Roxas, Gazmin Drank Brandy on Yolanda Eve

Presidential candidate and administration bet Manuel “Mar” Roxas III is taking shots left and right when talking about typhoon Yolanda.

Former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s chief of staff and a well-known columnist Rigoberto Tiglao once again flogged Roxas on his Yolanda performance. This time, the the accusation seems real and alive.

According to his website rigobertotiglao.com which was explained in detail by pinoy blog politics.com, Mar Roxas and defense secretary Voltaire Gazmin drank brandy a day before Yolanda hit Tacloban because they think the typhoon was not strong enough.

The report says….

Worse, Rigoberto Tiglao said both Roxas and Gazmin drank brandy — which generally contains 35 percent to 60 percent alcohol — before tucking in their bed slightly before midnight of November 8.

In his Manila Times column, Tiglao said Roxas and Gazmin did not bring a specialist from the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) when they met with local officials in Tacloban led by its mayor Alfred Romualdez, a nephew of former First Lady Imelda Romualdez Marcos, to personally take charge of evacuation and rescue and relief operations.

“In a video of that meeting, Roxas obviously didn’t realize how the weather forecast was critical to their work. He asked in the meeting if there was a PAGASA representative among the more than two-dozen local officials present, and when the question was met with total silence, he just moved on to another topic without giving an order to get the weather forecaster,” Tiglao wrote.

Without a PAGASA expert on hand, Roxas and Gazmin continued to tell the Tacloban City officials that they had up to 10:00 a.m. the next day to evacuate, according to Tiglao.

The two cabinet men were supposedly unaware that PAGASA had already issued new storm alerts that placed Yolanda’s landfall at 5:00 a.m. and left 10 a.m. on November 8. “It was a horrific mistake that would cost thousands of lives,” wrote Tiglao.

Tiglao also wrote about details of what happened to Roxas and Gazmin after that meeting.

“Two sources claimed that Roxas and Gazmin, after a round of brandy, retired before midnight and slept soundly. By daybreak the typhoon would strike, and after the storm surge hit their hotel, their terrified aides nearly broke down their door to wake them up. Both nearly drowned, as did one local-based security man who was assigned to them,” wrote Tiglao in his column.

“Gazmin lost his insulin kit for diabetes, and had to be rushed back to Manila through Cebu on the first helicopter available for his life-saving shots. They lost even their satellite phones, which made them incommunicado until after noon of November 8. After Yolanda left by 10 am, Roxas and Gazmin were walking like dazed zombies on Tacloban’s streets just like most victims, toward the airport,” Tiglao added.

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