Anderson Cooper: We honor Filipinos’ strength
MANILA,Philippines — With his voice choked with emotion, veteran CNN reporter Anderson Cooper said that they honored Filipinos in every broadcast, citing the strength and resiliency of those affected in the areas destroyed by Supertyphoon “Yolanda” (international name: Haiyan).
“Can you imagine the strength it takes living in a shack, to be sleeping on the streets next to the body of your dead children? Can you imagine that strength? I can’t. And I’ve seen that strength day in and day out here in the Philippines and we honor them in every broadcast that we do,” Cooper said in a CNN broadcast Friday morning.
This was in response to President Benigno Aquino III’s appeal to the foreign media to use their role “to uplift the spirits of the Filipino people to find stories of resilience, hope and faith and show the world how strong filipino people are.”
On Thursday, Presidential Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma Jr. read Aquino’s message to the media in a Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas’ (KBP) conference at the Clark Freeport Zone appealing for “greater accuracy in reports.”
“We can all do more, and today, I would like to make an appeal for greater accuracy in reports. In the same way that you have used your media coverage to give this tragedy a very real and human face, and to move others to action, you can also use your role to uplift the spirits of the Filipino people — to find stories of resilience, hope, and faith, and show the world just how strong the Filipino people are,” the President said.
Aquino’s appeal came after his administration was heavily criticized for failing to deliver relief assistance to hundreds of victims, five days after the monster typhoon roared across central Philippines.
But Cooper, who has been covering the disaster in hard-hit Tacloban City, said that they “strive for accuracy.”
“Accuracy is what we strive for. I certainly pray to God that it is a better situation there. Two days ago the President of the Philippines has counseled
foreign journalists that they should be accurate in their report. We certainly appreciate that counsel,” the CNN reporter said.
“I would actually say that in every report we’ve shown how strong Filipino people are, the people of Tacloban, Samar, Cebu and all these places where so many have died,” he added.
Before Cooper’s response to Aquino’s call, the CNN reporter enjoined local broadcaster Korina Sanchez to visit Tacloban as he clarified that his report about the lack of relief in Tacloban days after the destructive typhoon merely showed the situation in the city and wasn’t an attack against the government’s capability to mount the operations.
Cooper’s report aired on Wednesday apparently irked Sanchez, wife of Interior Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II who is at the forefront of relief operations for victims of the what probably is strongest typhoon ever recorded.
In her early morning radio show, she was quoted as saying: “Itong si Anderson Cooper, sabi wala daw government presence sa Tacloban. Mukhang hindi niya alam ang sinasabi niya. (This Anderson Cooper, he said there was no government presence in Tacloban. It seems he doesn’t know what he is saying.)
In his Friday live broadcast aired at CNN, Cooper lauded the Filipinos for their strength amid the desolation.
“Not just to survive this storm but they’re strong to have survived the aftermath of the storm for a week now with very little food, with very little water, with very little medical attention,” he added.
More than half of the death toll from the supertyphoon and the P4 billion damage to crops andinfrastructure came from the provinces of Leyte and Samar.
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