Asilo nuns got miracle, last laugh-A A +A
Thursday, November 3, 2011
WILL Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Rogelio Singson do a Supreme Court on the flyover issue?
Singson put on hold the construction of two flyovers, one along Gorordo Ave. and the other along M.J. Cuenco Ave. in Cebu City’s north district, until a traffic master plan is completed. In the meantime, he ordered DPWH 7 officials to widen the intersections where the flyovers are supposed to be constructed.
But will Singson change his mind with the vehement opposition to the move by the project proponent, north district Rep. Rachel Marguerite “Cutie” del Mar, and the possible pressure that will be exerted for him to reverse himself by politically powerful project backers?
On the cityhood case involving 16 former municipalities, the Supreme Court reversed itself a number of times, shifting from denial to approval to denial again and finally to approval. This was attributed to changes in the composition of the Court and the persistence of the protagonists, the 16 former municipalities and the League of Cities of the Philippines.
The justices may not have been swayed by the pressure but in the eyes of outsiders, an argument can be made that they succumbed to it. Will Singson succumb, too, to pressures from the “other side” of the flyover issue? That’s what makes this tug-of-war interesting.
When nuns of the Asilo de la Medalla Milagrosa launched a prayer power activity against the two flyovers project in October some officials who are for the construction of the said structures subjected them to ridicule. Others doubted the potency of prayers.
The special 4 a.m. aurora prayers, which were open to the public, were held starting Oct. 1, or just a few weeks before the DPWH-announced start of the flyover construction in Gorordo. A notice of award was already issued to the winning contractor, WTG Construction. Only a miracle, a DPWH 7 official said, could stop work on the flyover.
Meanwhile, south district Rep. Tomas Osmeña and his avatar in the Cebu City Council, Vice Mayor Joy Augustus Young, took turns criticizing the nuns and in denigrating the Asilo’s services. The nuns took the high ground, however, and answered the criticisms with more prayers.
It now looks like the Asilo has gotten both the miracle and the last laugh. Singson’ decision to defer the construction of the two flyovers meant his subordinate in the region had to eat crow with his “only a miracle can stop the construction” claim. Those who ridiculed the nuns and the anti-flyover movement have been silenced.
Compounding the problem for the pro-flyover groups is Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma echoing the stand of the project opponents that a traffic master plan should first be completed before we even think of building flyovers. That means prayer power will no longer be confined to the premises of the Asilo along Gorordo Ave.
While Cutie shouldn’t be begrudged for pushing for the construction of the two flyovers despite Singson’s decision, she should also start opening her mind a bit. What we are seeing is no ordinary opposition to the project. We are no longer talking about owners of establishments in the proposed flyover sites but groups of well-meaning people.
Shouldn’t Cutie take this to mean that the antis’ have presented the more compelling argument in the debate over her project?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 04, 2011.