MANILA - Video clips recently posted online that show government officials discussing relief efforts following Typhoon Haiyan have reignited a long-standing rivalry between two of the most powerful political families in the Philippines.
At least two videos of a meeting between Alfredo Romualdez, the mayor of hard-hit Tacloban City, and Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II were uploaded to video sharing website YouTube earlier this week, showing how they were debating the need for a city council resolution that would allow the central government to take over the relief effort from the local government.
Roxas and other officials have dismissed criticism of the delay, saying they were in Tacloban a day before the typhoon hit and sent police, military and emergency relief aid to the city the follow day, Nov. 9.
Romualdez said he asked the central government to take over relief and rescue operations and send police and soldiers to help restore order amid looting.
Romualdez testified that relief aid came slowly to Tacloban because Mr. Roxas had insisted that a city council resolution is needed to ensure that the national government's takeover won't be misconstrued later as a politically motivated move to undermine Mr. Aquino.
In a nationally televised news conference he said one particular video clip posted by former congressman Josemari Gonzalez was manipulated. Gonzales is the father of Romuladez's wife.
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