"LET Edsa rot," an apparently piqued President Rodrigo Duterte said Wednesday, August 21, in reaction to Congress' failure to grant his administration emergency powers to deal with the worsening traffic situation in the country.
Duterte lamented that a "lady" politician was impeding his government's efforts to push for funds for the traffic-related projects along Edsa, Metro Manila's main thoroughfare.
"Sabi ko (I said), we need to borrow funds for Edsa because we need to just even move one stall there. So ang hinihingi nila, emergency powers (So they're asking for emergency powers)," the President said in a speech in Romblon.
"But here comes a lady. Atribida ang tawag ko diyan eh. I mean it's good to be best. It's good to be a crusading public official. No doubt about it, you will be appreciated. But kung sumobra ka and you think that all elected officials in government are corrupt, oh well then, sabi ko, kung ganoon ang pag-iisip niyo, huwag na. Let Edsa rot there," he added.
(But here comes a lady. I call here presumptuous. I mean, it's good to be honest. It's good to be a crusading public official. No doubt about it, you will be appreciated. But if you go too far, and you think that all elected officials in government are corrupt, oh well then, I said if that's your thinking, then don't push for it. Let Edsa rot there.)
In his previous speeches, Duterte repeatedly slammed Senator Grace Poe for allegedly attributing malice to his administration's plan to ask Congress for funds to ease traffic congestion on Edsa.
Poe, chair of the Senate committee on public services, held hearings on the proposal to grant the President special emergency powers to solve the crippling traffic problems in the country.
In 2016, Poe said Congress may allow the executive branch to "take shortcuts for as long they do not shortchange the taxpayers.”
In July this year, Poe said Duterte can certify as urgent the new bill granting his administration the emergency powers it needs to deal with the traffic jams.
The senator, however, said the Transportation department needs to specify projects aimed at addressing traffic crisis.
The Philippines is losing P3.5 billion daily because of the worsening traffic situation in Metro Manila, based on the study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency in partnership with the National Economic and Development Authority.
Earlier Wednesday, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) admitted that it has no new measures to implement to decongest traffic along Edsa.
The MMDA's driver-only vehicles along Edsa was stopped by a Senate resolution, while its provincial bus ban was halted by a restraining order.
Meantime, the implementation of its yellow lane policy, which restricts Edsa's two outermost lanes to buses, was heavily criticized as it only worsened the situation in early August. (SunStar Philippines)