Palace tells Red Cross, Bohol mayor: Settle differences
MANILA - Malacanang laments the rift between the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC) and Maribojoc, Bohol Mayor Leoncio Evasco, Jr. which is now affecting quake victims in the municipality.
"Tingin ko po, pareho namang may puntong isinusulong yung Red Cross at si Mayor,” Secretary Sonny Coloma of the Presidential Communications Operations Office told Palace reporters on Tuesday.
"Sa amin lang, sana magkaroon ng mas masinsinang ugnayan ang lahat ng tumutulong sa ating kababayan," he added.
Evasco categorically stated in several interviews that the local government would no longer accept aid from the PNRC after its chairman, Richard Gordon, refused to submit to the local government Red Cross relief goods and leave the distribution with the local government.
Evasco was adamant in getting the relief goods to facilitate an orderly distribution, but the Red Cross insisted they cannot do so since the organization is an apolitical group.
Coloma said that in times of calamities such as the one that struck Bohol, challenges normally arise. He said this is why the national government is working with agencies in addressing distribution problems.
Coloma noted there is an existing structure in times of crisis headed by the local Risk Reduction and Management Committee – led by Evasco himself.
The Palace will not take sides, but made an appeal to the two parties to foster better coordination to ensure better service to the people of Bohol.
"Hindi madaling sumagot ng black and white at malayo tayo sa ground at nandito sa opisina, baka theoretical ang sagot. Sa ground, may dynamics na nagaganap dun. Anuman yun, di dapat maantala pa yung paghatid ng tulong," said Coloma.