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Tolentino blames senator for continuing Edsa traffic woes

/ 12:11 PM March 05, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (right) raises the hand of former Presidential Adviser on Political Affairs Francis Tolentino. VALERIE ESCALERA / PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Pro-administration senatorial bet Francis Tolentino on Monday blamed a certain senator for the failure of Congress to grant President Rodrigo Duterte “emergency powers” to address the traffic woes in Metro Manila.

Tolentino, a former Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair, made the statement after Duterte said that solving Edsa’s traffic congestion was the only campaign promise he had failed to deliver, so far.

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READ: Duterte admits failure to solve Edsa traffic

The President blamed Congress for not granting him the emergency powers he needed to ease traffic flow on Metro Manila’s busiest thoroughfare.

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In his speech during Hugpong ng Pagbabago’s (HNP) campaign sortie in Antipolo City, Tolentino claimed that the senator blocked the government’s bid for Duterte’s emergency powers in the committee which the lawmaker led.

“Hindi niya (Duterte) naresolba dahil may isang senador na humarang sa kanyang komite dun sa emergency powers na hinihingi niya,” Tolentino said.

The former Presidential political adviser said the lawmaker might have misunderstood Duterte’s request, insisting that it was not against the law. Instead, it would have pushed for measures that would have helped decongest traffic congestion in the metropolis.

He also said that the emergency powers would have push for the upgrade of the Metro’s train system and synchronize all traffic ordinances across the National Capital Region.

Tolentino did not name the senator, however, during his speech before a packed Ynares Center.

Sen. Grace Poe, who is running for reelection in May, is the chair of the Senate committee on public services.

It was also Poe who authored the Senate bill granting Duterte emergency powers to address the traffic mess in Metro Manila.

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Under the bill, the President would be granted emergency powers to “urgently utilize all necessary government resources, exercise police power, including eminent domain, and employ executive actions and measures to ensure the effective implementation, reconfiguration, and harmonization of national and local government projects intended to directly address the traffic and congestion crisis.” 

However, Poe said the Department of Transportation failed to provide a list of specific projects and plans. 

Tolentino said Duterte would pursue his bid for emergency powers once he saw a favorable Congress.

“Magbabago pa isip niya once there’s a support. Pag nakita na n’ya na may Congressional support, kikilos din ang Presidente. Sa , pinagkakait sa kanya,” Tolentino said. /cbb

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TAGS: 2019 elections, DoTr, Edsa, Francis Tolentino, Grace Poe, Local news, Nation, national news, news, Philippine news update, Senate, Transportation, votePH
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