Briones: Getting on my high horse

IT’S a good day to talk about virtues.

It, being Sunday when most Christian Filipinos flock to church for a display of piety that surpasses the devotion of the original proselytizers.

Them, dressed in their Sunday best, perhaps praying for salvation from the many trials that God has put forth for man on this earth.

Although, for those living in the south of the metro, the most likely culprit would be officials who gave the go-ahead to the P700-million underpass project on N. Bacalso St.

Mind you, residents there have already had to endure intermittent water and power supply. If that wasn’t bad enough, now they have to endure hours of traffic because of the ongoing construction.

It’s a good thing that a parish in the area has decided to open its gates to allow commuters to pass through its property at certain times of the day.

Talk about divine intervention.

So where was I? Oh yes. Virtues.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines virtue as “a habitual and firm disposition to do the good.”

I guess that was what the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 7 was doing when it insisted on implementing the underpass project without a proper study on alternative routes for affected motorists.

After all, the agency has been saying that when finished, the underpass will make traveling to and from the south a breeze.

So what if people’s lives are upended in the process, right?

In the meantime, the Cebu City Government is scrambling to come up with temporary solutions to address the gridlock.

“What is frustrating is that this situation could have been avoided if certain city officials had exercised more prudence and not plunged recklessly into undertaking a project that had been shelved by the previous administration. (Because) both the proponents and the implementing agency had no contingency plans to mitigate the traffic that we were certain the construction of the Mambaling tunnel would bring about and which we are experiencing today,” Cebu City Vice Mayor Edgardo Labella had said.

The DPWH 7 and “certain city officials” may have been virtuous with their motive, but it’s quite apparently that they lack prudence. And temperance. And any sense of justice. Otherwise, they never would have let the project get off the drawing board.

But hey, you can’t fault them for not having any courage or fortitude, what with all the flak they’ve received since construction of the underpass began. They’ve become a picture of defiance, fists raised against common sense.

Then again, maybe--and it’s a big MAYBE--the agency and these “certain city officials” have faith that all will be well.

Or perhaps they’re hoping that the thousands of motorists and commuters and the hundreds of establishment owners whose businesses have been affected will find it in their hearts to forgive them after being made to undergo what some quarters might describe as a journey to the nine circles of hell.

Or maybe, and this is the most likely explanation, they’re banking on Christian charity to get out of this mess.

With that said, let me quickly get off my high horse before lightning strikes.
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