WHEN the clock strikes at 12 midnight of December 31, and as we meet the New Year, 2017 (the Year of the Rooster in the Chinese Zodiac,) allow me to greet everyone, especially my family, relatives, and friends who brought me bliss and contentment, a very Happy New Year!
A monorail is the solution to Metro Cebu’s worsening traffic situation partly caused by its narrow roads. A Filipino, Chinese and Canadian investment group wants to put up a monorail connecting the cities of Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, Cebu and Talisay.
The monorail investors already met and presented their proposal to Mandaue City Mayor Luigi Quisumbing and Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña. My wish for the two mayors is for them to consider that it won’t take long before Metro Cebu’s traffic would be worse than the one in Manila.
I know that it would be hard for Mayor Tommy to give this monorail project a go because he is the proponent of the BRT (Bus Rapid Transit), which is similar to that in Colombia, as a solution to Cebu City’s worsening traffic situation.
But because the monorail proposal is more practical as it would not involve road widening compared with the BRT and the target completion and operation is only three years, I hope Mayor Tommy would think again.
When Talisay City Mayor Eddie Gullas was still the first congressional district representative, he proposed a light rail transit (LRT) that would connect Talisay City with Mandaue City passing through Cebu City. But then mayor Mike Rama opposed it because the LRT would allegedly block his view of the skies. That LRT proposal failed to reach even first base.
I don’t speak on behalf of the proponents of the monorail because I don’t even know them. But from what I observed and experienced in developed countries, an elevated track transit system, like the LRT or monorail, is the appropriate mass transport solution compared with buses in the already congested metropolis.
The good thing with monorail is that operators and drivers of PUJs will not be economically dislocated. The PUJs will, however, be rerouted to areas where the monorail don’t pass.
Although it's not new in the war against illegal drugs, the news that those arrested on December 25 by policemen in Minglanilla for illegal cockfighting were made to sign papers that they were “drug surrenderers” is truly disturbing.
While I am not saying that the parents’ complaint is made up, the way things are going and confidential statements from friends somehow support the suspicion that some police stations are hard put in reaching their quota in the war against illegal drugs.
The parents of one of those arrested during the cockfight raid in Upper Linao, Minglanilla complained to PRO 7 chief for operations S/Supt. Rey Lyndon Lawas that their son’s profile at the police station showed that he is a “tokhang surrenderer” and a marijuana user.
But Minglanilla Police Chief Florendo Fajardo denied the charges. He said it was a standard practice in their Oplan Double Barrel Alpha to ask those arrested about their past. Fajardo will submit to an investigation that Senior Superintendent Lawas ordered.
Who wouldn’t be scared to death if one is already in the list of “drug surrenderers”? Think that most of those killed in Metro Manila and who allegedly fought it out with the raiding policemen in the campaign against illegal were “tokhang surrenderers.”
The threat, however, of Chief Inspector Fajardo to fight back if the charges are filed against him and his policemen is something that could scare the so-called “surrenderers” arrested during the illegal cockfighting.
With the imprimatur from President Duterte and PNP Chief Bato dela Rosa to kill those who would resist arrest in the drive against illegal drugs, those in the list of so-called “surrenderers” should better stay in their homes at night.
With deep sorrow, we announced the death of aunt Ceferina “Nina” Tabora-Espinoza on Dec. 25. She is the wife of my late uncle Emilio, the older brother of my late father Pedro. She died in a hospital in Tandag City. She was 94. Her body now lies in state in their residence in Tago, Surigao del Sur. She was a second mother to me. Nanay Nina, may your soul rest in eternal peace with our Creator!