Disaster response chief shields Duterte from criticisms

Published November 2, 2020, 4:44 PM

by Martin Sadongdong

The public should not be worried if President Duterte is not seen before, during, and after typhoon “Rolly” — dubbed as the strongest storm in the world this year — ravaged the country.

Undersecretary Ricardo Jalad, executive director of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), said this Monday as he defended Duterte from critics who pointed out the latter’s absence in top level post-Rolly assessment meetings.

National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) Executive Director Ricardo Jalad (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

“Dapat hindi mangamba ang ating mga kababayan kung bakit hindi nila nakikita si Presidente kasi the government is functioning from the local government units (LGUs) up to the national level (Our countrymen should not be worried if they don’t see the President because the government is functioning from the local government units to the national level),” Jalad said in a press briefing at the NDRRMC command center in Camp Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Jalad said the local government units along the path of Rolly have prepared extensively because of the good communication they established with the national government agencies.

“Functioning naman ang LGUs so there’s no collapse of LGUs, no missing local chief executives, all accounted for sila even before dumating si super typhoon Rolly. There is also no breakdown of peace and order,” he said.

Meanwhile, the request for assistance of local chief executives in areas affected by typhoon Rolly were already being addressed by the directors in regional DRRMCs, Jalad assured.

Some netizens expressed their sentiments on social media after they noticed the absence of Duterte ahead of typhoon Rolly’s landfall last Sunday. #NasaanAngPangulo even trended on Twitter.

The first NDRRMC-led meeting before Rolly made landfall over Catanduanes and the first post-Rolly meeting after he left the Luzon landmass were supervised by Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque.

Roque had said that Duterte was closely monitoring the effects of Rolly while working from home in Davao City.

Duterte is expected to fly back to Manila to conduct an aerial inspection in Bicol Region and Calabarzon since the weather condition has already been fair.