TACLOBAN CITY- Mayor Alfred Romualdez issued an apology for whatever hurtful words that he had uttered in the past relative to what has been perceived to be insufficient assistance to the city pummeled by supertyphoon “Yolanda.” Romualdez made this statement during his speech during the unveiling of a memorial park on Sunday, Nov. 8, located inside the compound where the Tacloban Convention Center is located which once served as temporary shelter to 8,000 people after Yolanda’s devastation. The city mayor, who is now serving on his last term, engaged in a highly publicized verbal tussle with President Aquino and former Interior Sec. Mar Roxas in the aftermath of Yolanda.
But the mayor stressed that the people of Tacloban are “grateful” for the assistance extended by the national government. “Pasensiya na lang po kung nakakapagsalita kami ng maaanghang dahil kami ay tao lamang at kami at nasasaktan dahil napakasakit talaga ang nangyari sa amin,” Romualdez said. “Minsan po nakakapagsalita kami ng maaanghang na salita but at no given time, we are ungrateful for all the help that were extended to us,” he added. Later in an interview, Romualdez admitted that whatever hurtful words that he had uttered in the past were just heat of the moment as all he wanted was for immediate assistance for his grieving people.
“I’d like to reach out to everybody, tell them that we are very grateful. We just voice out our concerns but it does not mean that we’re ungrateful,” he stressed. During his speech, Romualdez expressed his gratitude to the national government for the assistance extended to Tacloban, considered as ground zero of the world’s strongest typhoon to hit landfall. “In behalf of the city of Tacloban, I would like to thank the national leadership, including the President, sa lahat ng tulong na naibigay sa Tacloban,” Romualdez said. For his part, Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez said that there are lots to bed one in Tacloban and the rest of Leyte. Romualdez was reacting to a statement of Malacañang that it did its best to help recover areas which it described to be in better situation compared to New Orleans in USA that was hit by another massive storm, “Katrina” more than a decade ago.“I’m not sure what happened to Katrina and I was not there. Now, at the end of the day, if you’re in public service, it’s never enough,” the solon said. “Let us not start finger- pointing again. Let us do something about it. Let us not stop until our bosses are satisfied,” Romualdez added. (JOEY A. GABIETA)