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Wala nang excuse si Tugade: Duterte cools down on ‘emergency power’ to solve traffic – Grace Poe

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Senator Grace Poe thinks President Rodrigo Duterte has lost interest in pushing Congress to grant him emergency powers to unlock the daily gridlock on roads in Metro Manila and other urban centers in the country.

Poe said that when she and other senators had dinner with the President last March 14, she personally asked the President if he still wanted Congress to grant him emergency powers to stop temporary restraining orders (TROs) or right-of-way issues to hamstrung government’s efforts to improve traffic flow.

“So pagkakataon ko, tinanong ko siya ‘Mr. President, do you need the emergency powers for traffic? Hindi naman niya ako direktang sinagot na oo o hindi. Ang sabi niya ganito, parang ‘It doesn’t matter to me’ parang ganyan. Ang sabi niya ‘You can count on Secretary Tugade’,” said Poe in an interview with DZBB’s Nimfa Ravelo.

“ I don’t want to put words into the mouth of the President, but that’s exactly what he said. Is he a little bit more enthusiastic about it? Hindi ko alam. Basta yun ang sinagot niya. I’m taking my cue kasi yung ating Senate President hindi naman nalagay sa priority bills. Siguro yung legislative liaison ng Malacanang ay hindi iyon ang ipinapalagay. So yun na lang siguro ang magiging basehan ko na marahil may iba silang plano para dito,” she added.

Tugade has used Congress’ refusal to grant the President emergency powers and name him the traffic czar as his main excuse why he has not acted on the traffic problems afflicting the country.

A bill granting the President emergency powers has not taken off in House of Representatives because Speaker Bebot Alvarez believes that the traffic problem could be solved under current rules and conditions and that this was just a bad excuse used by Tugade to explain the worsening traffic situation under his watch.