The good news here is that upon arrival of Vice-President Leni Robredo on Monday at the airport, she visited immediately the fire victims in Quezon City.
From a facebook post, Ms.Bella Enriquez said:”Straight from the airport, VP Leni Robredo visits affected residents of the NIA Road fire, promises to coordinate solution to housing problem. She recommends on-site development and no relocation. The children call her “Nanay Leni.” She’s truly Amazing!”
Last week, two days after the Christmas landfall of typhoon Nina, residents in the community located in NIA road were devastated by a fire that gutted over 500 hundred residential houses.
The Side Story
A devoted Duterte supporter and good samaritan in the person of Bella Enriquez, was up on her toes organizing what would become the best instant social media response to the calamity that time.
One of her earliest post said:
NIA ROAD QC 25k residents affected by fire tonight Please donate food and water. 9k children need to be fed. PDEA allowed us to use their gym for temporary shelter for feeding the children. We are cooking lugaw but not enough. Please help.
So we captured her comments below, but may not be in chronological order:
Maraming salamat po sa unang tumulong sa mga kababayan natin na nasunugan ngayon gabi. Kahit di po nyo constituents nagpa abot kayo ng 10 sacks of rice. Our first responder and a good friend Baranggay Captain Banjo Pilar & Councilor Marivic Co Pilar.
Another post said:
Even when she’s abroad , and has given almost all resources to the typhoon Nina victims, she still sent relief goods to the 25,000 residents here in NIA Road ,9,000+ children . 1,200 directly affected by fire. She’s been monitoring us from the U.S. since last night. Thank you Madam Vice President Leni Robredo. #Fire@NIA Rd., Quezon City
Thank you for helping us tonight VP Leni Robredo. Hindi po ninyo kami iniwan. 1,200 directly affected by the fire last night. #Fire@NIA Rd., Quezon City Thank you Cap Banjo Pilar of Bgy Pasong Tamo Tandang Sora.
Then she related another detail below:
Vice President Leni Robredo sent 26 sacks of rice and other relief goods in grocery bags and were given to the fire victims to help them provide for the daily meals of their own families. Fire victims are going back to their temporary shelters with joy and hope towards a speedy recovery after receiving aid extended. We will never forget the incredible support you have given us. Despite your absence, (because you’re still in the U.S.) you immediately instructed your staff Adrian Martinez to call me, and he rushed that night to assess the condition of the people . From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
But the social media is without dissenters. Ms. Enriquez had to make some clarifications as a response:
My post is to inform lang that despite the VP’s absence may ginagawa sya. At correction: wala po LUGAW dyan sa photos . Call it whatever you like “long distance assistance ” , nagpa abot pa rin ng tulong kahit halos walang budget, except from donors. Tama na pang huhusga.
Good enough one comment came from Mayi Bleza Ravancho:
Saan man galing ang pondo.. Wala man sya physically, na organize naman nya ang pagtulong sa nasunugan. Malaking bagay n yun db? 🙂
While Bella’s effort has just began, it is comforting ta have a person like her:
Bella: “As many of you know, their peaceful lives turned upside down last December 27 at around 6PM, after they lost their homes to a massive fire. It has been a surreal time. We have to begin with a special thanks to the first responders who came to their rescue. To the firefighters and the police, we cannot thank you enough for your heroic efforts to keep them safe and for trying to limit the level of damage to their community.
While they were devastated that the experience of houses on fire will be etched as one of their children’s biggest childhood memories, they are consoled by the fact that these incredible acts of kindness will likely be a much more vivid memory. It has been so important for them to see all of the goodness in the world in the middle of such a frightening time of uncertainty.”
And then, after Robredo’s visit on Monday, Bella posted this:
Dear Vice President Leni,
You are not a superhero, you are but a single person, an individual.I understand that you and the nation are surrounded by a sea of bad times and I remember your idealism when you came into office. You are in a sense of the word powerless,at the same time you are however in a position to make all a difference.The most important thing is to not get caught up on the small thing and to not lose yourself in the mess which has alwaus been since ou took office of the VP. with insufficient funds tor relief operations and abroad for a Christmas break you and your three daughters deserve, I didn;t expect your immediate help during the fire that night, but you did.You didn’t let us down. Thank you for visiting NIA road fire victims.It was an honor meeting you today for the first time.
As the relief operations were getting off the ground from night one, many un-supporters of Mrs. Robredo (in social media, some are referred to as trolls) were on overdrive posting negative comments about her, including questioning the propriety of her absence after typhoon Nina.
In fairness to the Office of the Vice-President and Mrs. Robredo herself, with or without her physical presence, she was able to fully discharge the right response for the calamituous situations.
People got timely updates in social media with the VP using three different accounts including her office on the relentless relief efforts in Bicol, Mindoro, Batangas and Marinduque to name a few.
Just to clear our doubt, it is the Office of the President which has ‘unlimited” funds and government machinery that can mount relief for victims. Mrs Robredo has none of that. But she can rally good people, business owners and companies to share a helping hand. Which she effectively did in flying colors, not only yellow.