President Rodrigo Duterte joins Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella, Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino, and Senator Bong Go at the Cebu City Sports Center where Duterte addressed the crowd and watched performances of two Sinulog contingents.
Aldo Nelbert Banaynal
Duterte vows funds to solve Cebu traffic
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - January 20, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — In his first Sinulog attendance, President Rodrigo Duterte promised Cebuanos that he will look for funds to help accelerate the railway project to solve Cebu’s traffic problem which he described as “horrendous.”

Duterte said Cebu’s roads could no longer be expanded, or if they could, not that wide because Cebu “is an old city.”

“Wala pa atong gobyerno, naa na ang inyong dan. So when it became a city, mao nang naghuot mo...You cannot expand it anymore even if you’ll have mass transportation. So it’s either train, or a taas,” Duterte told the spectators at the Cebu City Sports Center last night.

The president added: “Kinahanglan sundon na lang ninyo ang Manila... I suggest that you do it here. It's either train just like Taiwan. Just a small train that runs across the city. Makasugod mo’g train. Og naa na moy plano, idayon ninyo.”

He said he will take it upon himself to find funds to help ease Cebu’s traffic woes, drawing cheers from the appreciative crowd.

“We will help you find the sourcing of the road project,” he said, adding he might loan money from China or other countries.

The president also once again warned those involved in the illegal drug trade that he will not think twice on killing them because illegal drugs “will kill my country.”

“If you do, I will kill you...bisan pa’g Cebuano mo,” he said.

He specifically mentioned that the drug problem is widespread in Talisay City.

“Ang druga kusog kaayo sa Cebu. Ang Talisay, wala na nay pahuway. Naa ang tanan dihang kabuang. Hasta inyong mga deputy, directors, naa sa druga. Mao tong daghang gipangpatay diri nga chief of police,” he said.

Duterte was expected to arrive at 4 p.m. yesterday but was late by about two hours.

His appearance at the sports center lasted not more than an hour.

When he spoke, he veered away from a prepared speech and chose to speak in Cebuano, telling the crowd he attended the Sinulog because he loves the Cebuanos.

“Gihigugma ta mong tanan. Kadugo man gyud ta. Ang akong pag-anhi kay muapil ko sa inyong kalipay. Gusto lang kong makakita ninyo,” he said.

He then thanked Cebuanos for their overwhelming support during the elections last year, saying the Cebu vote made him win the presidency.

“Midaog ko pagkapresidente tungod sa inyong makalilisang nga suporta,” Duterte said.

In his short stay, Duterte witnessed the presentation of the guest contingent from Alcoy town, south Cebu headed by Governor Gwendolyn Garcia, along with incumbent provincial officials and several department heads.

The president also witnessed the ritual dance of famed Lumad Basakanon.

Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella expressed his thanks to Duterte for showing up in the Sinulog for the first time.

"Bisan unsa nimo ka-busy running the affairs of the state, imo gihapon gitagaan og higayon ang pagduaw kining imong igsuon nga mga Sugbuanon. Kining gugma nga imong gipakita kanamong tanan dinhi sa Sugbo amo gayud tumbangan og gugma Mr. President,” Labella said.

With Duterte were Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Lloyd Dino, Presidential Communications and Operation Office Secretary Martin Andanar, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles and Senator Bong Go.

Earlier in the day, Senator Juan Miguel Zuburi and celebrity-senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. also joined the festivity.

Other VIPs in attendance were ambassadors, governors and other officials of the towns outside Cebu with participating contingents. Also present was David Odilao, who is recognized as the “Father of Sinulog” and regional directors of the different national agencies.

Celebrities also added more color to the celebration: Gerard Anderson, Dingdong Dantes, Jericho Rosales, Daniel Matsunaga, Bea Alonzo, Jennylyn Mercado, Carlo Aquino, Sue Ramirez,

Dionisia Pacquiao, Benjie Paras, Pooh, Joross Gamboa, Anabelle Rama and Miss Universe Philippines Gazini Ganados.

A colorful and massive display of fireworks capped off the ritual showdown. (FREEMAN)

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