Tell it to SunStar: Heartlessness: PUV modernization

Tell it to SunStar.
Tell it to SunStar.SunStar file photo

Even with the extended deadline for

public utility vehicle (PUV) consolidation, the tale remains the same.

Presidential Chief Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile’s favorite line to belittle the grievances of the public utility vehicle (PUV) drivers and operators is this: “They are mandated to provide public service.” True, Sir, but does the mandate encompass subservience to sanctioned heartlessness?

Not because the government is able to do what it wants to do (by force or deceit), it means success for the government.

You are not a dictator, dear President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos (BBM) Jr. Having said that from the bottom of my heart, may I suggest if you please, Your Excellency: Care to be cognizant of the person/s who you are getting counsel from and then grasp his goodness (or notoriety) and be circumspect with his advice, lest you become a despot anytime soon. You surely wouldn’t want to grow “tough” and experience the same fate as that of your beloved father.

Any leader can only be as fearless, secure, effective and powerful as the level of his uprightness and prudence. Treat sincere government critics as your supporters, lovers and partners (not enemies) in nation building—in the same vein that you need to see toadies, fawners and sycophants or “friends” as friends only to themselves.

The issue in seemingly intricate problems is often much bigger and deeper than what normally and symptomatically appears on the surface. Lackeys have nothing to contribute in this regard. No wonder, our government flops and commits blunders, even tragic mistakes—one administration after another—just to get Filipinos ever dip into pits, unknowingly, unintentionally, courtesy of minions and bootlickers, and silliness.

Take for example the Duterte administration’s way of solving the country’s drug menace which failed horrendously, given the several thousands of human lives butchered and sacrificed (alas, and still crying out for justice) at the altar of a modern “Golden Calf”—due to bungled, stubborn humbug. The issue of the PUV modernization is no different in view of the “single mindedness” and doggedness of our transport officials.

So can we now liken or reckon the PUV modernization the version of the “drug war” by the BBM administration in which over 30,000 public utility vehicles will suffer the “killings” come February 1, 2024 (if the deadline stays)—the same number of dead victims of extrajudicial killings in the “drug war” of the previous government, based on actual figures by human rights groups?

We will never get to knowing and doing the right actions to solve any particular problem until and unless we are able to see and fathom the “heart of the matter,” clearly, wisely and humbly (in depth) for what it actually is. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart... “ - Jeremiah 17:9-10. Cha-cha.

Updates of official reports that are being presented to you, Mr. President, have nothing to do with the real issue, especially in light of the recent onerous developments. Thus, you may want to wonder and ask yourself, “what is the real issue now”?

The issue is no longer the need for a more convenient and safer road travel for our commuters. Not anymore the environment-friendly modern jeepneys to replace our jeepneys. Not the majority of drivers and operators who are said to have complied with the original set dogged deadline. Not the manageability of the transport crisis in the event that your people would persist on doing things wrongly—all just to get the said modernization going and running (and running amuck)—que sera, sera.

Look at this latest stroke by the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) in collaboration with the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA). Instead of being considerate/gracious/open-minded and heeding the pleas and prayers of crying, empty stomachs (beyond deadline extension), the agencies plan to put stickers on jeepneys to identify those who have already consolidated so that they can penalize those who have not.

Worse, these arbitrary bureaucrats seem to be even threatening to jail the drivers and operators should they continue operating after the deadline. Martial Law! Whose counsel or idea is that?

Truly heartless. Soulless. Ruthless. Despotic. Undemocratic. If modernization doesn’t serve humans and care for humans—that is regression. Savagery. Primitive, not modernization. But with the way things have been going (their “inclusive” way), who and what are they serving and caring for? “Modern,” indeed. And whimsical.

Besides, our cultural heritage, if it is a person, would likely join the PUV protests as it hates to see the fake “jeepneys” (minibuses) as replacements to our iconic, real jeepneys. Put value to modernization beyond convenience and pride/ego or “progress.” Who’s behind erasing everything Filipino in the Philippines?

Something must be awfully amiss in this so-called PUV modernization. It is becoming more and more incomprehensible, as they are giving the drivers, operators and their families (and Philippine history) greater and greater and stronger reasons/grounds to stage their valid, justifiable acts of protestation—to express themselves until their voice is heard and their deprivation is assuaged— and justice is done.

From idealism, the said modernization is evolving clearer and clearer into cannibalism. Proverbs 16:25. I have more to say, but suffice it for me to state what I have already stated—to allow you, dear readers, the space to think profoundly and warily, and thereby perceive the Truth underneath “truths.” “And ye shall know the Truth, and the Truth shall set you free.” - John 8:32.


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