Decongesting Metro Manila

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rp_Chito-Parazo-300x173.jpgNow that the fight against illegal drugs is in full swing and that the police appear to be winning in its nationwide campaign against all forms of criminality, President Rodrgo Duterte is probably seriously making plans now on how to remedy the chaotic traffic situation in Metro Manila.

The Duterte government has embarked an ambitious infrastructure project worth more than P300 billion in an effort to decongest the streets and major thoroughfares in Metropolitan Manila. Economic Planning Secretary Rogelio Pernia has said that the plan will be carried out in partnership with the private sector. According to Peria, the project will hopefully start by next year. The project when undertaken will be round-the-clock.

Other projects in the pipeline will include, among others, the construction of railway from the Tutuban terminal in Manila up to Matnog in the Bicol region. It has a total of distance of 653 kilometers. Total cost is P68.26 billion of which public sector component is P37.76 billion. Pernia said the project is expected to start by next year.

To decongest traffic along the EDSA thoroughfare, the Duterte government will construct a bridge that will link the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig city and Ortigas center in Pasig city.

Peria believes that once the bridge is completed, 25 percent of the traffic in EDSA will be diverted somewhere else.

With barely three months in office, Duterte has done already so much that the people has noticed the vast improvement not only in the peace and order but in the delivery of basic services by the government to the less privileged people as well.

President Duterte is hell bent in zeroing on Senator Leila Delima’s alleged connection with drug syndicates. Despite De Lima’s repeated denials, more damaging evidences are being dug by Duterte’s men against the embattled lady senator.

Francisco Baraan, former Justice Undersecretary when Delima was Justice Secretary was tagged recently by President Duterte of being involved also in drugs. He used to be both the supervisor at the Bureau of Corrections and at the New Bilibid Prisons in Mungtinglupa City. It was reported that he is a frequent visitor at the NBP in Muntinglupa.

I’m a sure he goes there not to check on the inmates or on the security measures being adopted by the jail guards to prevent riots or jailbreaks. He was probably there weekly to get his share of the “bounty” for the sale of “Shabu” reportedly cooked inside the NBP compound. DOJ officials were reportedly receiving millions on a weekly basis during the six-year term of President Benigno Aquino.

No wonder, De Lima’s rumored driver/lover/ bodyguard, was able to build two multi-million peso mansions in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan. He also provided his wife money to build her own house in the Visayan region.

It will be interesting to find out what Baraan and Dayan will tell the president, as well as the public, once these two men agree to testify in the ongoing Senate investigation on illegal drugs and extrajudicial killings of suspected drug peddlers and addicts throughout the country.

It is sad and frustrating to watch and hear our inept and ill-prepared senators grill their resource persons in the ongoing senate investigations on illegal drugs.

PNP Chief General Rolando de la Rosa was very articulate in answering queries from various senators regarding extrajudicial killings. Dela Rosa assured senators during the hearing that the police will respect and observe the rule of law in its ongoing campaign against illegal drugs. He, however said that policemen are not 100 percent perfect. He admitted that his men also commit mistakes, but not to the point of killing unarmed persons.

Dela Rosa assured the senators that his police officers are not butchers who kill people for no reason at all.

It was so easy during the hearing for anybody to know that all the senators, except perhaps Senators Panfilo Lacson and De Lima, have no clue about the extent or magnitude of the drug problem the country is facing.

Too bad, Senator Mirriam Defensor Santiago would have made the investigation more interesting and more lively just by the manner on how she questions whoever is the resource person. Her term has ended and that she is also ill. I hope she will still be able to come back in the Senate to assume her post as fiscalizer.

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