Duterte: 'Let EDSA rot'

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 21 2019 07:43 PM

Vehicles are caught in a standstill on EDSA-Guadalupe northbound on August 9, 2019. Gigie Cruz, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Seemingly fed up with Manila's traffic problem, President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday said to just let EDSA "rot."

Duterte made the remark as he criticized a lady politician, who he did not name, for supposedly hindering government efforts to get funding to fix the traffic problem on the main thoroughfare.

"Here comes a lady, atribida tawag ko diyan eh (I call it too eager), it's good to be honest, it's good to be a crusading public official, no doubt about it you will be appreciated. Pero kung sumobra ka (But if you go too far) and you think all elected public officials are corrupt... eh 'di wag na (never mind), let EDSA rot there," he said.

The President had previously cited Sen. Grace Poe for the persistent traffic problem on EDSA for her refusal to grant "big money" for projects that are seen to solve the problem.

Poe chairs the Senate committee on public services which tackles traffic and transportation issues, among others.

During his first State of the Nation Address in 2016, Duterte asked Congress for emergency powers to solve crippling traffic jams that cost the economy an estimated P2.4 billion daily.

Three years later and halfway through his term, no emergency powers have been granted to President Duterte to solve the traffic problem on EDSA.

Asked in an interview in July about the refiled emergency powers bill to address traffic woes, Poe, who led panel hearings on the proposal in the last session of Congress, said there needs to be a clear list of projects to be implemented, transparency in carrying them out, and the appointment of a "capable" traffic czar to lead the effort.