outbrain
Close  

Poe, Tugade trade barbs after heated Senate hearing

/ 05:06 AM September 13, 2019

MANILA, Philippines–The tension between Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade and Sen. Grace Poe, long simmering beneath the surface of diplomacy, escalated on Thursday after the senator said he should be fired for failing to ease the Metro traffic problem.

ADVERTISEMENT

“At least when it comes to traffic and when it comes to dealing with the solutions for the traffic mess, I think somebody else should take his place,” said Poe, the Senate public services committee chair, in a television interview.

Initially, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) issued a subdued statement explaining that traffic management was not part of its mandate.

FEATURED STORIES

But Tugade, who was in Maguindanao for the launching of a DOTr program, later said the senator was “too full of herself.”

“Now, she wants to meddle in my official functions. I serve only at the pleasure of the President, not subject to the whims, caprice and theatrics of misguided politicians,” he stressed.

On Tuesday, Poe and Tugada butted heads at a Senate hearing on the need for the President to be given traffic emergency powers to allow the government to solve the problem.

The DOTr maintained that such powers would help it fast-track projects and policies to ease traffic in Metro Manila without fear of court injunctions.

No support 

However, bills in support of the department’s proposal   languished in Congress.

But for Tugade, the DOTr would continue to pursue its programs and projects aimed at easing road congestion in Metro Manila and other urban areas.

ADVERTISEMENT

“With or without emergency powers, we will do what we can,” he said in a statement.

This was not the first time the two had been at loggerheads over crucial transport issues.

In July, Poe also criticized the DOTr for the Metro Rail Transit 3’s worsening conditions months into its multibillion, four-year-long rehabilitation program. —WITH A REPORT FROM MIGUEL R. CAMUS

Read Next
EDITORS' PICK
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Arthur Tugade, Department of Transportation, DoTr, Grace Poe, Metro Manila traffic problem, traffic
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


© Copyright 1997-2020 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.