Editorial: Finding malice, appreciating humility

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Wednesday, January 15, 2014


IT’S funny how some Dabawenyos quickly see gimmickry in the apprehension of former Davao City Mayor Sara Z. Duterte-Carpio for overspeeding.

When we first heard of the news, we found it funny and didn’t even think it was a political ploy to win over the masses or whoever. Political gimmicks, after all, isn’t common fare in Davao; and we do remember how the former mayor pummeled that court sheriff who refused to hold off a demolition of houses for just an hour or two in sheer disregard that it can destroy her career.

In an exclusive interview with GMA-Davao, Duterte-Carpio said she made a mistake, believing that Quimpo Boulevard is in a 60kph speed limit.

“Layo pa lang nakita na nako sila. Pero kita ko sa akong speedometer 50 akoa. Nakiglalis pko sa sugod ana ko 60 man dinhi. Ana siya mam 40 man dinhi. Nahadlok pa siya sa sugod, ana siya basig mawad-an kog trabaho. Ana ko gi flag down na lang man ko nimo, ticketi na lang ko (I saw them from afar, but I looked at my speedometer and it was at 50. I even argued that I wasn’t going above 60kph. But the traffic personnel said, I was in a 40kph speed limit. He was obviously afraid, he said he would not want to lose his job. I told him, since you already flagged me down, you might as well issue a traffic ticket),” she said.

“Nibalibad pa gyud siya sa sugo kay mahadlok siya. Ana ko magsaad ko sa imo nga walay mahitabo sa imo kung ticketan ko nimo. Ang problema makasab-an pa ka sa imong boss kung dili ko nimo ticketan (He didn’t want to, saying he’s afraid. But I assured him that nothing will happen to him if he issues me a ticket and that it will be worse if he doesn’t because his boss will surely admonish him),” she added.

Admit it it, running at 30kph downtown, then 40kph along Quimpo Boulevard and 60kph in the highways outside downtown takes a lot of mindwork and getting used to.

This is an executive order by the mayor that is not even a year old. Old habits are hard to break. Those quick to chide the former mayor for claiming she forgot the speed limits even when these are posted on pedestrian overpasses obviously do not drive. A tiny press to one’s accelerator is already a speed above 30kph, and a little more will make you hit beyond 40kph. The different speed limits of 30, 40, and 60kph won’t even require you to press hard on your accelerator.

Even the taxi drivers we ride with daily tip the speedometer above 30kph, every once in a while, especially along Roxas Avenue, where it becomes very tempting to run faster than the speed limit, before slowing down maybe after realizing they have gone beyond 30. To go faster will even be more tempting along Quimpo Boulevard especially when there’s no traffic. There’s something about wide, quiet concrete roads that would entice any driver to cruise at a speed higher than that of a bicycle rider.

Let’s just welcome the fact that indeed, Ms Duterte-Carpio’s license has been handed over to the Land Transportation Office and learn from her, that we do have to follow the law, no matter what slow the speed limits may seem. Let’s be thankful too that we have people who have enjoyed high positions in our city but are willing to hand over their driver’s license for an infraction. At least we can be assured that if we do cross their path and we’re on the right, then we have a fighting chance of defending our cause. No umbrellas in the dark or convoys of dark SUVs looming in the background to strike fear in a poor man’s heart.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on January 16, 2014.

Opinion

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