PRESIDENTIAL frontrunner Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr., has activated the UniTeam’s relief operations team to immediately bring help to the victims of typhoon Agaton in the Visayas and Mindanao that has thus far affected 38,399 families from 106 different barangays in Region 10, 11, Caraga and BARMM in Muslim Mindanao.
This developed as the UniTeam’s legal team said it is now readying necessary documents to secure an exemption from the Commission on Elections to make sure that the relief mission is compliant with the provisions of the Omnibus Election law.
Flooding and heavy rainfall brought about by Tropical Storm Agaton in the Visayas and Mindanao resulted in at least three reported deaths so far in the Davao region.
One person has also been reported missing in Region 11.
Marcos said that while he wanted to immediately send relief goods to the affected areas, he was constrained by existing election laws that prohibit those running for public office to hand over any forms= of help lest they be accused of vote buying.
“I ask for understanding from our people because we could not rush assisance to them; our hands are tied because there are certain election-related laws,” Marcos said, mostly in Filipino.
He assured those affected, though, that they will rush help as soon as possible once clearance is obtained.
Flooding has also so far displaced 23,841 families with 3,228 families or 11,264 persons now staying at 52 evacuation centers.
Meanwhile, Marcos appealed to his supporters in the affected areas to momentarily veer away from campaigning and instead shift to distribution of relief goods to affected families.
Marcos was in Samar and Leyte last April 8 to 9 where he conducted hugely successful campaign sorties before the provinces were hit by the typhoon.
The UniTeam in December also mounted a series of relief operations to help victims of Super Typhoon Odette in Butuan City, Dinagat Islands, Cebu, and Southern Leyte.
The UniTeam relief operations, which reached eight provinces from December 19 to 20, delivered millions worth of construction materials for the repair of damaged houses and several thousands of bags of rice intended for distribution to the typhoon victims.
The UniTeam gave financial assistance and relief goods to thousands of residents of typhoon-stricken areas such as Maasin City, Southern Leyte, Butuan City, Bohol, Cebu, Siargao Island in Surigao del Norte, Roxas City in Capiz, Masbate, and Negros Occidental.