Korina Sanchez is Mar Roxas’s wife! (and other insights gleaned from the Yolanda disaster)

Did the Filipino people elect their leaders so that they could be given a “break” in times when their leadership is needed the most? It seems that’s exactly what they did. Many Filipinos are already quite aware of the embarrassingly cringe-worthy manner with which Philippine President Benigno Simeon “BS” Aquino III and Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Mar Roxas responded to the pointed queries of CNN journalists Christiane Amanpour and Andrew Stevens respectively. Rather than state exactly what the situation was, the focus was more on making excuses and trying to look busy in the midst of all the chaos.

2013: National hug for the victims of Yolanda

2013: National hug for the victims of Yolanda

But of course Typhoon Yolanda (a.k.a. Tropical Storm Haiyan) was one of if not the most powerful storms in the planet’s recorded history to hit land. And of course the Philippine Air Force only had just three C130 cargo planes at its disposal. Of course the only road connecting Tacloban Airport to the city centre is a “narrow cement road of one lane in each direction”. Of course the Philippines is an archipelago and that Leyte in which Tacloban is situated is an island with no road link to other major cities. And of course the local government of Tacloban was itself a victim of the calamity and that some sort of “protocol” cited by Secretary Roxas gave the National Government reason to defer first to the resources of that local government before it acted.

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Those, as the apologists insist, are the “realities” that need to be considered when regarding the speed and quality with which the Philippine state responded to the disaster. When we consider these “realities”, they say, we find enough reason to find it in our hearts to give the government of President BS Aquino a “break”.

Trouble is, there are questions more obvious than the questions of why the Philippine government response was slow in this instance. For that matter, it has always been slow if not virtually non-existent. Typhoon Sendong (a.k.a. Tropical Storm Washi), which hit the northern part of the Philippines’ southern island of Mindanao in 2011 was itself a piece of work. It was the deadliest storm of 2011 killing more than 2,000 Filipinos most of whom were impoverished squatters living on flood plains that were engulfed by swelling river waters. In 2012, Typhoon Pablo (a.k.a. Tropical Storm Bopha) also a Category 5 super-typhoon made landfall on the east coast of Mindano near Davao City. Pablo eclipsed Sendong in terms of power making it the strongest ever storm to slam Mindanao.

Typhoon Pablo aftermath c.2012. Too far away from Imperial Manila to plant a flag

Typhoon Pablo aftermath c.2012. Too far away from Imperial Manila to plant a flag

In both cases, the Philippine government was just as inept. Cadavers remained uncollected for days, relief goods rotted in warehouses, and bureaucracy and fragmented governance prevented a proper chain of command from being put in place rapidly. But there were two main things that helped President BS Aquino’s Teflon government escape widespread condemnation: (1) faraway Mindanao is usually the least of the concerns of Imperial Manila’s chattering classes, and (2) those storms did not attract the same sort of high-profile international media coverage that Yolanda’s victims enjoy today.

So when we ask more overarching questions, like why there is only a single two-lane road connecting Tacloban Airport to a city of more than 200,000, or why for heaven’s sake there are only three Air Force C130 planes serving a vast archipelago populated by 100 million potential victims of future calamities, or why such “protocols” exist that gives reason for Malacañang to defer to local-government response when such units clearly cannot manage their domains properly and honestly even in the best of times, the true reasons behind the horrific scales of this disaster emerge.

Funny enough (though nobody is laughing now), Yolanda hit just as the nation was transfixed by another world-class crisis — the pork barrel corruption scandal that implicates just about every one of the country’s legislators to vast thievery of funds virtually immune from audit that all originates from the office of President BS Aquino.

When you step back far enough from the noise of the current melee we give ourselves a good enough vantage point to connect the dots at a macro level.

Oh, so that is why only a two-lane rinky-dink road connects Tacloban Airport to the city!

Oh so that is why the Air Force is equipped with a measly three C130 planes!

Oh so that is why the National Government seems hamstrung by local-government politics!

Suddenly it all makes perfect sense.

Suddenly it all makes perfect sense.

It suddenly makes sense why top honcho Filipino “journalist” Korina Sanchez suddenly has her claws out following a grilling copped by her husband in the expert hands of CNN International journalists.

Oh, so Korina Sanchez’s husband is the DILG Secretary!

Ohhhhhh… now I see….

Lots of Filipinos, it seems, were born yesterday — which is why they act like so whenever they troop to the polls to select the people who will go on to “lead” them and “represent” them.

It really does not take much brain power to ask the right questions. But often we need brilliant minds applying an outsider’s perspective to provide that sort of insight (or at least plant the seeds from which these sorts of insights emerge). So we should be thankful that the world has now taken notice of just how impoverished the Philippines really is. It is the worst kind of poverty. Not just a poverty of resources, but a poverty of intelligence.

