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Filipino students in Japan slam Philippine embassy

First Posted 21:23:00 03/16/2011

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MANILA, Philippines?A group of Filipino students in Sendai has castigated the Philippine embassy for their response to their plight, saying the assistance provided them was inadequate and the team sent to help them was unprepared.

In a statement sent through the group Advocates of Science and Technology for the People, the Association of Filipino Students in Sendai said the Filipinos are still uncertain of being rescued from quake-ravaged areas.

The statement was issued by Lea Necitas Apostol, Rolando Bantaculo, Rochelle Coronel, Eli Enobio and Genaro Peque.

The group said the first team arrived on March 13, when other foreign national were starting evacuation.

?What we observed from our embassy?s action does not align with emergency response protocol. Time is very critical as the Nuclear Power Plants in Fukushima show a continuous sign of failure. Three days have already passed and our Filipino community in Miyagi and Fukushima-ken are still uncertain of the ?rescue operation,?? the group said.

It added that it had expected the team to provide them with food as it had promised earlier.

?Instead, we were handed over to the media without proper briefing. The first day of ?rescue? is nothing but an illustration of unpreparedness and lack of skills in decision making,? it said.

The team, the students? group said, had no concrete contingency plan and asked the students how to go about with rescue operations.

?We feel the lack of sincerity and initiative from the ?team? as they rely from the decisions coming from the distressed victims. Coordination is inefficient, decisions uncertain,? it added.

The group said it felt ?deep rage and great disappointment? at the embassy's response, and said the government should use all resources to secure its people.

?We demand an immediate response from our government. We demand a sense of urgency in times of emergency. We demand the government to exhaust all means to surpass the incompetent actions of the Philippine contingency here in Japan!? it said.

Sendai was the hardest hit by the 9.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Japan last week. It bore the brunt of a tsunami generated by the temblor, which also damaged the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant.

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