By ARTHUR L. ALLAD-IW
Blaming the anti-Jadewell “trouble makers”
I saw acting Mayor Peter Rey Bautista on the local TV when he was claiming that his name was just dragged into the case filed by Jadewell against local officials. By the tone of his statement, he was blaming the small group of “trouble makers” about the inclusion of his name in the case. He claimed though that he would take all means to block the return of Jadewell’s controlling our streets.
I support his move to take all legal means to prevent the return of Jadewell, but I like to point out to the acting mayor – soon be full pledge mayor – that anti-Jadewell “trouble makers” were just exercising their constitutionally protected rights when they launched protests against Jadewell. Their freedoms of speech, and expression, and assembly are provided for by the constitution. Much more so that the ordinance which grants Jadewell the right to collect parking fees on our streets has been repealed by the City Council, they had all the right to exercise their rights against Jadewell.
I want to iterate that a true public servant should exercise his political will to support people-initiated activities like the anti-Jadewell protests. In fact, a public official should be blamed more for this resort by the people because of their failure to address issues of public interest.
Blaming groups against the flyover project
On the same TV station, the regional director of the DPWH-CAR Engr. Mariano Alquiza claimed the BGH flyover project lacks funds – around P64 million pesos or more to complete the project. He added that since the needed fund is still being sourced out, a big possibility is that the project might be finished in 2009.
Alquiza further pointed out that the budget ballooned because of the opposition which delayed the implementation of the project. He opined that if the project was done earlier, then the prices of the needed materials did not increase.
I consider the statements of this public official irresponsible and in fact blaming the people for opposing such project. I must point out that the available fund for the project was just only P 44 million, a mere savings from the Marcos Highway rehabilitation.
The government, in fact, has no source for the other half when the project was estimated to cost P88 million therefore violating the basic rule that there must be a certification of the availability of funds for any public works project. Yet these officials pursued with the project using all means for it (project) to be “socially acceptable.”
Earlier, there was a suggestion to use the funds for the BGH flyover for other infrastructure projects badly needed in the villages. But officials seemed deaf and instead pushed for the project. Now residents, like me, ask: are these officials more interested in their “cut” (SOP in the local government lingo) from the project’s fund rather than considering people’s suggestion?
Now the BGH flyover project will remain stalled. It will remain as an eyesore for the people – for more than two years. The people will suffer for long period because of the greed of these officials. It will be the people again who will suffer from this government officials’ inutile moves. And they call it a government of the people. #