Bodies dumped in mass graves as PNoy expresses concern over ‘anxiety’ of families of missing Yolanda victims

Reports of the death toll following the devastation left by super-typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) continue to pour in. The most recently-released official Philippine government estimate released two days ago put the number of deaths at more than 5,200. President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III has since “conceded” that the death toll is at least double what he originally estimated in earlier days.

First responders reported seeing numerous bodies littering the streets and floating in the water, and local government and police officials feared the storm had killed up to 10,000 people.

The government was displeased with that estimate and sacked the regional police director in Eastern Visayas, Chief Supt. Elmer Soria, who had quoted the figure from a briefing by Leyte Gov. Dominic Petilla on Nov. 9.

The sacking of Soria and the clampdown on body-count reports by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) gave rise to the criticism that the government was playing down the death toll.

Mass burial of dead left by Typhoon Yolanda
Mass burial of dead left by Typhoon Yolanda
But the Philippine leader is reportedly “not bothered” by the mounting body count saying instead that the government will henceforth refrain from issuing death toll estimates until figures that “[cannot be doubted]” are available so as not to “increase the people‚Äôs anxiety, especially those with missing relatives”.

President BS Aquino’s concern for the “anxiety” felt by Filipinos with missing relatives is inconsistent with reports of hundreds of unidentified bodies being unceremoniously dumped into mass graves — a common procedure routinely practiced by Philippine government personnel whenever thousands of people die in the numerous “natural” disasters that hit the country. “In Tacloban, recovered bodies are deposited in the public cemeteries at Basper village, 8 kilometers from the provincial capital, and Suhi village, 13 km from the city,” continues the same Inquirer report. Back in 2011, when Typhoon Sendong devastated the cities of Cagayan de Oro and Iligan in northern Mindanao, there were even reports that mass graves were being dug in garbage dump sites. This despite assurances from the Department of Health (DOH) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) that decaying corpses do not pose immediate risks of outbreak of communicable disease.

Slow progress at providing reliable estimates of the death toll can also seemingly be attributed to government red tape and meddling by certain Cabinet officials

Asked why the recorded number of fatalities remained the same despite reports of bodies being retrieved in Tacloban City and other areas, [Maj. Rey Balido, NDRRMC spokesperson] said Interior Secretary Mar Roxas had directed local chief executives to submit official reports duly signed by the mayors or governors to the NDRRMC.

It is interesting to note that it was also Roxas who had previously vehemently downplayed reports that the government was mismanaging the collection and processing of victims’ remains in an earlier interview with CNN reporter Andrew Stevens.

mar_roxas_yolanda_death_toll

The WHO recommends in its Technical Note for Emergencies No. 8 that health-related risks due to uncollected bodies are “negligible” but that the rapid collection of victims’ remains is important “because of the possible social and political impact and trauma.”

Also stressed is the importance of identifying bodies before their disposal for record keeping purposes; “Once [a body is] identified, a death certificate should be issued, an official record of death prepared and the body tagged. With violent deaths, it is also important to record the cause of death for possible future investigation.” The report also recommends that burial procedures “be consistent with the usual practices of the community concerned.”

[Photo of Yolanda mass grave courtesy NBCNews.com.]

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Post Author: benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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25 Comments on "Bodies dumped in mass graves as PNoy expresses concern over ‘anxiety’ of families of missing Yolanda victims"

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Johnny Derp
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Looks like the Aquino administration is really desperate to hide the glaring fact that they f_cked up big time in underestimating the death toll.
Try as they may, they have already exposed themselves as incompetent to the rest of the world.
No amount of propaganda can ever hide that fact from the people.
It’s only a matter of time before Mr. Aquino’s presidency comes crashing down like a flimsy stack of cards.

joeld
Guest

Amidst the disaster and its aftermath, all the blunders and booboos, nakukuha pa rin magpapogi.

