Palace mum on ‘senatoriables’ presence in Aquino relief drive-A A +A
Saturday, August 11, 2012
MANILA -- Malacanang on Saturday distanced itself on the supposed early campaigning of some "senatoriables" who tagged along with President Benigno Aquino III during his visits in flood-stricken areas.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte, in an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, refused to comment as to who had advised the President to bring with him during his rounds in some evacuation centers in Metro Manila and Central Luzon these personalities, who reportedly would be part of the senatorial slate of the administration's Liberal Party (LP).
"As to the individuals na pinupuna po nung iba, sumagot na po sila. Sila na lang po 'yung ating tanungin para po doon," she said.
Among those personalities who were seen in most of the President's visits in areas affected by the monsoon rains were Akbayan party-list spokesperson Risa Hontiveros, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) director general Joel Villanueva.
There were also instances that Aurora Representative Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara, Bureau of Customs (BOC) Commissioner Rozzano Rufino "Ruffy" Biazon joined Aquino.
On the other hand, Valte said those Cabinet officials who went with the President in visiting the evacuees were invited.
"Alam mo, as far as I know, the people who go with the President, the Cabinet secretaries, the other officials in government were invited because the opportunity to help is there," she said.
Among those Cabinet members who joined Aquino were Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman, Public Works and Highways Secretary Rogelio Singson, Energy Secretary Jose Rene Almendras, and Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ricky Carandang.
In the same radio interview, Valte thanked the media, non-government organizations and private citizens who helped mobilize assistance and rescue efforts to the victims of massive flooding in Metro Manila and nearby areas this week.
“Gusto naming magpasalamat doon sa ating mga media partners, our radio partners, ‘yung broadcast natin and also the NGOs, ‘yung private citizens who all banded together to help give relief goods, to help mobilize assistance to those who were affected by the monsoon rains,” she said.
Social media has also played a major role in assisting the flood victims, according to Valte noting that for this reason the Philippines ranked as one of the top Twitter-using countries in the world.
With some 9.5 million users, the Philippines is the tenth largest nation on Twitter, according to a report by a social media monitor.
“Nakita rin natin ‘yung pwersa nito noong mga nakaraang araw dahil talagang nag-mobilize ang mga social networking users at naging malaking tulong sa relief assistance at sa rescue efforts,” she said.
“Isa ito doon sa mga magandang ehemplo kung saan talagang nagkapit-bisig ‘ang new media at traditional media, mga kasama natin sa radyo, sa broadcast para mag-mobilize ng tulong at rescue para doon sa mga lugar na naapektuhan.”
Semiocast, a social media monitor, said an analysis of some 517 million Twitter profiles from around the world shows that the country is just behind Spain and ahead of Turkey.
Around one-third of the country’s population has Internet access, amounting to an online population of some 30 million people. Of these figure, 93 percent also have a Facebook account.(SDR/Sunnex)