One name off my list
OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide (The Freeman) - December 5, 2015 - 9:00am

I find it an extremely tough job to elect senators this coming May 2016 polls. Among those seeking re-election and who would have otherwise the clear advantage of prior exposure, no one has done the kind of great public service I have been looking for such that I intend to consider their group a last option in case I cannot fill the twelve slots. Honestly, if I can help it, I do not desire to give them my vote for another term.

When I went thru the initial list of candidates seeking for their first term as senators, I realized that I do not know personally all of them. So, I have no personal favors to ask for or pay back nor biases and prejudices to spread around.

Given that paucity of information, I am working on a strategy. First, I will listen carefully to every piece of oral or written publicity these candidates make and try to understand whether they are competent to do the job they aspire for and if so, if they have the kind of perspective of the work at hand. Second, to trim the choices quicker, I intend to eliminate from my list those whose utterances expose a lack of understanding of the dynamics of government and the profound nature of legislative work.

It is, thus, helpful to me that these men and women, who are angling for the senate, come to our city (because I do not have the means and time to meet them) and express themselves in appropriate fora. Surely, when they open their mouths, they are bound to reveal a little something of who they are and what they might do in the senate.

This week, we were lucky to be visited by some candidates. The Cebuanos who heard them speak their minds out were privileged to observe them first hand. We, who did not have that chance, were still lucky to read their pronouncements from our papers.

There came to our shore a certain candidate who carried the name, Mr. Mark Lapid. I did not take it against him that he is a son of the senator of the republic who, in my mind, is a useless even if expensive, joke in the senate. Our newspapers carried an account of his declarations. And what he said made me conclude that he is the apple that does not fall away from the tree. So, I immediately scratched his name from my list of choices.

What did he say? According to the papers, Mr. Lapid, tried to work his way around this humongous problem of our traffic. To be sure, we have long begun to consider that the daily gridlock in our midst is our modern scourge. Whoever can solve it must be our hero. Mr. Lapid probably thought that making an issue out of our aggravating traffic woes, he would, right away, become the darling of our attention.

He was quoted warning our local officials to solve our vehicular jams before we reached the irreversibly terrible condition in Metro Manila. Coy! Did he see our problem as his entry point to Cebuano votes? When he dared our local leaders to address this concern, Mr. Lapid displayed his unforgivable ignorance of the situation.

1.  Are the visible efforts to make vehicular traffic in Metro Manila easy pushed by local government units? The multi-layered sky ways, the rail system, the ever-widening of their streets, to mention a few, are, by reason of their huge cost and for purposes of harmony, funded by the national government and never undertaken by the individual cities and towns in Metro Manila. So, why would Mr. Lapid, say the useless, probably stupid, statement he made?

2. The increasing number of vehicles is a natural consequence of our progress as a people. Many of our countrymen can now afford to buy new cars. Those with lesser income acquire Multicabs, and I mean the pint-sized vehicles discarded by foreign countries. Still, there are many of us who keep old vehicles because we do not have the means to buy new ones. This exponential growth in vehicular volume lies at the core of our traffic problem. For the information of Mr. Lapid, leaders of local government units cannot address this issue. This matter belongs to the turf of congressmen and senators.

In fine, let me thank Mr. Mark Lapid for his visit for he gave me the chance to scratch off his name and shorten my list.



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