An Ilagan City barangay chairperson prevented relief delivery to flood victims in her community and ordered the confiscation of food items for distribution last Thursday, November 19, a regional farmers group reported.
Hacienda Sta. Isabel Norte chairperson Leonora Uy allegedly ordered a stop to the humanitarian activity for hundreds of farmers in her barangay after allowing photos to be taken of only a few residents receiving food items, the group Danggayan iti Mannalon ti Cagayan Valley (Danggayan) said on its Facebook page.
Danggayan said it properly coordinated with Uy on the relief activity who in turn suggested it be held at the barangay covered court “in order for the facility to be of some use.”
The barangay executive also wanted that all residents should be recipients of the activity, prompting the relief workers to divide each pack into two to benefit twice as many families and accommodate Uy’s wishes.
But the chairperson ordered the relief items to be confiscated after photos have been taken of 10 beneficiaries receiving them, the farmers group said.
“Photo ops lang pala ang pinayagan,” Danggayan said in a statement. (She only allowed the photo opportunity, it turns out.)
Uy reportedly said the barangay would re-pack the relief goods and take over the distribution.
Danggayan said the farmers disagreed, sure that many would later be denied the relief items.
“Ayon sa kapitan, kung hindi daw i-turn over sa kanya ang ayudang pagkain ay i-pull out na lang ito dahil hindi naman daw siya humiling ng ayudang pagkain. Pati ang mineral water ay ayaw siyang pumayag na ipamigay sa mga residente,” Danggayan reported. (According to Uy, the relief food items should be pulled out if these would not be turned over to them as she did not ask for them in the first place. She even refused to have drinking water distributed to the residents.)
The group said Uy’s decision angered residents and decided to continue the distribution at the house of farmer-leaders.
Two barangay councilors reportedly disagreed with Uy’s decision and helped in the distribution.
The relief items, worth PhP200,000 were donated by local groups Dagami, Tulong Kabataan, Tulong Sulong CV, Cagayan Valley Disaster Response Center Inc. and others. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)
(Efforts to seek Uy’s comment failed as her supporters refuse to give the executive’s contact details. Kodao is still seeking ways to talk to Uy.)