Lacson, Sotto say government men should lose ‘entitlement’ on the road
MANILA, Philippines — Admitting they’ve been ticketed and paid fines for overspeeding, the tandem of Senator Panfilo Lacson and Senate President Vicente Sotto III on Thursday said government officials should lose their “feeling of entitlement” on the road.
“Minsan nag-drive ako, napasarap ako mag-drive, medyo na-ano ko ‘yung speed limit. Sa ano ‘to, sa Skyway… So, hinuli ako, pinara ako. Alam mo ang sabi sa akin? ‘Pangalawa na po kayong nahuli namin dito. Ang una po si Senate President Sotto,’” Lacson, who is running for president in 2022, disclosed during his weekly media forum with Sotto, who is his running mate.
(One time I was driving, I was enjoying my drive, and I went over the speed limit. This was on the Skyway. So I was caught, I was hailed. You know what they said to me? ‘You’re the second person we’ve apprehended here. The first was Senate President Sotto.)
Lacson said they accepted the tickets and paid their fines because nobody should be above the law.
“Dapat ganoon ang attitude, hindi ‘yung mali ka na, nagmamagaling ka pa, magpapakilala ka pa, tapos sasabihin mo ‘hindi mo ako pwedeng hulihin… Over time nawalan na tayo ng disiplina, kasi nga ‘yung feeling of entitlement, ano. Whether you’re a public official or not, dapat sumunod tayo,” he added.
(Our attitude should be like that, not when you’re already wrong but you’re insisting you’re right, and introduce yourself (as an important person) then say ‘You can’t catch me.’ Over time, we’ve lost that discipline because of our feeling of entitlement. Whether you’re a public official or not, we should follow the law.)
Sotto, for his part, said authorities should not be afraid of enforcing the law regardless of the offender’s status.
Sotto, who usually drives his own car every day to work, recalled an incident when he was driven by his wife’s driver, who then made an illegal turn in Greenhills, San Juan despite the senator’s warnings.
When traffic officers stopped them, Sotto told them to confiscate the license of his driver.
“Hinuli kami…. ‘Nung nakita ako ng pulis, sabi sa akin ng pulis: ‘Ay, sir, so sorry…’ Anong sorry? Hulihin mo, kunin mo itong lisensya nitong gagong ‘to, sinabi ko na e… Sinabi kong bawal e. Sabi ko, bakit hindi mo hulihin? Sabi ko, hindi naman ako ang nag-dri-drive — siya. Sabi ko, hulihin mo. Kinuha ‘yung lisensya,” Sotto said.
(We were stopped… When the police saw me, he said ‘Sorry, Sir.’ I asked him why he was sorry. I told him to get the license since he’s the one driving and not me.)
“Huwag kayong matakot. Itong mga pulis natin saka mga traffic management bureau, huwag kayong matakot, nasa lugar kayo e,”the Senate president added.
(Don’t be afraid. Our police and our traffic management bureau should not be scared when you’re just enforcing the law.)
Under Article 11 of the Constitution, senators are immune from traffic violations performed in the course of their duties.
Lacson and Sotto recalled their previous experiences when asked about recent reports that some politicians and government executives are supposedly using dedicated bus lanes along EDSA and employing “wang wang” (siren) police escorts to clear traffic for them to rush to their destinations.
“Unang-una, ‘yung abuso dapat iwasan e, kasi ‘yung entitlement… Alam mo, ‘yung feeling of entitlement dapat ‘yon wala e,” Lacson went on.
(First off, abuses should be avoided, because the entitlement… you know, that feeling of entitlement should not be there.)
“Pare-pareho, mapa-government vehicle ka o kaya nagmamadali ka, dapat ‘pag sinabing bus lane, bus lane; o kaya mga ambulance lane, ‘yun lang. Huwag na tayo makihalo doon kasi makakagulo tayo,” he added.
(We should all be the same, whether you’re on a government vehicle or just in a hurry. If it says ‘bus lane’, (it’s only for a) bus lane; or if it’s an ambulance lane, the same. Let’s not get mixed into areas where we will cause congestion.)
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.