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Duterte tells Pinoys to trust him on emergency powers: ‘I assure you this will be a clean government’

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President Rodrigo Duterte welcomes the idea of giving him emergency powers just so he can fix the perennial traffic problem in Metro Manila right away, assuring the public he will not abuse his authority as he vows to keep a ‘clean government’ under his watch.

In his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) delivered Monday at the Batasang Pambansa, Duterte said it is up to the members of the 17th Congress if they will grant him such special powers, but he understands the people’s qualms about it.

“Many in government opine realistically—and I would have to agree—that the worsening traffic situation could be addressed logically if Congress would also accord emergency powers… Okay lang rin. Ipakita natin kung gusto ninyong madalian, alam naman talaga ninyong sagad na, nasa inyo ‘yan,” Duterte said.

“If you give it, fine; if you don’t, we take the longer route, slowly and tanggapin ko ‘yung pagmumura ninyo. Huwag lang sa malapit. E ganoon talaga e. It’s an urgent and immediate situation (that calls for a quick) solution,” the president stated outside of his prepared speech.

Duterte pledged he would be done with politics once his term ends and the people need not worry about graft and corruption issues in the executive branch at least. The things that happen in the procurement and bidding processes, however, are beyond him.

“Gusto ninyo madalian, okay. ‘Pag ayaw naman ninyo because baka sabihin ninyo graft and corruption, ‘di okay rin, but I assure you—wala ito sa script—I assure you this will be a clean government,” he said.

“If that is the only worry that you have, and I can understand your misgivings, wala na ito sa… Wala na ito sa script. You know, ako makagarantiya 101 percent, it will be clean. The problem is I can only act through agencies and departments. That’s why I urge you na maski konting mali lang ‘wag niyo na akong anuhin…

Wala na akong pulitika. I’m through after this. I just pass on to you the information that… I act through Secretaries and… I cannot guarantee their honesty and competence at all times. Cabinet members, yes, pero ‘yung sa baba—procurement, bidding—but as far as I can really (tell you) malinis talaga ito,” Duterte said.

Among the viable solutions Duterte has initially offered to somehow ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila is the revival of the operation of the Pasig River ferry service system as an alternative mode of transportation for those commuting from the east side of the capital.

The anti-colorum campaign and out-of-line apprehension policy of the government including the removal of terminals will be intensified as well. Duterte also called on local government units to map out secondary routes and consult various stakeholders, including public transport operators, for the time being to address lack of road infrastructure in Metro Manila.