Duterte admits failure to solve Edsa traffic
While claiming he had delivered on his promises, President Rodrigo Duterte admitted that solving Edsa’s monstrous traffic congestion was the only one he failed to make good on.
However, he blamed Congress for not granting the emergency powers he needed to ease traffic flow on Metro Manila’s busiest thoroughfare.
“I have no promise that I did not keep, except the [traffic problem] on Edsa. I promised free tuition, the law is there. I promised free universal health care, I signed the law,” the President said on Saturday night.
“What else do you want? The Pantawid program, I said I would continue it. Where will the funds come from? It will all come from the TRAIN (Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion) law,” he added.
The President made the remarks during the PDP-Laban campaign rally in Biñan City, Laguna. They were a repetition of what he said last year in which he announced he had given up on solving the horrendous traffic jams on Edsa while placing the blame squarely on Congress for not granting him emergency powers.
On Saturday night, he pointed out that some of his predecessors were given extraordinary powers to solve the crises that had plagued the country.
“I said, I have to have the authority, like the ones given to [former President] Cory [Aquino] and during the Ramos administration, for the electricity [crisis]. So they were given extraordinary powers,” Mr. Duterte said.
According to him, he needed emergency powers so that the government would have funds to make the necessary repairs or rehabilitation.
He said: “So look at Edsa, until now, I cannot do anything. But never did I ask [for] money without any bidding.”
The President pointed out that he was able to deliver on some of his promises by signing laws such as the Universal Access to Quality Tertiary Education Act and the Universal Healthcare Act.
Ambitious program cited
He also cited his administration’s ambitious “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program.
“The Build, Build, Build? I didn’t make promises on that, you didn’t hear it from me. I will just wait for it to be completed, since it will bring in big money,” the President told the crowd.
“I mentioned infrastructure such as schools. How many teachers are there? Pantawid. Universal (health care). Everything is for free now. The only thing you didn’t ask for [are] my balls,” he said in jest.
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