34 Replies to “Korina Sanchez is Mar Roxas’s wife! (and other insights gleaned from the Yolanda disaster)”

  1. Hence my point that Pinoy pride should be reexamined. The typical Pinoy has nothing to do with the Manny Pacquiaos and Jessica Sanchezes but they have everything to do with Noynoy and his stupid yellow ribbon sprouting non sense on CNN. We put him there , we should suffer the same. Unfortunately I doubt we will learn from it. Despite the cost of lives. Proud to be Pinoy !!!’

  2. I spent a couple of days in cebu this week. The hotel was full of foreign aid workers, many of whom had worked in other countries/assisted in other disasters, but were on their first visit to the philippines.

    They were shocked at the scale the disaster, especially when the first reports from the philippine government had either played down the impact, or more likely were just clueless.

    But the aid workers/organisations reserved their real vitriole for the complete ineptitude of philippine government co-ordinators, the lack of even basic response plans, and communities who were simply being left to fend for themselves until the international cavalry arrived.

    Some complained that national government officials – especially from DILG and DWSD – were making their job harder and response slower through unnecessary bureaucracy, a lack of knowledge of disaster response principles/practices, and an overall inability to show initiative, flexibility or even common sense.

    Mar roxas has a lot to answer for, but obviously will not even be asked the difficult questions from his friends in media and the sheep dressed in a press pass

    As far as diva korina sanchez – well, simply a joke as a reporter and another example of self interest above integrity

    Anderon cooper et al gave the local media mafia a master class, but pearls before swine.

    1. DILG head Mar Roxas who earned the moniker Mr. Palengke showed why he should stay in the market…ang Korimaw Sanchez his wife should just monitor market prices in that way she would have never been exposed as a self serving journalist..And for DSWD head soliman, who would happen to have a strand of hair change color according to her mood on a day to day basis, who is equally corrupt. She was just a Regional director before and she was already being corrupt, how much more that she is already the head of DSWD….so how would the yellow leader say that he is daang matuwid?

      1. hey …your handle name would look great printed on a shirt! Think about it and let me know where I can it (in case you do start printing it on a shirt!) I will definitely buy one!

  3. Wow
    The UK daily mail shows a horrific photo today from tacloban of 400 bodies in bin bags being put in a mass grave – unidentified and unceremoniously dumped and buried, and no doubt not counted, to keep the death toll number down as aquino has ordered.
    Looks more like the scene of genocide, or an ampatuan or hacienda luisita massacre.
    No dignity even in death.
    Maybe korina sanchez would like to report on this latest atrocity. no chance that the daily mail photo will appear in philippine main media, but everyone should see it and weep.
    a photo is worth a thousand words, and for this shameless aquino government they are all either damning or unprintable

  4. Again, thank you for a well-written article. I just hope it can be translated to the language of the masang PNOY. You know, the language that (media irritant) Kris Aquino and her stupid followers speak.

    I really heard Korina put Anderson down on DZMM. (Crucify me for listening to another Aquino-controlled station!) She literally said that Anderson had no idea what he was talking about. At that same time, she was on the line with Oinky (ooops…I meant Dinky) Soliman. And a midst the hunger and pain DZMM was showing on TV, Oinky (I did it again…..DINKY!) teased Korina to Mar (who at that particular time was driving for her in Tacloban). No wonder they couldn’t reach the remote places…they were in a CAR!!!!!! I guess it’s a sin to walk if you are an “honorable” government official. Anyway, Oinky had the callousness to tease Korina on the air. She said to Korina, “Hindi totoo na pinagpalit ka ni Mar kay Yolanda!” OMG! I couldn’t believe I was hearing such idiotic conversation on air from people we thought we could trust!

    From then on it was downhill for our idiotic government! Noytard (also known as Bull Shit/Blatantly Stupid) Aquino gives a shameful interview with Amanpour. Noytard (also known as Bull Shit/Blatantly Stupid) Aquino
    screws up right from the beginning when Amanpur asked how he personally could reassure his people after the typhoon. Noytard (with his retarded thinking) goes on to saying…FIRST OF ALL and I THINK ….such words reflect sheer uncertainty in reassuring the people …then he does what he is so wonderful at……blames the LGUs and Yolanda.

    Then Amanpour asks another question (with intense urgency or may be even irritation) about the slowness of the government. In return, Noytard (looking as retarded as he can ) reiterates “…..it is the responsibility of the LGUs….” OMG two minutes into the interview and we, Filipinos, all look like idiots!!!!!! Suffice it to say, the interview went from horrible to shameful!

