By LUIS G. JALANDONI
Member, NDFP National Executive Committee
The National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) conveys its most heartfelt condolences to the families and relatives of all those who lost their dear ones in the massive and devastating floods last week. We are at a loss to express in words the deep sorrow we feel at the loss of more than a thousand lives with many still missing. We also wish to express our feelings of unity with all those who have lost their homes and all their belongings, have been displaced and have to endure in cramped evacuation centers without sufficient potable water, food, clothing, toilet facilities, and other necessities.
All forces of the NDFP in the catastrophe-affected areas, together with many other concerned organizations and people, are doing their utmost to help in the recovery, relief and rehabilitation work. All friends in the Philippines and abroad are exerting great efforts to provide practical and effective assistance and the call for more assistance is being propagated.
While we grieve over the great loss of lives, homes, and livelihood, we cannot but point out the deep-rooted causes of this tragedy. The unbridled denudation of the forests in the past decades by ruthless foreign and comprador corporations involved in logging, mining, plantation and real estate operations, with the collusion of corrupt civilian and military officials of the reactionary government, is the major cause of this disaster. The criminal acts of these plunderers must be thoroughly exposed and militantly opposed.
The anti-people policies of successive reactionary governments are the root cause of the poverty that afflicts the big majority of the Philippine population. Lack of proper protection of the environment and lack of adequate and safe housing for the urban poor, the peasants and workers and other disadvantaged sections of the population render the impoverished people most vulnerable to floods, typhoons and other natural calamities. Moreover, adequate systems of preventing loss of lives and damage and providing timely warning must be set up. Lessons must be learned from other countries such as Cuba which have rich experience and have set up effective systems to handle natural calamities.
The struggle to protect the people’s lives and safety and the struggle to protect the environment are part of the people’s struggle for national and social liberation.
Luis G. Jalandoni
Member, National Executive Committee
National Democratic Front of the Philippines
To our international friends, please send urgently needed financial support to the following bank account:
NDF ST. INT. INFORMATIE BURO
39 45 70 642 with note: “Flood victims”
IBAN number: NL70 RABO 0394570642
We will send the donations right away to grassroots organizations carrying out recovery, relief and rehabilitation work. Thank you very much.