‘Blast’ those houses? DPWH chief takes back statement after flood of criticism
By Chichi Conde, InterAksyon.com
August 14, 2012
MANILA, Philippines – Public Works Secretary Rogelio Singson on Tuesday retracted a statement he made a day earlier that President Benigno Aquino III had ordered the “blasting” of informal settlements whose residents refuse to be relocated from waterways and other danger zones.
“I am sorry … but I am no violent person … there is no blasting order whatsoever in any waterways in the Philippines,” Singson said after drawing flak from activist and urban poor groups.
He also claimed he may have been “taken out of context” when he spoke to reporters on the immediate and long-term measures government plans to undertake to solve the flooding in Metro Manila and neighboring provinces.
But a check with the transcript of his interview showed Singson making the following statement, which was widely quoted in media: “I just received instructions from the President that if push comes to shove, we will have to blast these houses if the residents do not leave within a certain period.”
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