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Home Op-Ed Columns Opinion on Page One Candor, Digong’s endearing trait

Candor, Digong’s endearing trait



IF the government approves the plan of food and beverage tycoon Ramon Ang to build a 10-lane highway on top of EDSA, travel time from one end of that thoroughfare to the other will only take 10 minutes.

The proposed elevated highway — five lanes on both sides — would start from Macapagal Boulevard in Pasay City to Balintawak in Caloocan City and vice versa, a distance of 24 kilometers on either end.

Right now, travel time from Baclaran in Parañaque City to Caloocan City takes 1.5 hours in moderate traffic and 2.5 hours in heavy rush-hour traffic.

President Digong, exasperated over the Senate’s dilly-dallying in giving him special powers to solve EDSA’s traffic woes, said he would let the thoroughfare “rot.”

EDSA (short for Epifanio de los Santos Avenue) is Metro Manila’s main artery that connects Caloocan, Quezon City, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Makati and Pasay City.

Ang’s proposed expressway atop EDSA would be made of steel.

Construction of the elevated expressway — which could be extended all the way to the Cavite Expressway in southern Metro Manila — would take a minimum of two years to finish.

The elevated expressway would solve the horrendous traffic jam on EDSA that is costing billions of pesos in man-hours lost every day.

The food and beverage magnate is also building an international airport in Bulacan province that would cost P745 billion.

The Bulacan international airport will considerably ease traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

* * *

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo and President Digong’s critics missed the point in quarreling over the President’s statement that he ordered the ambush of Mayor Vicente Loot of Daanbantayan, Cebu.

Whether it was true or not is beside the point.

Loot is in the list of the President’s notorious personalities linked to the illicit drug trade.

Loot, a retired police general, survived an ambush in May last year.

“Inambush kita, animal ka, buhay ka pa rin (I had you ambushed, you animal, but you survived it),” the President is reported to have said.

What Digong meant was that the drug problem in the country is so worrisome he would not hesitate to have drug traffickers killed for being a menace to society.

Didn’t Digong say he would have thousands of bodies of drug pushers and traffickers thrown into Manila Bay so that the fish could feed on them?

Whether he was joking or not, the statement was meant as a warning to drug traffickers and pushers.

* * *

Panelo said Mr. Duterte, being a Bisaya (one who speaks the Cebuano language), could have misspoken because he talked in Tagalog.

But knowing Digong, he really meant what he said. He’s not dumb.

When he was mayor of Davao City, he admitted to me that he kicked out of a flying helicopter an ex-convict who planted marijuana at the foot of Mount Apo.

One of the President’s endearing traits is candor: he speaks his mind no matter what other people think.

Once, he told me that he would rather die if he can no longer have an erection.

Digong said between being very rich and having an erect penis, he would choose the latter.

Let’s take the President for what he is: super honest, but vulgar in his speech.

* * *

A newspaper has become an alarmist when it screamed in its banner headline: “80% of global swine fever deaths are in PH.”

The paper, in its first paragraph, said: “The World Organization for Animal Health says about 8,000 pigs in the country died from the disease between Aug. 30 and Sept. 12, accounting for the bulk of the 10,000 lost worldwide during the period.”

Susmaryosep! That means that swine fever has hit the country enormously.

But it’s only recently that the African swine fever (ASF) has hit the country.

Millions of pigs have been culled in China and in other countries after they were afflicted with ASF over several years.

The 8,000 pigs that were afflicted with ASF in the Philippines, as reported by the World Organization for Animal Health, are a minuscule number compared to the millions in China, Europe and other countries through the years.

Steps have been taken by the Department of Agriculture to contain the swine disease.

In unduly alarming the populace, that newspaper engaged in yellow journalism.

Encyclopedia Britannica defines “yellow journalism” as the use of lurid features and sensationalized news in newspaper publishing to attract readers and increase circulation.

Since the death of its lady editor in chief several years ago, the paper’s circulation has been steadily declining because it has lost credibility with many of its readers.

* * *

Xue Chengbiao, a philanthropist from Shanghai, will turn over tomorrow a new fishing boat to the Mindoro fishermen, whose boat was sunk after being rammed by another vessel in the South China Sea.

Xue, who owns the Jucheng Capital group of companies of Shanghai, has christened the new boat F/B Pengyou, meaning friendship in Chinese.

Pengyou will replace the F/B Gem-Ver which sank in the collision three months ago.

Attending the turnover ceremony to be held at the Batangas Port tomorrow morning, Sunday, are government officials to be led by Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi, who heads the Cabinet cluster on Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) development.

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