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Manila, Philippines: Workers and youth march to demand “Disaster President: Resign!”, March 14, 2014.

Sorry Not Enough! Resign Now!

One day after Pres. Noynoy Aquino apologized for his government’s late response to super typhoon Yolanda, workers led by national labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno marched to Mendiola to call for the chief executive’s immediate resignation.

Saying that the more than 10,000 people who died because of the super typhoon and the government’s criminal neglect deserve nothing less than Aquino’s resignation, the labor group also said that Aquino’s apology is both insincere and unacceptable.

“People will surely ask who will replace Aquino if he resigns. We think, however, that the main question after his apology is how long should he remain behind bars for his criminal neglect of the victims of Yolanda,” said Elmer “Bong” Labog, KMU chairperson.

The labor leader said Aquino was only forced to apologize because of the intensifying protests of the victims of the super typhoon and that without the protests, the government would still be trying to make it appear that it was swift and effective in responding to the super typhoon.

“Aquino’s apology brings to mind Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s ‘I am sorry’ speech in the aftermath of the ‘Hello Garci’ electoral fraud scandal. Both apologies highlight the chief executive’s crimes and their desperate attempt to dampen growing condemnation of their crimes,” Labog said.

KMU also said that Aquino’s apology is insincere because it is followed by various justifications for his government’s late response and comes four months after the super typhoon hit the country.

“While it is true that Yolanda is the strongest storm to ever make landfall, it is also true that Aquino did not do anything significant to save Filipinos’ lives. Yolanda’s strength does not justify Aquino’s criminal neglect, but further highlights the latter,” Labog said.
The labor center claimed that the Aquino government failed to conduct a massive evacuation drive before the super typhoon hit as well as rescue operations immediately after the super typhoon hit.

It said the relief operations the Aquino government did carry out were late, grossly insufficient and constitute an insult to Yolanda’s victims, given the devastation suffered by agriculture and companies along the super typhoon’s path.

“We vow to bring our case for the president’s resignation to the people. We vow to intensify our protests against his anti-people policies and call for his resignation as we approach Labor Day,” Labog said.

Photos: Buhay Manggagawa
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