Pres. Duterte expresses sadness in loss of lives due to Agaton as death toll further climbs

Conducts aerial inspection, visits hospital where the injured were taken

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte conducts an aerial inspection of areas affected by Tropical Storm Agaton in the Province of Capiz on April 16, 2022. With the President is Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go. REY BANIQUET/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO


(Eagle News) – President Rodrigo Duterte expressed his extreme sadness with the big number of deaths and persons still missing due to the landslides brought about by storm Agaton.

The death toll has risen to 175 as of Tuesday, April 19, but the missing still stood at 110.

President Duterte went to Leyte and Capiz to distribute aid to the residents affected by “Agaton” during the weekend.

“I went to see the damage done by Typhoon Agaton at medyo malalim ang tama rin. As usual there is the destruction of properties and people,” he said during his Talk to the People on Monday night, April 18.

He noted how half of the mountain was affected by the landslide, with the earth burying the people living on the mountain sides. The tragedy was terrible, he said, since a lot of people perished in the landslide. Most of the casualties listed by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) were from Leyte landslide.

Nagpunta ako sa lugar na may mga landslide at nakita ko talaga ‘yung bundok na parang hinati doon sa — puro lupa na wala ng kahoy. And I am sad to say to you now that a lot of our countrymen died in that — as a consequence of the typhoon,” Duterte said.

An aerial photo shows a flooded area in the Province of Capiz which was inspected by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on April 16, 2022. REY BANIQUET/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

There are still 110 missing. The President said that the search for those missing should continue.

“At there were some ‘yung ano ng mga tao — ang problema hindi ko maano sa inyo ‘yung… Well, they are saying that we are still looking for the missing persons until now. Wala na ‘yung search and — retrieval na lang pero sabi ko you continue. Maraming natabunan ‘yung mga tao at they cannot be accounted for at least individually pero ‘yung may wala,” he said.

-Boy who lost family in landslide gets Duterte’s attention-

The 76-year old Philippine leader whose term will end in June this year said he felt sad when he visted the hospital and saw an injured boy whose family members all perished in the landslide.

“Ang the sad part there is when I went to the hospital. Iyong mga bahay siya na tinamaan. Maraming nawala sa pamilya nila and there was this young boy badly wounded, pati ‘yung paa nabali. Siya na lang mag-isa,” he said.

“So there were relatives there present but they told me a sad story that eh ‘yung tatay, nanay, pati the rest, naano, nawala. Siya lang ‘yung buhay na mag-isa. So buti’t naman may mga relatives na nandoon at giving the child comfort of his — what he lost in this world,” he said during his Talk to the People.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte tends to a young and lone survivor of his family in a landslide in Brgy. Kantagnos, Baybay City recovering at the Western Leyte Provincial Hospital in Baybay City, Leyte on April 15, 2022. According to the Office of Civil Defense, the aftermath of Tropical Storm Agaton left almost a million people affected and 253 unofficial number of casualties — dead, missing, and injured — in six regions. ALBERTO ALCAIN/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte interacts with a young survivor of landslides caused by Tropical Storm Agaton during a visit at the Western Leyte Provincial Hospital in Baybay City on April 15, 2022. According to the Office of Civil Defense, the aftermath of Tropical Storm Agaton has affected almost a million people and left 253 unofficial number of casualties — dead, missing, and injured — in six regions. KING RODRIGUEZ/ PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO


-Climate change –

Duterte added that the effects of climate change is affecting everybody, more so in countries like the Philippines which is visited by highly destructive storms and typhoons yearly.

The top polluters in the world that contribute to global warming are the developed countries which have many factories, and carbon emissions. But the effects of these are felt by countries like the Philippines.

At tayo talaga ang nagbabayad nang malaki, parang ‘yung ano ng mga — ‘yung resulta ng mga pollution ng ibang countries tayo ang sumasalo. Pagdating sa damage tayo rin ang pinakakawawa. Simply because we are situated dito nga, we are facing the Pacific Ocean at pagpasok niyan tayo ang — tayo ang
bintana. We are the window of the entire eastern Asia,” Duterte said.

-Help for Agaton victims assured-

Duterte visited Leyte on Friday, and assured the affected families that the government has not forgotten them.

“So this is what I came here for, to let you know that the government has not forgotten you. I will say this again, and I repeat, food won’t be a problem,” President Duterte said during the distribution of relief assistance to the survivors in Baybay City Senior High School.

“This is what I really came for, I just want to make you smile. I know what you’re going through especially those who are wounded. It pains me, too.  While I was conducting an aerial inspection earlier, Jalad told me that there’s a lot more.”

On Saturday, April 16, Duterte checked the condition of evacuees in Pontevedra, Capiz, and led the ceremonial distribution of relief goods and assistance there.

He promised to give financial assistance in the building of the destroyed houses and the provision of food for affected families.

“You will be given a new house but it would be a long, long process and not an easy one unless there’s a miracle. But government will help you resettle first,” the President said.

(Eagle News Service)