims of the Typhoon and over 4.1 million displaced shows the lack of environmental disaster response and aid from the previous Aquino Administration. Thousands of Filipinos were left to fend for themselves for days to find medical treatment, food, and other forms of aid.

This slow response is a symptom of the government being run like a business; this is when one obtains power by the amount of wealth they have. The government was facing internal issues at this time as pork barrel scams issues had arisen. Several government officials had been pocketing public funds for their own personal use through means such as the Priority Development Assistance Fund; one of these officials accused for this crime was former President Aquino himself. In fact, some of these public funds were intended for emergency disaster relief and prevention. When the people of the Philippines cannot rely on their government during a time of crisis, they have every right to act and demand what they rightfully deserve.

The people of the Philippines as well as those living abroad brought the issue into their own hands. Several grassroot organizations and alliances such as National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) and Kapit Bisig Kabataan Network (KBKN) helped to garner support. Every organization that was a part of these alliances gathered monetary, medical and labor aid directly to those affected by the typhoon. Victims of Typhoon Haiyan formed “People Surge” which is an alliance for all disaster survivors of the Philippines. This alliance aims to “lead the disaster survivors’ struggle for accountability, human rights, climate & social justice, and for ultimate system change” from the inept Philippine government.

As Anakbayan New York, we understand that it is important to fight for the rights of the people because when aid is available but it did not go directly towards the people– they have the right to question and rise up for justice. We call forward everyone to stand for #Justice for the Victims of Typhoon Haiyan!

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