• Motorists’ group opposes Tugade appointment

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    AN organization of motor vehicle owners is asking the powerful Commission on Appointments to reject the nomination of Secretary Arthur Tugade as head of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), claiming the latter was not fit or qualified for the job.

    In a two-page letter to Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, ex-officio chair of the commission, the Road Users Protection Advocates claimed that President Rodrigo Duterte failed to “appoint wisely” when he named Tugade as secretary of DOTr.

    Ray Junia, chairman of the group, enumerated several arguments against the nomination of Tugade, including the supposed failure of the DOTr secretary to fulfill his promise to solve the traffic crisis within 100 days after his assumption.

    The group was referring to the promise made by Tugade during a television interview, wherein he even dared the President to fire him if he could not deliver on his promise.

    “As we all know, no significant changes have happened except that the traffic has turned from worse to worst since he assumed his post, and we are now nearing the 100-day deadline as of this writing,” the group said in its letter.

    The group claimed Tugade had been trying to free himself from the pledge by coming out with “incredible and fantastic” solutions, such as installing cable cars along Laguna de Bay to connect the province of Laguna to Metro Manila.

    Another is transforming the Light Rail Transit Line 2 system into a Bus Rapid Transit System, it said.

    The group also questioned Tugade’s intentions in appointing officials to sensitive positions at the DOTr who have connections with business conglomerates that do business with the agency, like Ayala Corp.

    It specifically cited the appointment of former Ayala executive Noel Kintanar as undersecretary for rail transport and tollways.

    The group also rejected the plan of Tugade to transfer the DOTr head office to Pampanga, where he had served as head of the Clark Development Corp.

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