Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chair Francis Tolentino clarified that the takeover of PNP Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG) over EDSA traffic does not mean that the agency has failed in its duty.
"This is not a sign of weakness, but I think this is a sign of organizational humility, so to speak. That one organization cannot do it alone. We have to reach out to other organizations," Tolentino said in a phone patch interview on ANC's Headstart.
Amid escalating criticisms from his bashers, Tolentino argued that solving the metro traffic mess is not the sole responsibility of MMDA.
"They should realize that this is not just one organization in charge. They have to realize that in terms of mass transport system, MMDA is not in charge. They should realize that in terms of infrastructure, we are not in charge. They should realize that land use planning, we are not in charge. So they should view it in a wider perspective," he said.
He added that the deployment of the HPG was really necessary as MMDA enforcers usually find themselves "at the mercy of lawless elements" whenever they attempt to apprehend unruly motorists.
However, the chairman admitted that there are still lapses regarding the operational control between MMDA and HPG over EDSA. This was clearly evident during the Tuesday night "carmageddon" sparked by a sudden downpour, with the authorities missing at the height of the motorists and commuters' distress.
"I didn't see any traffic aides along Guadalupe," Tolentino said, referring to the Tuesday traffic mess.