The Duterte style

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Thursday, February 6, 2014


ONLY Davao City Mayor Rudy Duterte could make public without qualms his threat to kill crooks. It’s indecent and rude for an elected official to say that, but it serves his purpose.

"If this guy would go to Davao… I will gladly kill him," Duterte said Monday at the Senate committee hearing on rice smuggling. Before that, he told Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who criticized him, to “shut up.”

Also, senators could not say a word against him when he said in that hearing that, “The trouble with us in government is that we talk too much, act too slow, and do too little. Don’t we?”

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Former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was so pleased with the way Mayor Duterte governed Davao City that she offered him a Cabinet position but, to my recollection, he politely declined it.

I am not saying that Cebu City Mayor Mike Rama or Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes should do a Rody Duterte and rid their cities of criminals and clean their city halls of misfits. But they can emulate him in what he does best: strictly enforce our laws.

Corrupt government officials should shudder after Mayor Duterte hurled this insult: “What this country needs under the prevailing conditions are not more laws but more good men in public service."

It is only in Davao City that RA 9211 or, the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003, which prohibits smoking in public places, is strictly enforced. Here in Metro Cebu, some PUJ drivers smoke freely while driving.

Smoking in public places or in enclosed areas is prohibited under this law. But some smokers ignore it because they know no one is enforcing it.

I know Mayor Rama and Mayor Cortes don’t smoke. But some of our law enforcers are good smokers that they even smoke in public, hence, they could not be in a position to enforce this law.

I understand that Cebu City has an ordinance in relation to RA 9211. This was religiously enforced after its passage but years later it has been forgotten.

Other elected local officials should not follow what Mayor Duterte says. But they can follow him in implementing our laws with an iron fist, regardless of who gets hurt.

Too much politics seems to be the downside of Mayor Rama. This has put aside good governance. Traffic in Cebu City has never been the same since he occupied the mayor‘s seat.

Motor vehicles, some of them government owned, are parked almost everywhere, even in narrow streets. So, where is Citom?

Traffic is not the only problem that the mayor needs to addresses. There are also others, like garbage management and the continuous attack of his bitter critic Tomas Osmeña.

But traffic is a problem that is easily recognizable not only to motorists but also to pedestrians. Every day, even on weekends, traveling from Talamban to the city center, which is only a short distance, takes almost an hour.

Vendors also abound in sidewalks, which are intended for pedestrians. Pedestrians are therefore forced to take the road, thus adding to the congestion. Sidewalks are beyond the commerce of man, as a Supreme Court ruling puts it.

It is a relief, though, that new City Administrator Lucelle Mercado has penalized sidewalk vendors along D. Jakosalem St. near the Basilica del Sto. Niño and those in B. Rodriguez St. along the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.

Dr. Mercado should ban the vendors on R. Landon St., a narrow road near the Abellana National School and across St. Vincent General Hospital.

(atty.ellieE@gmail.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 06, 2014.

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