SENATOR Francis Pangilinan deserves the praise and recognition for filing Senate Bill No. 775 or the dignity in commuting bill which seeks to guarantee and protect the right of Filipinos to travel safely, conveniently, affordably, and with dignity.

Pangilinan especially stressed and made it known to the public that the significant feature of his bill is that Filipinos can now demand accountability from government.

To be frank, however, this measure that seeks to respect and uphold the well-being of the riding public is long overdue and should not be politicized at the present time when transportation issues, including traffic, are addressed seriously and comprehensively by the Duterte administration through its ambitious “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.

It is a noble act for a public servant to think about, be concerned and do something to maintain and sustain the dignity of the greater number of people, but certainly it is despicable when done arrogantly and gratuitously while being motivated by nothing but political gain.

This is the lamentable case about Pangilinan, the former president of the Liberal Party, who clearly took a swipe at the Duterte administration, though indirectly, saying, “Our commuters have lost their dignity. Our commuters are human beings, not sardines. But every day they take a chance, spending hours stuck in traffic, while our public transport systems break down.”

Pangilinan further elaborated, saying that “Filipinos do not deserve this kind of daily suffering. He added that the Philippines needs to catch up with its neighbors that have better transport systems.”

I could not agree more with Pangilinan, but his is a classic example of the saying, “When you point one finger, there are three fingers pointing back to you.”

Being a political stalwart of the Liberal Party during the preceding Aquino administration, all Pangilinan has to do really is look back, analyze and evaluate what, if any, has the Aquino government done to improve the lives of the public commuter vis-à-vis the unresolved transportation issues that continued to haunt the government even five years after the former president assumed the post of the country’s chief executive.

In fact the sorry state of the country’s mass railway system, particularly the Metro Rail Transit (MRT-3), had been the showcase of the failed transportation reform under the Aquino administration, so much so that during his past five State of the Nation Address Aquino had little or no mention of his plans for the MRT-3.

Thus, it is indeed pitiful, if not hypocritical, that Pangilinan has to issue a strong critical analysis of the transportation/traffic problems under the Duterte administration when he has nothing to crow about, much less offer a favorable comparison that would make the Aquino administration more sensitive, productive, effective and better than the Duterte administration, whether it be on war on drugs, on criminality, on corruption, on terrorism and especially on the massive infrastructure projects that are starting to happen now in Metro Manila.

What I am just saying is for Pangilinan to give credit where credit is due and not simply critique for political gain.