All campaign promises fulfilled, except Edsa traffic: Duterte

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte delivers his speech during the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-LABAN) campaign rally at the Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan City, Laguna on February 23, 2019. (Simeon Celi Jr./Presidential Photo)

MANILA — President Rodrigo R. Duterte said that he has fulfilled almost all his campaign promises in 2016 except solving traffic congestion on Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA).

Duterte said that halfway into his term, he already fulfilled most of his promises including the signing of notable measures into laws such as the free tuition, universal health care and Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) law.

“Alam mo… ang TRAIN…nangako ako sa inyo. Wala akong pangako na hindi ko natupad except ‘yang Edsa (You know, TRAIN…I made promises to you. I never made promises I couldn’t keep except Edsa),” Duterte said in a speech during the PDP-Laban campaign rally in Biñan City, Laguna.

“Nangako ako na free tuition, nandiyan na ang batas. Nangako ako na free universal health care, pirmado ko na ang batas (I promised for free tuition, the law is signed. I promised free universal health care, it’s also signed),” he added.

Duterte noted that his administration has also increased the wage of soldiers and policemen and will soon adjust salaries of teachers.

He also promised to negotiate with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), the faction of Nur Misuari.

Moreover, Duterte renewed his vow to end the illegal drug trade in the Philippines in the remaining three years of his term.

He also “pleaded” to the public, especially the youth to stay away from illegal drugs.

Meanwhile, Duterte asked the crowd to tell him what other promises he failed to keep so he could fulfil them.

“Ano pa naman gusto (What more do you want)?” Duterte asked.

Emergency powers?

Last year, Duterte admitted that the country’s worsening traffic crisis cannot be solved without money involved.

Duterte said his request for emergency powers would have sped up transport projects that would help mitigate traffic.

“Edsa, right at the beginning, we raised the possibility of being granted emergency powers. You cannot improve on things without money nowadays,” Duterte said in a televised tête-à-tête with Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo at the Malacañan Palace on September 11, 2018.

Duterte said he would no longer push for emergency powers and leave Edsa “as it is” since some legislators doubted the integrity of his Cabinet members and his promise to lead a government that is free of corruption.

“Kung wala kayong tiwala sa’kin, di ‘wag na. Ako na ngayon ang tumanggi, ayoko na (If you don’t trust me, then never mind. I’ll be the one to refuse, I no longer want it),” Duterte said.

He further said he respected the independence of Congress but if he could not mitigate traffic in Metro Manila and other urban areas, perhaps “somebody else” could.

“Let it be done by somebody else. (It’s) somebody else’s turn not mine,” he added. Azer Parrocha/