    But apparently, that was just the start. The whole world then sees another rich-kid brat in the name of Mar Araneta Roxas who stammers his way through an interview with CNN’s Andrew Stevens! To make matters worse, rich-kid brat Roxas asks for more aid in spite of the piling donations from all over the world. Could he not have done a decent forecast on what they needed? Or did they see that what they got was not enough for their taste that they needed to ask the whole world for more donations? The worse part is that, all the donations (and rich-kid Roxas admitted it as well) were still all neatly piled up in the warehouse. While people were starving outside, all the relief goods were piled up in the warehouse with rich-kid Roxas asking the whole world for more! Now these are the people in our neighborhood!

    Granted that Yolanda is the strongest typhoon in the whole world……we can’t change that. But I think our idiotic government should stop thinking that they know everything. I would really forgive (and even defend) a stupid government official with humility and sincerity! But I would NEVER forgive an incompetent government official with sheer arrogance!

  5. I sincerely hope this catastrophe of Yolanda magnitude (compounded in the wake of the pork-barrel scam) will finally awaken the Filipino people into finally voting for the right people to govern this nation.

    1. Does not matter who you vote for they will steal.
      Thieves do not stop stealing just because you ask them nicely.
      Every generation the liberties (stealing) get more and more, they know the can steal with impunity.
      Due to your lax attitude and failure to address problems or attempting to try and stop them stealing you are compounding the problems and actively encouraging them to steal more and more.
      So unless you lot actually physically do something about it they will carry on bleeding your country dry. Condemning your children to a bleak future.

  6. We cannot blame Corina Sanchez, from defending her husband. So, be careful…the dudette has her claws bared.
    Mr. Aquino, went to proclaim to the nation. “We are prepared for the Typhoon coming.” Maybe, he is clueless , on the destructive power of a 245 mph Typhoon. You just go on the SuperHighway. Accelerate your car to a 245 mph. And, you can feel the power. The Police will surely come after you ‘ with blaring flashing lights and siren. This is in the U.S. highways. I don’t know, in the Philippines; if there is a Police car with that speed. An expensive Sports Car has that speed. Common cars has only about 195 mph, maximum speed.
    Mr. Aquino and Mar Roxas are just incompetents. The did not know; what they were telling to the nation. They assured the Filipinos: “Everything is taken care of now.” Until the 245 mph Typhoon blew off their covers. Exposed their incompetence to the whole world to see…Hey, Korina Sanchez Roxas. Retract your claws, please…

  7. I think Korina was either suspended or “on vacation” now.

    Either she should resign or Mar Resigns, they can’t have both.

    1. I think there is a disconnect between the sentiments of what the netizens feel towards Korina and the sentiments of the D, E crowd. We dislike what she stands for but the palengke crowd (which is ABS-CBN’s main demo) don’t mind so much.

      Personally, I think 1 week is not enough, dapat one year. Furthermore, I think that she should not be a broadcaster because of her ties with Mar. Ewan ko ba ang ethics dito, non-existent.

  8. ABS-CBN should really consider getting someone else to take the place of Korina in its TV and radio news broadcasts because she has just proven that she can’t be objective, which is essential for a newscaster. We all know that ABS-CBN is biased, but they’ll have a harder time convincing people otherwise if they retain Korina’s services.

      1. Yes, that’s right, even Kris should be kicked out if ABS-CBN wants to keep even just semblance of objectivity. But I doubt if that will happen coz she wields so much influence on the broadcast station. I have personal knowledge of this.

  9. Hope the revelation on the ineptness of our government officials would stick to the minds of pinoy voters. They do not deserve a second chance please, have mercy on our beloved country despite all the ills. I have a doctor friend who went to Tacloban to provide whatever help he can. He had training on Disaster Preparedness and he was able to practice it there. According to him Tacloban was like a war zone, people are already killing for food, corpses scatter around. He managed to keep the people in an orderly fashion despite the prevailing hunger. He secured his family and the neighbors who joined them, but the sad thing he did not get any help from our government. It is true, rations are kept in warehouses by DSWD. I thought Oinky Soliman was a serious leader ready to help those in need being head of DSWD but she is another example of rotten bureaucracy. Everything is politicized in Leyte. We need real leaders to fast track the rehabilitation of Leyte. Our leadership or those in power are blatantly ill-prepared for a serious disaster like Yolanda, they don’t even know how to keep their temper displaying their folly and abrasiveness even during interviews. With the Yolanda incident, we all need to be prepared for any type of disaster, we cannot just whine and complain. Individually, we must learn how to properly respond to similar emergency situations. Our country is led by warring political clans, let us learn from that, because Leyte is a very good example, because it revealed how ill-prepared and inter-twinely bureaucratic our government is that is seriously affected the delivery of required services to the survivors of Yolanda.

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