What happened to Aquino’s ‘ready to be run over by train’ quip?
Back in 2013, President Benigno Aquino III said that he and Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya were ready to be run over by a train of the Light Rail Transit (LRT) if its Cavite extension does not push through within two years.
Now, two years, later, Communications Secretary Herminio “Sonny” Coloma Jr. said critics should not take the statement literally.
“I think, what he really meant was that the government was serious in implementing the program,” Coloma told INQUIRER.net on Monday morning.
“Sinabi ‘yon with all the good intention na maihatid kaaagad ‘yung benepisyo sa mga mamamayan kaya medyo pabiro ‘yung statement na ‘yon. Pero sa lahat namang ng pagkakataon siniseryoso ‘yung pagbibigay ng commitment na sinisikap ‘yung pag-improve sa mga serbisyo publiko natin,” he said.
(He said it with the good intention of immediately delivering such benefits to the people that is why he gave that joke. But he is always serious in his commitment to strive and improve our public services.)
During a campaign sortie of the Team PNoy slate in Cavite in April 2013, Aquino said in Filipino, “Secretary Abaya, who is supervising the project, is here. Maybe the two of us can be run over by a train if this project won’t materialize.”
Aquino promised that the extension project, which is supposed to connect Baclaran to Bacoor and will service around 250,000 passengers, would be completed in two years.
Coloma explained that the Aquino administration has facilitated a number of mass transit projects. He said those that did not push through usually involved bottlenecks.
“Sometimes there are flaws in the bidding process. And we can’t do shortcuts; we have to follow the procurement law and the bidding regulations. Sometimes it’s the right-of-way issue that is the problem,” he said.
Asked what he has to say about critics who hold unto Aquino’s promise, Coloma said they should just look at the bigger picture.
“It’s like the glass half empty or half full concept. Maybe instead of complaining that it’s empty, we should recognize that it is becoming fuller,” he said in Filipino. IDL
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