File photo of senator and presidential aspirant Manny Paquiao with typhoon Yolanda victims in Tacloban, Leyte before. (Photo: Al-Rasub)
By Tracy Cabrera
MANILA — MP3 Alliance presidential aspirant Emmanuel ‘Manny’ Pacquiao has pledged to continue with relief efforts to survivors of super typhoon Odette (international name Rai) even as he urged the whole nation “to stay strong and unified” in the face of the disaster that has rendered thousands homeless and without food and water.
This came despite criticism from some sectors that claimed Pacquiao was taking advantage of the situation to promote his presidential bid by flaunting his wealth through relief efforts in typhoon-devastated areas in the Visayas and Mindanao.
Supporters lauded the People’s Champ for his quick reaction to appeals from typhoon survivors in the Visayas, particularly Cebu and Bohol, where the MP3 Alliance presidential bet personally brought relief package and financial aid to affected families.
“Ipagpapatuloy natin ang pagkakawang-gawa at magdadala tayo ng mga pangangailangan ng mga tinamaan ng bagyo. Hindi tayo titigil sa pagtulong sa ating mga kababayan,” he said while promising he would visit victims in other provinces as a show of support and to give them hope by making them realize they do not stand alone in this crisis.
Pacquiao also noted poor communication and the lack of electricity which has aggravated the situation in several areas, mostly in the remote provinces that are reachable only by unconventional modes of travel.
“Hindi pa maaring pumunta sa malalayo pero nagpadala na kami ng tulong. Hindi lang pagkain ang problema kundi tubig din kaya pinahanda ko na para magpadala din ng inumin sa mga lugar na ito,” the Pac-Man said.
Pacquiao stressed that in this time of need what really matters was that the whole nation stands united to weather the crisis and to remain hopeful that victims will receive succor from those who can afford to bring in relief to the victims of Odette.
“Kailangan nating magkaisa. Kalimutan na muna natin ang politiko at ang nalalapit na eleksyo. Ang mahalaga ay mag tulungan tayo at mag ka Isa na manalangin sa Diyos na malalanpasan natin ang lahat ng pagsubok na ating kakaharapin,” he said. (ai/mtvn)