About this iReport
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  • Posted November 17, 2013 by
    Kowloon, Hong Kong
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Typhoon Haiyan: Your stories

    JustBeinReal and 14 other iReporters contributed to Open Story: Typhoon Haiyan's impact
    More from JustBeinReal

    This is what Pinoy politicians do during a tragedy


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     Described as one of the worst storms ever to make landfall, Super Typhoon Haiyan has caused catastrophic damage to many parts of the Philippines. Rescue and relief operations have proved daunting, and some people have taken exception with the Philippine government’s efforts.

    More recent assertions, including by some CNN iReporters, accuse some political leaders of using the relief effort for campaigning purposes and political gain, demonstrated in photographs they claim were taken in the typhoon’s aftermath. CNN could not immediately verify these assertions.

    Joey Salgado, chief of the Media Affairs Division for the Office of the Vice President, told CNN on Nov. 20: “The photos with blue relief bags bearing the seal of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) and Vice President Jejomar C. Binay's name, as well as those showing a truck with a tarpaulin with the OVP seal and the Vice President's photo, were taken in 2011 and 2012, respectively.”

    “The photos are currently being recirculated online to make them appear they were intended for the victims of typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). The relief bags for those affected by typhoon Yolanda from the OVP were packed in plain white plastic bags. The OVP has also discontinued the use of the tarpaulins for over a year now,” he said.

    Read more about this story on CNN.com
    - dsashin, CNN iReport producer

    Dear people of the world,

    While we are all busy helping out the sorry victims of super typhoon Haiyan, guess what Filipino politicians and government officials, from the President all the way down the their ward leaders are doing?

    I got these photos from various sources in the Philippines. It seems like their President, Benigno Aquino, their Vice President, Jejomar Binay, the lady journalist and wife of that country's Interior Minister who clashed with Anderson recently, Korina Sanches, and others are busy positioning themselves for elections there. In the midst of chaos and despair, they have the guts to shamelessly display their true political colors. Talk about corrupt politicians and their wives taking advantage of the dead and the injured, and the outpouring of aid into the country to advance their political causes.

    What is more appalling is that Filipinos are paying a blind eye on this fact. I understand that they are busy helping out their countrymen but their eerie silence while looking at their aid and money being stolen away by their corrupt leaders is amazing. What is even more incredible is that Filipinos even have the guts to defend their leaders here despite the glaring acts of corruption being all around them.

    I commend the United Nations for taking steps forward by preventing the Filipino government officials and politicians from directly accessing all forms of aid to the typhoon victims. I humbly suggest that this action should be further widened by totally denying them access to funds and the UN, backed up by soldiers from the US and other countries, handling reconstruction and relief efforts on its own. Such act is our only guarantee that the aid that we are giving to the Philippines will benefit Haiyan's victims and not the corrupt politicians and officials and their allies and apologists.

    The world must see these images to enlighten us on how the Philippines really operates as a country and society. Thank you CNN and others in the international press for telling the truth about that country and for caring about typhoon victims. You are the only shield that they have against their leaders.
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