88-year-old man dies in Leyte while waiting for aid

Yahoo Southeast Asia Newsroom
Residents don masks as they walk past damaged houses in the aftermath of super typhoon Haiyan in downtown Tacloban November 14, 2013. Philippine President Benigno Aquino was under growing pressure on Thursday to speed up the distribution of food, water and medicine to desperate survivors of a powerful typhoon and to get paralysed local governments functioning. REUTERS/Bobby Yip (PHILIPPINES - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT)

In the remote village of Bantigue in Isabel, Leyte, an 88-year-old man died while waiting for relief goods that never came.

Quirico Dejillo may have survived the onslaught of monster storm Yolanda but died Thursday, six days after the tragedy struck eastern Visayas. His daughter, Wilma Lumanglas said many others have died waiting for aid as well.

"Wala na ang tatay ko. Wala na. Andami nang matandang namatay doon [My father's gone. So many elderly are dying of hunger]," Lumanglas told Yahoo! Southeast Asia in a phone interview. She is currently in Batangas and the unfortunate message reached her through a relative who was able to get cellphone signal.

"Hindi na rin namin maipalibing nang maayos dahil wala silang pera, walang mapadalhan ng pera, sarado lahat [We can't give my father a decent burial too. They don't have money, there is no way I can send money, shops are closed]," Lumanglas added, noting that her family just wrapped their patriarch in a blanket and buried him in the compound.

Bantigue is about 147 kilometers from the Tacloban City airport where most aid are pouring in. Lumanglas said that to reach her family in Bantigue, one has to ride a pump boat and climb a 105-step walkway. She said dozens more in the the village are waiting for aid.

"Wala lahat, sira din ang hospital. Lahat ng bahay doon sira, walang pagkain [Nothing's left. All the houses are destroyed. Families have nothing to eat]," Lumanglas added, her voice breaking. She added her relatives are drinking water from an artesian well.

Money is of no value as well because there are limited stores in the area, she said.

Lumanglas said her relatives in Dulag, Leyte are also in dire need of aid.

It doesn't help too that some people in the area have reportedly resorted to extreme means just to be able to eat. People are now afraid to go out because escaped detainees of a nearby town have gone violent, Lumanglas added, quoting her relatives who are still in Leyte.















Lumanglas said she hopes the government would act fast so the toll won't go higher. 

The government has been drawing criticisms for its supposed slow action in distributing relief goods. In Tacloban City, which is among those most ravaged by typhoon Yolanda, people stormed groceries and establishments and looted what they can take.

Aquino has been hit as well for taking a defensive side about the relief efforts being carried out by the government. Foreign press have also claimed of the government's inefficiency in equal distribution of much-needed goods.