Duterte: Let EDSA stay as it is

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 19) — The President will no longer seek emergency powers to ease Manila's traffic woes, at least based on his latest speech.

"Let EDSA remain as it is for the next 20 years. Don't bother," President Rodrigo Duterte said in a speech in Malacañang Wednesday.

Duterte said that the hanging suspicion of possibly using the power granted to him for corrupt purposes has turned him off from the idea of seeking emergency powers from Congress.

"There's always the hanging suspicion that I'm there for the money. Wag na lang. Wala na tayong magawa," Duterte said.

[Translation: Then don't. We can't do anything about it.]

To fix EDSA, the President said that he would need money, and that emergency powers would allow him to bypass bidding procedures.

Both houses of Congress have filed their respective emergency power bills, but are still pending approval.

House Bill 4334, or "The Traffic Crisis Act of 2016. Maki-isa. Magkaisa. Maki-sama." was filed by former House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and is still pending at the committee of appropriations.

On the other hand, Senate Bill 1284, or the "Traffic and Congestion Crisis Act of 2016" is pending a second reading at the plenary level.

Both bills seek to grant emergency powers to the President as provided for in the Article VI, Section 23(2) of the Constitution which states that the Congress may, in cases of war or national emergency, authorize the President "to exercise powers necessary and proper to carry out a declared national policy" for a limited period of time.