If you cannot solve the traffic, how can you govern the nation?

WHAT MATTERS MOST - Atty. Josephus Jimenez - The Freeman

In this country, any Tomas, Dikoy, or Harry can run for president, as long as he knows how to read and write. Any second rate actor, basketball player, boxer, or son or daughter of a famous celebrity can aspire for the highest position in the land, even if he is merely a desperate, aging, sickly, second rate, trying hard copycat, to paraphrase the famous line of Cherry Gil. These candidates do not even know what they are getting into, as if running for office is just jogging in a 100 meter dash. The words of the late Dolphy were of deep wisdom when he quipped: Running is not the problem. The problem is when one wins, what is he going to do when he is not at all cut for it.

The horrendous, even obnoxious traffic situation in EDSA, and in a smaller scale, the traffic from uptown Cebu City to the Mactan airport, like the traffic in entering or exiting from Baguio on a weekend, are the litmus tests for some pretenders who hallucinate becoming president of the whole nation. If they cannot pass these tests, they should favor the whole country by withdrawing from the presidential race or from any political race for that matter.

If they cannot even untangle a small knot, what gives them the temerity to seek for a mandate to occupy a high office. If they fail there, they are bound to fail anywhere.

That guy Francis Tolentino who reportedly aspires to become senator of the republic should do this nation a great favor by abandoning that dream. He has been given a big opportunity by the president to demonstrate his management and leadership skills, his planning and organizational skills. He blew all of them. Instead, he proved to be a "lemon," an inept, incompetent and uncaring, inefficient bureaucrat. He opts to attend fiestas in Bicol knowing that EDSA is becoming a hell every day. Experts say that the economy is losing billions everyday because of this mess. And so, what makes Tolentino think that he will make a good senator better than Lito Lapid?

The same is true to Ishko Moreno and Bistek or Herbert Bautista. This guy Ishko is an achiever, yes, we have to give it to him. From the squalor of some Tondo urban poor communities, he pulled himself up, got a college degree, and got himself elected as councilor and then vice mayor. Under both mayors Atienza and Erap, Ishko distinguished himself as a man of action, always on the ground, and perpetually followed by TV network reporters and crew. And he looks like a good copy. But does that make him a senatoriable? He wants to be a Salonga, a Tolentino, a Diokno, a Recto, or a Tañada? Or is he following the footsteps of Jaworski, Revilla, Jinggoy, or Eddie Ilarde?

The traffic mess is a microcosm of the whole nation's mess. Too big a population trying to occupy the same space at the same time. Too many workers trying to reach their offices and their factories at the same time. Too many vehicles trying to race, ferrying too many passengers all vying to reach the same destinations all at the same time. Too many pupils, students, teachers, and non-teaching school personnel all reporting to schools, colleges, and universities all at the same time, and all rushing to the same direction. Nobody is planning, organizing, leading, and controlling the dynamics of time, space, volumes, directions, and locations. Traffic czars are too busy campaigning.

If the president cannot find the right man or woman for the job of managing the traffic, then how can he lead and manage the whole nation? If the mayors of Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue, and Cebu, including the mayor of Talisay and other adjoining cities and municipalities cannot crack the traffic nut, then what makes them qualified to run again? What gives them the temerity to ask for another mandate? This is just the traffic, not to mention the garbage, the floods, the crimes, the gambling, the drugs.  To paraphrase the sage, if you cannot even crack a nut, how can you carry the mountain forest on your back?












  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with