PARIS, France) President Benigno S. Aquino III shares a light moment with French President Francois Hollande during the Joint Press Statement at the ground floor of the Palais de l’Elysee on Wednesday (September 17). (MNS photo)

PARIS, France) President Benigno S. Aquino III shares a light moment with French President Francois Hollande during the Joint Press Statement at the ground floor of the Palais de l’Elysee on Wednesday (September 17). (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) — President Benigno S. Aquino III said he was constantly given updates and he gave instructions when Typhoons Luis and Mario hit the country while he was on his 12-day five-nation working visit.

“Matagal-tagal din po tayong nawala. Alam ko po, habang ibinibida natin ang Pilipinas sa ibang bansa, habang pinagtutuunan natin ang ating mga pangmatagalang pangangailangan ay hinagupit ng ilang mga bagyo ang Pilipinas. Nais ko pong magpasalamat sa bawat Pilipinong nakiambag upang tugunan ang mga pangangailangan sa panahon ng kalamidad,” the President said in his speech upon arriving at the NAIA Terminal 2 on Thursday night.

He noted that members of his Cabinet kept him abreast while he was away on his working visits to Spain, Belgium, France, Germany and the United States.

“Hindi po nagkulang ang ating mga kasamahan sa gobyerno sa pagtawag sa telepono, sa pag-text, at sa pakikipag-usap sa akin habang tayo ay nasa biyahe. Tuloy-tuloy po ang pagbibigay natin ng direktiba sa kanila upang masigurong ang bawat Pilipino ay mabibigyan ng sapat na pagkalinga sa harap ng sakuna,” he added.

The President has said that at one point, he contemplated on cutting his working visit short due to Typhoon Mario but was assured that there was no need to return immediately.

Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr. led other Cabinet members in dealing with the effects of the storm when the President was abroad. (MNS)