14 still missing after big quake

Church -  Earthquake
A church worker walks past rubble of the 18th century St. Catherine of Alexandria after its bell tower was destroyed following a 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck the town of Porac, pampanga province on April 23, 2019. Philippine rescuers were scrambling April 23 to reach dozens of people feared buried under a building near Manila that collapsed a day earlier in a powerful earthquake, as the death toll climbed to 11. / AFP / TED ALJIBE

AT least 14 people remained missing as of yesterday in the aftermath of the magnitude 6.1 earthquake that hit Central Luzon and Metro Manila on Monday killing 16 and injuring 86 others, the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reported yesterday.

The quake also displaced 358 families composed of 1,938 people in seven cities and municipalities in Region 3 where residents experienced a massive power outage and forced the cancellation of classes.

The NDRRMC headed by retired General Ricardo Jalad said 54 houses in Bataan and Pampanga were destroyed while 13 were partially damaged.

It added that 10 people were injured in Tuesday’s magnitude 6.5 earthquake in Eastern Samar where 35 buildings and other infrastructures suffered damage.

As of press time, rescuers are scrambling to find dozens of people believed to have been trapped underneath the collapsed Chuzon Supermarket in Porac, Pampanga.

Since last Monday, rescuers from the Philippine National Police, Army and local volunteers using dog sniffers have pulled the bodies of five of the victims from the doomed supermarket.

Eight survivors were pulled out of the rubble last Monday night.

No help for NPAs

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the government not to extend any assistance to New People’s Army (NPA) victims of the powerful 6.5-magnitude quake that hit the Visayas on Tuesday.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) Deputy Director Bartolome Bautista on Tuesday night briefed Duterte about the Eastern Samar quake during a situational conference on the Luzon earthquake in San Fernando City, Pampanga.

After the presentation, Duterte remarked: “Pagka ang NPA nabaon doon, huwag mong tulungan. Gagastos lang ako sa mga p***** i**!”

The Eastern Samar quake took place a day after a 6.1-magnitude temblor jolted parts of Luzon and left at least 16 people dead.

“Sabi na may nabaon doon na sampu o 20 NPAs there, just tell them that Duterte does not like to spend one centavo of fuel for the equipment to retrieve your comrades. He’s angry at you,” Duterte added.

The President had repeatedly criticized the communist rebels in his public speeches.

He previously asked the communist group to “talk to the next President” as he claimed that his administration will no longer pursue peace negotiations with them.

During the same situation briefing in Pampanga, Duterte also thanked God because the earthquake that hit parts of Luzon on Monday did not kill many people and disrupt the local economy.

“I’m not trying to belittle the problem. To me, it’s just maybe a few towns hard hit. Thank God that we have the barest minimum of deaths,” he said.

“I think that the local economy can very well be controlled. There’s no panic among the people except for those who are in the hospitals and ‘yung namatayan,” the President added.

With EMontano