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    Posted December 10, 2013 by
    omeroscar
    Location
    Manila

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    There was politics, Phl mayor says

     
    MAYOR Alfred Romualdez of Tacloban City in Central Philippines on Wednesday said
    politics played its role immediately after killer typhoon “Yolanda” slammed into the country on November 8.
    Although he denied reports that he was being asked to resign, Romualdez said Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas only requested for him to write a letter saying he could no longer do some of the functions as mayor.
    However, he said his own lawyers advised him not to write the letter since it could be deemed as a resignation letter, which would allow the national government to step in and help the city.
    Romualdez also said the national government ignored his request to augment the police force. He, however, confirmed that the Philippine National Police sent Special Action Forces elements to Tacloban.
    But he stressed there was “difficulty communicating” with the national government officials because “there were things asked of us.”
    “They wanted an ordinance immediately for a curfew. And I said: it is difficult to have an ordinance for a curfew because we have no fiscal’s office, no court. If these people violate the curfew and be arrested, how can they post bail? Why don’t we just have checkpoints? And this went on and on, and yet every day. We were meeting every day, every morning. I could not understand why we could not get that support,” Romualdez said.
    He said that in one meeting, Roxas asked him to “legalize everything” by passing an ordinance allowing the national government to conduct relief and rescue efforts in the city.
    “They wanted an ordinance immediately for a curfew. And I said: it is difficult to have an ordinance for a curfew because we have no fiscal’s office, no court. If these people violate the curfew and be arrested, how can they post bail? Why don’t we just have checkpoints? And this went on and on, and yet every day. We were meeting every day, every morning. I could not understand why we could not get that support,” he said.
    Romualdez also lamented for the national government ignored his request to augment the police force. But he, however, confirmed that the Philippine National Police sent Special Action Forces elements to the city.
    In one instance, he said, Roxas asked him to “legalize everything” by passing an ordinance allowing the national government to conduct relief and rescue efforts in the city.
    “I told him: why is it illegal? As far as I know, the President is the president of the Philippines and he is also president of Tacloban City. I don’t see anywhere in the law that you need a letter or ordinance from me for you to come in and do what you are doing,” he said.
    Roxas answered him: “You have to remember: we have to be very careful because you are a Romualdez and the president is an Aquino.”
    During a Senate inquiry on Monday, Romualdez criticized President Benigno Aquino III and Roxas for engaging in partisan politics.

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