Gov’t not manipulating ‘Yolanda’ death toll
The government is not manipulating the death toll from super typhoon Yolanda, a Palace official said in a press briefing last Friday.
Deputy Presidential Spokeswoman Abigail Valte said the government has always been “upfront” in gathering data about the casualty in any calamity.
“There is no attempt to hide or to fudge any figures. Any assertion otherwise would just be pure speculations at this point,” Valte said.
“In any calamity that we’ve faced, we’ve always been upfront about the procedure that the NDRRMC (National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council) adopts when it comes to the identification of casualties,” she added.
As of Friday afternoon, the death toll has already risen to 3,621.
President Aquino earlier disputed initial reports that at least 10,000 people were killed in the typhoon that lashed across the Visayas last week. Aquino said the estimated death toll is closer to 2,000 to 2,500.
Eastern Visayas police regional director Chief Supt. Elmer Soria who first resorted the 10,000 death count has already been relieved of his command.
However, Valte said the police offer was relieved by Philippine National Police chief Alan Purisima since he went through “so much stress” and needed some rest.