Mobilize efforts to help victims of calamity

Communist Party of the Philippines

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) expresses deepest sympathy with the millions of people displaced by widespread flooding and landslides due to tropical storm Ondoy in many places in Metro Manila and 23 provinces. The CPP called on all revolutionary forces to extend all possible effort in helping the victims of the devastation.

Starkly telling is the gross inability of government agencies to carry out expeditious and appropriate rescue and relief operations. Even on the second day, several thousands were still left helpless inside or atop their homes surrounded by floodwaters as they waited far too long for unprepared and ill-equipped rescue teams. For most, the government was never around and help never came. Those who survived on their own and millions who bore witness to the social trauma of the past few days seethed in anger at the govenment's inutility.

The widespread destruction caused by the heaviest rainfall in four decades that hit Metro Manila and nearby provices highlights the poor infrastructure of the national capital and surrounding areas, particularly the city's flood control and drainage systems. It highlights as well the decrepit state of urban housing and total absence of government support services in large areas where a great majority of the working class and urban poor population live–in slums on esteros, alongside clogged creeks and rivers and low-lying urban-poor areas easily prone to flooding and other disasters. They were bound to suffer the most as the unprecedented raging flood waters drowned and swept away their homes and belongings.

The devastation caused by the heavy rains and widespread flooding is a testimony to the grossly misaligned priorities of government programs and unbridled corruption of national and local bureaucrats which have resulted in the total failure of urban development and social concern and assistance.

The millions who were isolated and swept by the floods and landslides are victims not just of the severe natural calamity, but more so of the long-standing big bureaucratic corruption and government indifference and mispriorities. It is but just for the hardest-hit victims and millions more adversely affected to seethe with anger at the rotten government's criminal neglect and to demand that it carry out the reconstruction of their homes, rehabilitation of their lives and livelihood and provide compensation for their losses.

In the face of the rotten government's utter negligence and inability to mobilize enough resources with dispatch for the necessary rescue and rehabilitation efforts, millions of Filipinos are now voluntarily contributing various amounts and other forms of assistance to help alleviate the sufferings of the calamity victims.

In unity with these efforts, the CPP and revolutionary mass organizations and other progressive forces are mobilizing available forces to set up relief and rehabilitation efforts in aid of the victims. Red fighters of the New People's Army (NPA), particularly in the Southern Tagalog and Central Luzon provinces, are being tasked to carry out efforts to assist the peasant masses in coping with the destruction of their homes and livelihood and rebuilding from their losses. Tactical offensives in the affected areas are to be held off for the next few days as local NPA units concentrate on relief and rehabilitation and supporting the resumption of people' production and livelihood.