A resident of Tacloban City talks about Mar’s role during the super typhoon:
Mar Roxas was there [in Tacloban], before, during and after. Help came. No one can deny that.
A blog article, written from the point view of Mar’s staff, highlights Mar’s initial response in the hours and days that succeeded the storm. An excerpt is provided below:
I felt like I was watching a Hollywood horror movie, only this time I was in it. At SMAR’s instructions, I called Col. Jojo Angan, who was left behind at Camp Crame. I was to tell him the situation on the ground and relay SMAR’s orders for appropriate government agencies to get ready to move in. It was no use. All manners of communication were out. No power…
Malou L. Olanga talks about how Mar took initiative in clearing dead bodies:
Hindi nila nakita kung anong ginawa ni Mar Roxas [para] sa Yolanda victims. Unang-una kong naranasan na pagtulong ay nung sa mga patay na nakakalat. Wala sinuman ang nag-initiate na pakialaman ‘yung mga patay. Siya, bilang DILG Secretary, nauna para makuha ‘yung mga bangkay at mailibing. Take note, at that time, mabahong-mabaho na ‘yung lugar.
Mayor Pel Tecson, a member of a different political party at the time of the storm, had this to say about DILG Roxas’s performance:
Even though I was from another party, doon ko nakita na walang politics on those difficult times (Yolanda). Napakaayos ng collaboration namin sa government.
“Buti na lang nandoon si Mar”, a comment from one Rosario Cohamco on Facebook:
A few days ago I met with some former classmates and one of them brought along her new kasambahay. Toward the end of our coffee, we kinda “interviewed” her and found out she came from Yolanda-stricken Leyte. And she recounted the ordeal they went through. And then she added very casually that it was Mar Roxas who was there going around and supervising the work. She said: “Kundi kay Mar Roxas, ewan ko kung anong nangyari sa amin! Siya lang iyong nandoon! Ang bait niya! Malamang mananalo siya sa Leyte dahil sa ginawa niya.” This is contradictory to the issue they are using against Mar Roxas. Now I have a new reason to vote for Roxas.
Another commenter on Facebook, Pete Ilagan, a local of Tacloban City, details the early events of Nov. 9:
Survivor po ako at ang aking maybahay at bunsong anak sa ST YOLANDA na nakatira sa Bgy. 88, San Jose, Tacloban City. Napakalapit po namin sa airport kaya ng dumating ang unang Air Force plane noong Nov. 9, 2013, Sabado ng umaga, nagtungo po ako sa airport upang maghanap ng maaring makatawag sa Manila upang maibaita sa 3 naming anak na ligtas kami…
Thomas Eric Butalid Jr., a barangay chairman from Tacloban, likewise weighs in:
Isa ako brgy chairman sa Tacloban. Nakikita na ngayun ang pag unlad ng tacloban kasama na pag paayos ng amin [barangay] hall na bigay ng DILG si Mar pa ang Sec. Kasama na dyan ang mga tulong ng ibat ibang NGO. Mabuhay Tacloban at si Mar!
Though not directly relating to Mar, a humble call to action is made by one Jocelyn Dorado:
… Us Tacloban residents should even be grateful for the swift decision of President Aquino in allowing all these foreign NGOs in. Haiyan/Yolanda left behind a world-breaking record of destruction along its path (not only in Tacloban City). Our President was humble to admit that his government couldn’t do (relief and rehab operations) it alone. That is the truth and nothing but.