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Duterte meets Cebu landslide survivors who blame tragedy on quarrying

President Rodrigo Duterte has met with the survivors of the landslide that buried at least 50 houses in Sitio Sindulan, Barangay Tinaan in Naga City, offering them the government’s full support.

During his speech, President Duterte asked the crowd if they have any complaints and a woman came forward saying the residents of Barangay Tinaan want to put a stop to the quarry operations which they blame for the massive landslide.

“Stop the Apo Cement quarry. That’s what I’m asking. We don’t need food. What we need is for the quarry to stop because I believe if the people would just work, we’d still manage to eat,” the woman said as the crowd cheered.

She added that the heavy rains couldn’t have triggered the landslide as they’ve been through a lot of typhoons but no landslide occurred until the quarry operations started.

“I believe what you say,” Duterte told the woman then pointed to her pink nail polish. “But look at your nails. I guess you were at the beauty parlor when the landslide happened.”

“She’s well trained by the… Are there any New People’s Army (NPA) here? Make sure that no one is supporting the NPA,” he added.

In his speech, the President said he felt sad with what happened, referring to the Sept. 20 landslide that, as of Saturday, had left at least 35 persons dead and seriously injured 15 others. At least 44 remained missing.

“It’s not easy to be in your situation right now. It’s too heavy a burden. This happens not just because many people were affected or lost their lives. You should know that typhoons are evil,” Duterte said.

He said affected families could relocate to a vacant portion of the Balili beach property located about a kilometer from their current homes.

“I’m happy because if a lot is owned by the government, that means you can have it,” he said as he instructed Secretary Eduardo del Rosario of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council to supervise the construction of the evacuees’ new houses.

Duterte said the local government could also allow public vehicles to service the area to make life easier for them. “If you don’t have fare, then that is a problem. Just don’t engage in illegal drugs. I will kill you,” he said.#