Known for his expletive-laden speeches, President Rodrigo Duterte veered away from hurling invectives as he remembered the wrath of supertyphoon “Yolanda” during his visit in Tacloban City on Friday.
“I was bleeding inside my heart,” Duterte said during the Sangyaw Festival of Lights in Tacloban, Leyte saying he wept two hankerchief full of tears when he saw part of the devastation caused by “Yolanda” during his visit days after the supertyphoon flattened the Visayas.
“I do not want to remind you of the sorrow and the agony,” he added, saying it was one of the “saddest” moments in his life.
Yolanda or Haiyan, the strongest typhoon to hit land, pummeled the Visayas region on November 8, 2013, leaving around 6,000 people dead.
“Never saw such magnitude of [devastation] that’s why I wept and consumed two handkerchief full of tears. That’s true. Literally,” he said.
Duterte, who was born in Maasin, Leyte, has said before that he was disappointed with the snail-paced transfer of Yolanda victims to permanent shelters.
He earlier ordered government officials to complete the housing projects for the victims of the supertyphoon.
“You know about six months after, I went back here to look at the progress of the housing, the ones built under my term, I was really surprised na Leyte almost was back on its feet and the skyline was more pleasant to see. More buildings and all,” he said.
He praised the resilience of the people of Leyte and told them they have “been blessed several times.”
“And I hope that God will continue to bless you as a people, the Leyteño, including me,” he said. /jpv
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