Redistricting is an issue people know about
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - February 12, 2019 - 12:00am

It’s already Tuesday and the time has come for me to respond to the nasty letter sent to me and The FREEMAN by Attorney Jamaal Calipayan in response to the article I wrote about redistricting our legislative districts. At the end of his response Attorney Calipayan said: “I guess the real serious flaw that we need to talk about here is not about redistricting, because clearly there is none, only a creation of a lone district, separating it from an already existing one, the real flaw would probably be why a veteran journalist like yourself would try to humiliate himself in public by talking about something he barely knows about.” Attorney Calipayan insults me when he says that I humiliated myself in public by talking about something I barely knew.

I write columns all the time on so many topics and get a lot of responses mostly in gratitude for writing about something that hardly anyone knows about. I don’t know who this Attorney Calipayan is so why does he insult me (he is the only one who insulted me in my more than 30 years in journalism) when I did not oppose the proposal of Senator Sonny Angara, and his boss, Representative Jonas Cortes, in making Mandaue a lone legislative district? What I opposed and protested about is the reality that both Representative Jonas Cortes and Senator Angara didn’t care what happened to the Sixth District when Mandaue becomes a legislative district by its lonesome.

In his letter, Attorney Calipayan said: “Secondly, distance has never been a hindrance in the creation of legislative districts, contiguity has never been a legal or constitutional issue. This is why the framers of the 1987 constitution placed the phrase “as far as practicable” next to the description that legislative districts are contiguous under Article VI, Section 5 par. 3 thereof. The point being that the consideration of creating legislative districts are more on the avoidance of under-representation of the people, rather than the discomfort and inconvenience of the representative.”

This only shows that Attorney Calipayan is with his boss in breaking the Sixth District because they believe it is not a constitutional issue. As I pointed out, these lawmakers didn’t care about their neighbors as long as they get what they want. Attorney Calipayan fails to realize that the 1987 Constitution needs to be replaced after 30 years because of so many issues and one of them is what they believe exists. I still believe that legislative districts should not be separate from each other as what would happen when they get their law to make Mandaue separate from the Sixth District.

At this point, it seems that Representative Jonas Cortes approves the insulting letter of his chief of staff, which means, should I start asking him questions about what he has or hasn’t done for Mandaue City? This was something I really didn’t ask him because I considered him as a friend. But apparently his chief of staff wrote a response to my column as if he was writing to the Supreme Court. Let’s see where this leads us. But so far, I’m complaining that the Sixth District has become dismembered thanks to Senator Angara and Representative Cortes.

*  *  *

I need to inform Cebu City Transportation Office head Isko Ouano that I have already noticed a larger number of traffic enforcers especially along the problematic road to Beverly Hills, which is a bottleneck that needs to be fixed. Either they create a roundabout or a mini-circular road where you can remove the corner red lights. We created a roundabout along JY Square and let vehicles that want to turn left from Gorordo Avenue go into the roundabout and make a legal U-turn then turn right to Beverly Hills.

When I was in Huahin, four hours from Bangkok, they do not allow U-turns for at least two kilometers, so traffic is not congested, except for minor incidents along the U-turn slot. This is something Cebu City should look into and consider doing. Incidentally, CCTO should apprehend drivers of vehicles (mostly 85% jeepneys) that use the rightmost lane, but end up turning left, denying the two lanes of left-turning vehicles. They should be apprehended.

*  *  *

For email responses to this article, write to His columns can be accessed through

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
Login 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