Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade on Friday called out Senator Grace Poe for politicizing the country’s traffic woes for her supposed plans to run for higher office.
In a television interview, Tugade said Poe, as chair of the Senate committee on public services, was using issues in transportation as an instrument in her political campaign.
“Alam naman ‘ho natin na pumoporma ‘yan si madam Grace para sa pagka-presidente na naman. ‘Wag na ‘ho ipagkaila ‘yan, ‘yun ‘ho yung porma niyan. At ginagawa niya plataporma ng transportasyon sa Senado para ito ‘ho yung ‘thriller’ para ganyan, marinig at makinig siya (We all know madame Grace is preparing for her bid as president again. Let’s not deny it, that’s her style. She’s using transportation as her platform in the Senate as a ‘thriller,’ so she can be seen and heard),” Tugade said in a television interview.
Tugade said traffic issues should not be politicized, noting that if the Senate does not want to give emergency powers to President Rodrigo R. Duterte to solve the metro’s traffic problem, they should be allowed to do their work as they see fit.
“’Wag na natin pulitikahin. Ayaw niyo ng emergency powers, sige na. Sa inyo na ‘yung emergency power. Hayaan niyo na lang po kaming magtrabaho sa inaakala naming tama (Let’s not politicize traffic. If they don’t want to give emergency powers, fine. They can keep it. They should just let us work as we see fit),” Tugade said.
He said they have been asking for emergency powers since the beginning of Duterte’s term because it was necessary to solve traffic issues in a timely manner.
“Kailangan ‘ho talaga ‘yan pero kung ayaw na ‘ho nila ibigay, ‘wag na. Kasi paiksi ng paiksi ‘yung oras. Noon pa namin po hiningi ‘yan nung sa umpisa ng termino ng ating pangulo. Ngayon, 1,021 days na lang ang termino ng ating pangulo (We need emergency powers but if they won’t give it, then don’t. Because time is running out. We’ve been asking for this since the beginning of our president’s term. Now, only 1,021 days are left in the president’s term),” Tugade said.
He added that the DOTr would continue to “work firmer and stronger in the pursuit of our mandates, in accordance to law.”
In a television interview on Thursday, Poe called out Tugade for his alleged failure to solve problems related to traffic congestion in Metro Manila.
On the other hand, the DOTr said traffic is not part of its mandate and the appointment of Tugade as “traffic czar”, through a 2016 bill did not push through. PNA.GOV.PH