Victim-blaming. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) Chairman Gilbert Teodoro have repeatedly announced that slum dwellers living near creeks, rivers and under bridges would no longer be allowed to rebuild their homes. The justification is not so much about their safety but because they are being blamed for the massive floods that inundated Metro Manila. The Arroyo government is passing the blame for its ineptness and corruption, its flawed policies and priorities, and it’s selling out of the country’s natural resources to mining and logging companies to the detriment of the environment, to the urban poor. They have also found in the recent onslaughts of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng a convenient excuse for depriving of their “homes” those who were forced by rural poverty and landlessness into being “informal settlers” in the cities.

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