We must return our sidewalks to pedestrians
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - July 18, 2019 - 12:00am

We read that a group of vendors in Cebu City has asked the administration of Mayor Edgardo Labella to institutionalize but regulate street vending. This was the suggestion of Maria Pino, president of the Cebu City United Vendors Association Inc. (CCUVA), who said that her group is amenable to being regulated by the city as long as they will be allowed to sell their wares on designated streets or areas. Wow! It’s been a long time since I took over the chairmanship of the Market Committee and I used to deal with groups like CCUVA.

However, that was nearly 20 years ago, and times have indeed changed. In Manila, for instance, my good friend, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno started cleaning up the streets to give back to the pedestrians the sidewalks that they used to walk… The pedestrians used to have no choice but to walk on the streets of Manila because the sidewalk vendors ruled the streets!

With that said, may I suggest to Mayor Labella to come up with a sort of night market. No, not along Colon Street but rather somewhere where tourists would come visit. I’m sure that Mayor Labella has something up in his sleeves, so as to get these micro-entrepreneurs a place to work. However with certain conditions: that they must wear decent clothes and keep their environment clean. Also, they must show their numbers. I mean we have to ensure that those vendors are constituents of Cebu City and living in Cebu City for them to qualify to be in the night market. There is no point if we allow vendors living in other towns to work in Cebu City, that is certainly a no-no. The key to the success of this endeavor is to ensure to the pedestrians that they have their sidewalks for them to use like in Manila.

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A few days ago, the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) adopted a resolution to investigate the human rights violations of the Philippines, especially its war against drugs. The council said that the war already resulted in 20,000 victims. No less than Pres. Rodrigo “Digong” Duterte has considered cutting diplomatic ties with Iceland. There is no question that Agnes Callamard, special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions at the UNHRC, failed to give the Philippines the rightful figure on the deaths since Pres. Duterte assumed the presidency.

But honestly, there really is no impact to Iceland or the Philippines if we cut our diplomatic ties with this small nation. Didn’t we say that Iceland only had 338,000 people? Meaning, there are more people living in Barangay Guadalupe in Cebu City than the whole of Iceland. I have no doubt that Callamard got the figures in her resolution from the political opposition that has been sending traitorous documents to the UN. This is a huge mistake by the UNCHR to use political information against the present Duterte government. Just look at who is supporting the UNCHR resolution: no less than Vice President Leni Robredo and CHR of the Philippines Chito Gascon, who are blue-bloodied Yellowtards.

So when the UNCHR said that their resolution was a “victory” for those who have exposed the “deteriorating” human rights situation in the Philippines, as pointed out by the UN special rapporteur, this was a totally fabrication of evidence by the UNCHR. As admitted by our police, the figure that they officially had was 6,000 deaths in the war against drugs. Callamard said, “This is a victory for all those who have been reporting for the last three years on the deteriorating situation in the country; this is a message to the victims that they have been heard.” So Callamard ought to ask herself, if so many people have been killed, how come Pres. Duterte has the highest popularity rating of any President in power right now?

The UNCHR draft resolution, co-sponsored by more than two dozen states, also formally requested that the High Commissioner on Human Rights Michelle Bachelet prepare a comprehensive report on the human rights situation in the Philippines and present it at the council’s 44th session. At this point, we need to put intelligence men to cover Bachelet who might be getting information from the Yellowtards or the Communists. This is very delicate at this time…and forgive me for suspecting the Yellowtards, simply because the Liberal Party (LP) has been shut out of the Senate in the last elections.

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For email responses to this article, write to vsbobita@mozcom.com or vsbobita@gmail.com. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.

EDGARDO LABELLA
Philstar
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