Duterte: I won't beg for emergency powers to fix traffic in Metro Manila

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 11) — President Rodrigo Duterte said he would not plead with Congress to grant him emergency powers to solve Metro Manila's traffic woes.

In separate events in Malacañang Tuesday, Duterte addressed the issue saying bidding alone would not solve the problem.

When the idea of emergency powers was discussed with him, Duterte said never mind.

"Ilang buwan nalang. Two years and so many months, hindi ko na 'yan matatapos. Pagkatapos niyan, sabihin pa ng mga tao 'nag-iwan ng project itong si Duterte hindi tapos, kinurakot siguro yung pera,'" he said.

He later said, "Bakit ako mag-hingi ng emergency power? [Why would I ask for emergeny power?]"

This was not the first time Duterte said he was not interested in emergency powers to fix EDSA traffic.

In 2018, he said, "Let EDSA remain as it is for the next 20 years. Don't bother."

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.

Duterte also mentioned a female senator, adding politicians sometimes thought they were the only honest people in the world. The President said even before discussions would start on new projects, she would block them.

Duterte then said, "Pero 'yang EDSA, hinayaan ko talaga. Because of a lady senator who said 'no, no, ma-corrupt 'yan.' Hindi pa nga nag-umpisa ng project, nagsasalita na ng...yung akala mo yung kaharap niya corrupt, siya hindi. Sabihin ko kay Grace, "Grace alam mo hindi lahat ng tao sa mundong ito magnanakaw. Better control your mouth. Holier than thou ka."

The President said EDSA traffic was Poe's legacy.