Mango Avenue flooded!

SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila - The Freeman

It was indeed a very strong rain in Cebu City on Tuesday night but I didn’t know that it was tropical depression Ofel hovering over the inland seas of southern Luzon after making its second landfall in Sorsogon on Wednesday. According to PAGASA, “Ofel” was last seen 30 kilometers southwest of Juban, Sorsogon or 30 km northeast of Masbate City after crashing into Matnog, Sorsogon at 6 a.m. It previously made landfall in Can-avid, Eastern Samar.

The tropical depression is bearing peak winds of 45 km per hour near the center and gusts of up to 55 kph. It is moving west northwest at 25 kph over the inland seas of southern Luzon and may pass close or over Masbate, Romblon and Mindoro provinces. Meanwhile, PAGASA said “Ofel” is expected to remain a tropical depression while crossing the southern Luzon area. Tropical Cyclone Wind Signal No. 1 has been hoisted over the following areas: Batangas, Samar, Biliran. Strong to near gale force winds will be experienced in areas under TCWS #1 once “Ofel” crosses. The state weather bureau said that the tropical depression will bring moderate to heavy with at times intense rains over Bicol region, Calabarzon, Marinduque, Romblon and Mindoro provinces. Meanwhile, residents of Metro Manila, Central Luzon, Northern Samar, Samar, Eastern Samar, and Biliran will experience light to moderate with at times heavy rains due to “Ofel” and over most of Mindanao due to southwest monsoon.

However, Tuesday evening, people were already posting the flooding of Gen. Maxilom Avenue up to waist high, particularly between Rahman St. and Echavez St. As an old Cebuano living in Cebu, I have traced where this floodwater in that area comes from. It starts near UP Lahug creek, passing through Escario St. then moving into Mango Ave. by the side of USC Boys High, crossing the road and turning left towards the corner of Rahman St. The water then slithers into the back of Lighthouse Restaurant where the flooding was bad and into the house of my cousins who live nearby, then the river goes into Echavez St. and on to Imus Ave. near St. Peters to exit into the sea.

In short, we can only blame the City of Cebu’s Department of Public Services for no totally cleaning up the river of garbage and refuse, which is why rainwater got stuck on Mango Ave. I dare say that all the barangays passing through the area should call for volunteers to clean up the river beds in the hope that the next rainfall won’t result in another severe flooding.

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As we read in the news, Taguig Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano was finally forced to relinquish his post the other day after weeks of sustained attacks against his successor, now Speaker Lord Allan Velasco, but not after making attempts to sabotage the latter’s official proclamation. Before calling it quits, the embattled House leader and his allies closed all the entrance doors of the plenary hall of the House of Representatives, thereby forcing Velasco’s allies to force them open and proceed with their ratification of his election as Speaker.

By noontime of Tuesday, Rep. Cayetano had been egging his supporters to back President Duterte’s call for the chamber to fast-track the passage of the P4.5 trillion national budget for 2021, which he deliberately stalled last week by unilaterally suspending sessions until Nov. 16.

Rep. Cayetano said, “I love this institution. I've been here since 1998. I've faced many Goliaths.” He warned the Velasco camp, whom he even described as “saboteurs.” “If you are bent on destroying and burning down the House, I will not allow you to burn this House down. Remember that!” Cayetano declared. “If you try to burn this House down, you're in for one hell of a fight!” he added.

The former House leader insisted he was no longer bound by Duterte’s term-sharing deal borne out of the fact that his offer of resignation was rejected by 184 of his colleagues. But in a post on Facebook, the former Speaker stated the exact opposite of what he has been doing for weeks. “From the start I have always said that I will abide by what the President, as leader of our coalition, will say,” he wrote.

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For email responses to this article, write to [email protected]. His columns can be accessed through www.philstar.com.

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