I just hope filipinos wake up and realize what these idiots in the government are really made of…… 100% pure, unadulterated crap.

gafused
Guest

Here in the Philippines, its people treat (human) life as “cheap”. The breakneck speed at which da Pinoy creates them is comparable, if not higher, than the atrocious rate they lose (or purge) them. And here we have “leaders” who treat it as such, manipulating the statistics as they perceive would fit. Parang Real-Time Strategy videogame lang, ano.

libertas
Guest

Paradoxical that the government consider dignity in death irrelevant for the victims, (and which only adds to the mental/emotional anguish of the survivors), but seek every opportunity to commemorate self-serving politicians deaths.
Hypocricy in a divided society, where the values are more reminiscent of a feudal system, and where life is cheap and death is worth nothing, not even basic respect.

libertas
Guest
It took the international media to tell the truth, to publicise, to generate international sympathy/support/aid/donations, and to focus on the people. CNN did a tremendous job in tge philippines, and gained a lot of respect and friends in tacloban, showing more sensitivity and genuine compassion than pnoy and the aquino government combined. Shame the amateurs and sheep in the mainstream philippine media did such a dis-service to their country through biased reporting, suppressing stories, and little investigative reporting. The majority of these hacks should give up their day job and stop being yellow prostitutes. If i wanted to read fairy… Read more »
Thomas Jefferson
Guest

BS Aquino’s acts and omissions speaks for itself. The stupid decisions(reducing the death toll, sacking others who made worst case death estimates, blame games, slow action, epal, etc.)revealed how inept government leadership was during the monster storm. The defective president was even seen smiling while distributing relief goods. Did he ever show empathy in his acts and omissions? Did he shed tears for his people? God help us from this amateur show of defective leadership. BS Aquino (not others) and his defective psyche should be blamed for it all!

Thomas Jefferson
Guest

The real truth about BS Aquino as a typhoon “czar”… From the Daily Tribune:

http://www.tribune.net.ph/commentary/he-s-gonna-crack

Robert Haighton
Member

Benign0, my apologies for this off-topic contribution.
Here is aerial footage filmed of Tacloban using a drone (filmed by Eric Feijten, a dutch camera man). I hope that copyright matters wont limit all you guys from watching it. The footage lasts 4 minutes and 27 seconds and its very impressive.

http://nos.nl/video/579428-bijzondere-luchtbeelden-uit-de-filipijnen.html

Robert Haighton
Member
(A brief explanation – in Dutch – of the aerial footage by the camera man) http://nos.nl/artikel/579429-je-ziet-de-ramp-plots-heel-anders.html “Het mooiste shot? Vanaf een golfplaatje stijgt de camera plots 200 meter op, en dan dringt de werkelijke omvang echt tot je door.” NOS-cameraman Eric Feijten heeft al heel wat gezien in zijn leven, maar dit blijft ook hem verbazen. Hij was ruim een week met NOS-correspondenten in het getroffen Tacloban. Met de camera op zijn schouder registreerde hij het menselijke leed. Om ook overzicht van de straten en de wijken te krijgen, stuurde hij zijn drone de lucht in. Ongelooflijk “Je kunt in… Read more »
Robert Haighton
Member

More about the Dutch search and rescue dogs (in English):
http://zoekhonden.com/en/

Kenneth
Guest

And the DILG has ordered that bodies that haven’t identified yet will not be added to the death toll. So even if there are thousands more dead bodies floating, lying around. they have no numbers. Also, the NBI took over the Forensic Investigation of all the casualties. What is wrong with them?

Hyden Toro
Guest
Filipinos have high respect for the dead. They should not be buried in a dumpsite for garbage. These people are love ones of families. We can bury them in Mass Graves. However, a Memorial Sign must be on top of the graves. Or, a small Christian Chapel can be built.To have Christian masses. To make families; pray, find solace, and remember their lost love ones in the calamity. Our prayers and deepest sympathy for those who lost love ones. May you find peace amidst this tragedy. To our leaders: may this be your lesson, to take your duties and responsibilities… Read more »
JT Jerzy
Guest

A reflection of everything that is wrong with the world is the fact that no one gives a shit about dumping bodies in a mass grave, I mean “Hey, they stink and cause disease, don’t they?”. No State funerals for those chumps, huh? The Philippines is doomed, just like the rest of human-kind’s wonderfall nations. The Philippines is just leading the way and showing the rest of the world how to speed up the decay and downfall of civilization.