PRESIDENT Duterte yesterday assured the public that government is on top of the situation and attending to the needs of those affected by massive flooding brought about by typhoon “Ulysses.”
The President skipped several meetings in the virtual 37th Association of Southeast Asian (ASEAN) Summit held in Vietnam to address Filipinos to tell what his government is doing, and to conduct an aerial inspection of the areas devastated by Ulysses in Marikina City and Rizal province.
He made the public address after attending the summit’s opening ceremony and delivering the Philippines’ stand on several issues. When he returned, he presided over the ASEAN-CHINA Summit and left again for the aerial inspection with Sen. Christopher Go.
Go said the President attended the remaining sessions of the Summit.
In the videos and photos sent by Go to media, taken during the aerial inspection, Duterte was shown looking at people stranded on rooftops due to floods and those being rescued by government teams using rubber boats.
Go said the President assures the public all government assets, including those of the military and police, were mobilized for rescue operations.
Duterte, in his public address, denied insinuations he and the other government officials were asleep at the height of the typhoon. He said many of them actually had little to no sleep, as they monitored the situation and issued instructions. He said he also attended the virtual ASEAN summit.
He said he had wanted to personally visit the affected communities but his security and medical team advised against going out, amid the typhoon and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Duterte said the government will do its best to provide assistance in the form of shelter, relief goods, financial aid and post-disaster counselling to those affected.
“Rest assured, the government will not leave anybody behind. We will get through this crisis. I assure you as one nation kapit po tayo mga kababayan, magbayanihan po tayong lahat (let us hold on my fellowmen, let us unite),” he added.