Press Release
August 8, 2009

Press statement of Senator Loren legarda

On lamenting preventable deaths

The death of nine persons in floods and landslides, including three foreigners trekking Mount Pinatubo, was appalling because they could have been prevented if only disaster-mitigation measures had been put in place by government.

Among these measures are the putting up of early warning systems that alert people and give them ample time to evacuate from areas that are threatened by natural calamities such as typhoons. The question to ask is why people were allowed to trek Mount Pinatubo even in the face of strong winds and rains.

The effects of climate change are upon us. There's no more denying the fact that unless the government acts to effect disaster risk-reduction measures, the statistics on preventable deaths, injuries and damage to properties would continue to go up.

On putting monetary value on service to flag and a former commander in chief

The four honor guards who endured nine hours of standing still atop the flatbed that carried former President Cory Aquino to her final resting place did so as part of their service to flag and country. What they did exemplified the very best in our men and women in uniform, anyone of whom, I have no doubt, would have done nothing less had the glorious and weighty task been placed on their shoulders.

It is out of patriotic fervor that they stood immobile for hours rain or shine, thus I have serious misgivings about giving monetary value for what could be the finest hours in their military and police careers. The offer of money to the four honor guards was well-meaning, but it should give us pause because service to our country should not be monetized in keeping with the tradition of our heroes like Jose Rizal and Gat Andres Bonifacio.

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