MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) - Politicians and celebrities taking advantage of the power of the "wang-wang", beware.
Among the statements made by President Benigno Aquino III in his inauguration address, his words about politicians and 'celebrities' using sirens--colloquially termed "wang-wangs"--to rush through traffic jams struck a chord among irritated commuters and drivers.
"Kayo ba ay nagtiis na sa trapiko para lamang masingitan ng isang naghahari-hariang de-wangwang sa kalsada? Ako rin," Aquino said in his address.
"Walang lamangan, walang padrino at walang pagnanakaw. Walang wang-wang, walang counterflow, walang tong. Panahon na upang tayo ay muling magkawanggawa," he added.
'Report a wangwang'
This statement brought to life an interesting Facebook fan page, "Isumbong Mo Ang Wang Wang Dito," put up just hours after Aquino delivered his address.
"Dito natin isumbong at i-post ang lahat ng mga sasakyang gumagamit ng wang wang at kuma-counter flow na di naman dapat! Ipapadala natin kay Pangulong Noynoy Aquino," the page's description read.
As of posting time, dozens of people have already "Liked" the page.
The page calls for people to report the unauthorized use of sirens by people.
Under Presidential Decree 96, only motor vehicles designated for the use of the Philippine National Police, Armed Forces of the Philippines, National Bureau of Investigation, Land Transportation Office, Bureau of Fire Protection, and hospital ambulances can be fitted with sirens, bells, horns or similar gadgets.
As for government officials, only the President, Vice President, Senate president, House Speaker, and Chief Justice are allowed to use vehicles with these devices. (Read: No VIP treatment for Noynoy on RP roads)
However, Aquino said on Tuesday that he would, as much as possible, waive his right to use sirens, and that his presidential convoy would stop at red lights.
Leadership by example
In a press conference in Malacañang after the first Cabinet meeting, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Aquino's policy on sirens was an example of how Aquino intends to lead.
"That's an example of good leadership, leadership by example. Yung mga ganyan, bad habits have to be struck down," she said.
She said local officials are not allowed to use sirens.
"They're not in the list as to those allowed to use the sirens...Kaya lang, we get to see once in a while those sirens," she said. "There is a particular law, it's just a matter of implementing the law."
Taking its cue from President Aquino in his inaugural address, the Philippine National Police (PNP) has ordered the strict implementation of the law on the use of vehicle sirens and blinkers.
PNP chief Jesus Verzosa has ordered the Highway Patrol Group to discuss with officials of the Land Transportation Office how to intensify the campaign against the illegal use of these gadgets.
No wangwang policy backed
"[H]ay salamat!:) [K]ainis, ang daming naka wang wang na akala mo kung sino, hindi naman presidente! nag fe-feeling!," a post by Say Alonzo read.
"The way I see it, President Aquino wasn't just referring to those literal wangwangs but officials who have in many ways live privileged lives, who put themselves in privileged positions compared to the others, who see themselves as perennial VIP's of Philippine society forcing people to in many ways step aside for them. It's not wangwang per se but 'wangwang culture,'" user Migoy Lizada posted on the page.
"Like the wangwang vehicles that counterflow, wangwang culture is also counterproductive," he added. - abs-cbnNEWS.com