CEBU

Espinoza: Good for the riding public

Free Zone

THAT someone was shot dead by men riding-in-tandem on a motorcycle is no longer news to many. The victim usually had links to the illegal drugs trade or fought it out with the police during anti-illegal drugs operations. Of course, our cops have every right to defend themselves from lawless elements.

But what caught my attention recently are the conflicting statements of two police officers on the shooting to death of ex-cops SPO1 Edgar Causon and SPO4 Ferdinand Navales Sunday night.

Cebu Provincial Police Office Director Manuel Abrugena opined that Causon and Navales may have earned the ire of the drug lords when they were still in the active service. Causon and Navales were former operatives of the Provincial Anti-Illegal Drug Special Operation Task Group.

But Talisay City Police Station Chief Marlu Conag said his office will investigate the alleged involvement of Navales in a land dispute and the alleged links of Causon to the illegal drug trade.

Conag may just be true to his work but what he said could offend the grieving members of the families of Causon and Navales. The two could no longer defend themselves from any accusation.

The case would be an addition to the list of unsolved cases done by men riding-in-tandem on a motorcycle. We know the police are continuing their investigations on these killings, but up to this writing we have yet to know how many have been charged and how many cases have been filed in court for these crimes.

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The operation in Cebu City of new and modern public utility vehicles (PUVs) made by China and Russia is not only good news for commuters but is also a breath of fresh air for our environment. Public utility jeepneys (PUJs) will now have a better competitor.

The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) already granted the provisional authority (PA) for the 40 new PUVs to ply the streets of Cebu City. The PA is good for 90 days.

The Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) should give these new PUVs routes that are not congested or places not yet served by PUJs. Citrasco, the operator of the new PUVs, can now start operating but for the sake of orderly routes it should wait for the recommendation of the CCTO on their travel lines.

I agree with CCTO head Francisco Ouano that since these new PUVs will be operating in Cebu City, his office has a better say on which route they should travel because the only concern of LTFRB is the giving of the authority or the certificate of public conveyance (CPC) to the operator.

When I sat as member of the Board of Directors of the then Citom, a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was executed and signed by Citom and LTFRB through the effort of the late city councilor Jingjing Osmeña (former Citom head). One of the purposes of the MOU was to require the PUJ operator-applicant to apply first for the travel line before applying for a CPC with the LTFRB.

I wonder if the MOU is still being observed. If not, then it’s not surprising that more PUJs now ply even in already congested routes. CCTO head Ouano should ensure that the travel line for these new PUVs is not yet overcrowded with PUJs. Other motor vehicles should also be factored in.


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