Traffic republic: no place for ‘kuligligs’

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The scene was reminiscent of the dark days of brutal dispersals under the Arroyo regime: hundreds of “kuliglig” drivers peacefully holding a protest last Wednesday near Manila City Hall were hosed down and beaten up. Some were even dragged on the concrete by their limbs, blood oozing on their faces. Their motorized pedicabs were forcefully bulldozed by a police truck. At least sixteen were arrested, punched on the head, and were absurdly charged with illegal assembly and traffic obstruction.

Dozens more were hospitalized after being hurt in the clash, putting their families closer to the brink of death from hunger. And the President simply played blind, deaf and mute to this dark day under his regime.

They were merely defending their livelihood and ultimately, the survival of their families. No one can question that. And yet the powers-that-be refused to recognize this simple glaring fact, resorting instead to brute force. They invoked Clean Air Act and the traffic, a popularized petty problem (oh, that’s another PPP) since Aquino became President.

Traffic over anything else equals good governance, if the Aquino administration’s dogma would be bluntly expressed in an equation.

There’s a huge possibility that the vacilliating men and women in the justice system may actually uphold this blatantly absurd balancing of interest. After all, they would simply plagiarize Aquino’s logic.

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