Philippine Government Defensive After Anderson Cooper Says Philippines Has 'No Leadership' in Social Media Talks?

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By Sigrid Salucop | November 15, 2013 12:23 PM EST

The Philippine Government led by Benigno Aquino III is now on defensive after CNN News Reporter Anderson Cooper reportedly said, "There's no leader, there is no government, there is no civil defense in the Philippines." The statement made rounds on Twitter. However, Cooper, in his follow up reports, clarified he said there was no organized efforts, but he didn't say there was no leadership or government presence.

The statement came from a social networking site meme but was also released by the Manila Standard Today. Cooper tweeted though that he never said those words. 

— Anderson Cooper (@andersoncooper) November 14, 2013

Pres. Aquino, who claimed 6 days before Haiyan made landfall that the Philippine government is ready for the relief operation, is now defending his government after international media agencies echo Anderson Cooper's observations.

Government in Absentia

According to the Telegraph, the Philippine Government insists that it is doing well in bringing relief to Tacloban and other hard-hit areas. On the ground, the Aquino government's claim can hardly be seen, sources say.

A Philippine-Misereor Partnership Inc. representative Primo Morillo noted on his Facebook site that "no government presence can be felt" in Cabatlogan City, Samar Province's capital, while Mr Morillo and his group were on their way to distribute relief goods Wednesday.

While local volunteers coming from different parts of the Philippines are traveling to hard-to-reach areas, the Philippine Government insists that the problem is "really a local issue."

Supplies Running Out

Eight people died Wednesday after a National Food Authority warehouse reportedly collapsed in a town 20 km away from Tacloban, Philippines. The persons who were killed were reportedly "looting" the warehouse, according to NFA officials.

Philippine social media users reacted to local news media labelling Haiyan survivors as looters, saying that the local media is "insensitive and rude."

Hands Off Relief Goods

The Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs said Thursday that international aid arriving in the country will no longer pass through the hands of government agencies, according to the department's spokesperson Raul Hernandez.

Growing Anger Against Philippine President

Filipinos are increasingly losing their patience with the slow or non-existent relief effort, sources say. The New York Times reports that the Filipino people are now angry with Benigno Aquino III.

Pres. Aquino, the son of a former Philippine President, was a popular figure in the island nation and got the support of many Filipinos before a series of crises are said to have been mishandled. Veteran politician Miriam Defensor Santiago said there is a need for the President to move fast.

Pres. Aquino reportedly lashed out at Haiyan survivors he categorised as "looters." Pres. Aquino also reportedly responded to a local business owner who was held at gunpoint when survivors in Tacloban "raided" a mall and complained to the president about the issue, with the question: "But you did not die, right?"

More News, Updates, and Features About Typhoon Haiyan

'No Real Evidence Of Organized Recovery Or Relief in the Philippines' - CNN Reporter [READ MORE]

'Darkness Will Be Dispelled' - 'Philippine Prophecy' by Cindy Jacobs Goes Viral After Haiyan Hits Philippines [READ MORE]

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