Aquino to visit resettlement sites for ‘Sendong’ survivors

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews/24 January) — President Benigno Aquino III will arrive here Wednesday morning (Jan. 25) to check on the rehabilitation and resettlement efforts for flood survivors, exactly 40 days after tropical storm Sendong devastated Cagayan de Oro and Iligan cities.

This is the second time for Aquino came to visit the two flood-devastated cities. Last December 20, the came to survey the destruction and immediately ordered the resettlement of the flood survivors in the two cities.

He noted that the victims had lived in areas that were identified to be geohazard zones.

Three permanent resettlement sites—Barangays Lumbia, Indahag and Sitio Calaanan—were identified in Cagayan de Oro.

In Iligan, one permanent resettlement site—the National Steel Corporation in Santa Eelena—was identified.

Aquino will immediately take a chopper to Iligan City upon his arrival at Lumbia Airport in Cagayan de Oro at about 8am.

He is expected to confer with Iligan City Mayor Laurence Cruz and other officials involved in the resettlement of over 1,600 families still living in the evacuation centers.

Aquino is expected to stay there the entire morning and will head back for Cagayan de Oro around 2pm.

The Philippine Information Agency in Cagayan de Oro said the President will proceed immediately to Sitio Calaanan, Barangay Canitoan where he is expected to check on the core tent shelters provided to some 1,300 families.

He is expected also to lead the ceremonies for the first batch of houses that were constructed by the Habitat for Humanity.

Aquino’s trip will not only be for meetings, checks and inspections.

Save CDO Movement, a group composed of local businessmen and residents, is planning to gather 300 people to stage a rally as soon as the motorcade bearing Aquino passes by on the way to Calaanan.

Local trader Tito Mora, head of the Save CDO movement, said they want to ask the President to investigate Mayor Vicente Emano whom they accused of being responsible for the more than 1,000 fatalities in Cagayan de Oro.

“We want him investigated and suspended. We have already filed administrative charges against Emano and is preparing the criminal charges,” Mora said.

Aside from the rally, the archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro is planning to hold a mass at the Rodelsa Park late tomorrow afternoon. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)