The Jakarta Post
The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) has denied claims that volunteers from the Central Sulawesi Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD) had been kicked out of the Development Planning Board (Bappeda) courtyard where they had been staying.
BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement that the volunteers had simply been told to relocate to the Central Sulawesi BPBD office, because the Bappeda courtyard would be used for a flag hoisting ceremony attended by civil servants.
The latter were set to return to work on Wednesday, nearly two weeks after a 7.4-magnitude earthquake and a subsequent tsunami hit the region.
“[The volunteers] were not kicked out. The fact of the matter is that the Bappeda head had relocated them to the courtyard of the Central Sulawesi BPBD office, as civil servants were coming back to work at the Bappeda office starting on Oct. 10,” Sutopo said.
A video allegedly showing volunteers from the Central Sulawesi BPBD being “kicked out” of the Bappeda courtyard recently went viral. In the 11-minute video, one of the volunteers said the Bappeda head had accused them of stealing items from the Bappeda office.
Sutopo denied the accusation, saying the Bappeda had not accused the volunteers of anything. He added that several items at the Bappeda office, including laptops, had gone missing amid chaos in the area two days after the disaster.
“In fact, the presence of BPBD volunteers around the Bappeda office has bolstered security in the area,” Sutopo said.