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Sunday, March 3, 2024

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UNCENSORED by Manuel L. Morató

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The President’s Order to Secretary Eduardo Año (DILG)

In the fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) last July 22, 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte “gave the 17 Metro Manila mayors 60 days to clear all roads with obstruction… and “those who fail to comply will be slapped with suspension for negligence.”  Really, it’s about time because we continue to behave like free-wheeling zombies, totally disobeying law and order.  The attitude of “palakasan” reigns.  There are so many who think they are well connected, malakas and powerful that they forget we cannot go on that way as a people and as a nation.  Problems exist not only on the way we block the roads, parking everywhere, feeling important that they are “untouchable” at well connected at malakas daw sila.  We must shed off such attitude.  In the first place, such kind of people are full of hot-air, abusive, conceited, feeling important and “powerful.”  We must be careful with such kind of people.

The task has been rightfully delegated to Secretary Eduardo Año of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG); and his DILG Undersecretary for Operations, Epimaco Densing.  According to information received, a memorandum circular will be issued by the DILG “to guide local chief executives in the conduct of road audit; that all the 17 Metro Manila mayors agreed to the 60-day deadline; and those who fail to comply will be slapped with “suspension for negligence.”  The President stressed in the SONA “the need for LGU to reclaim public roads to address the worsening traffic woes in the National Capital Region.”

Nais kong ipaalam sa lahat na importante itong binitawan na salita ni President Duterte.  Matagal ng hinihintay ng mamamayan na may order sa bagay na ito; or the situation will worsen as the days go by.

There is one message I wish to impart which greatly contribute to this worsening situation.  The problem can be controlled by the DILG by seeing to it that the permits being approved by the respective City Council of the 17 cities be reviewed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) who exercise disciplinary supervision on the Local Governments by seeing to it that the permits approved by the respective City Councils are reviewed by the DILG to reassure and to see to it that the permits issued by the respective City Council are not contrary to the law, order and objective given by the President of the Republic.  

This is the first time disciplinary actions have been given to the Local Government whose City Councils are prone to pass and issue “Special Permits” that run contrary to law and order, especially in favor of friends, partners in business and family relation which is prohibited up to 3rd or 4th degree of consanguinity. 

Relating a fact, the truth, must not be libelous.  But each time I speak to explain or give an opinion, I am libeled by whoever of this City where I’ve been a resident of since 1939 with my own father, Tomas Morato, as its first appointive mayor in 1939; or about 75 years ago.  Of course, I love Quezon City.  Yun lang, marami ng mga bagong “sampay” dito; or meaning to say “newcomers.”  But the majority are still old-timers.

In my opinion, the issuance of “Special Permits” to build 21-storey condo/hotel buildings in a residential area must not be allowed, specially when the beneficiaries are favored by those “in power.”  I refer to 21/22 storey buildings being constructed here in Scout Gandia Street, a residential area, one next to each other.  Unfortunately, one of the properties affected was the ancestral home of my parents.  It was a big surprise that we woke up one morning, Easter Sunday in April of 2018 we unknowingly witnessed the welding of our small gates in the compound leading to our late parent’s home.  It was a surprise attack that one can interpret that some people feel that they are doing something irregular.  Our ancestral home was demolished, dug and let the case rot in court kasi malakas daw sila

That is what happened to us, my three sisters and myself.  No communication, no permission, nor were we told that the property of my late parents on which the ancestral home stood since the 1950s was going to be demolished without our permission; and worst we learned in the Court that the 3 lots in the name of our late mother who passed away in 2002 were already sold by a sibling way back in 2014 without our knowledge and was kept a secret since then.  This is a perfect example that the City Council should have called for all the parties affected to air their opinions and/or grievances in a project that would affect the residential neighborhood.

As things are, Scout Gandia Street, corner Tomas Morato is a busy public road for there is a school already nearby, PAREF.  Parking by those who pass to go to a restaurant are done on both sides of the road.  The middle lane is left for commuters to traverse.  Residential houses whose frontage should be respected are not spared. I was told that they cannot even give a party, nor invite friends for the space infront of their respective residences are occupied with parked cars.

Let it be said that our residential and commercial areas here in Barangay Sacred Heart and Morato Avenue have no public parking areas.  Customers of the restaurants park on the sidestreets.  The situation is bad.  What more when these two 21 and 22 storey condo/hotel now on its foundation digging stage are constructed.  Where will the guests park?  I was told the so-called underground parking will be sold to those who’d buy condominiums; and not open for public parking on both buildings.

Even at this stage, the neighborhood is panicking for they will suffer from water shortage when the two tall buildings are occupied.  It is a fact that two monstrous buildings in a residential area will suck the water supply and leave dripping their residential homes.

These 2 highrise buildings are the first of its kind in our neighborhood in over 75 years; both we were told belonging to one political family.  Is it true?  People are talking in the neighborhood. 

Along the middle of Tomas Morato from the circle on Timog and up to corner of Roces, ever since I constructed my building in 1967, the zonal rule approved by the City Council was up to only 5 floors.  Now, like thorns, two tall buildings are about to rise despite the cases in court being litigated regarding my parents’ ancestral home, sold in 2014 and kept a secret; demolished in 2018 and deep noisy excavation ongoing while they practice inhibiting the Judge to gain time and advance their noisy project that shake the neighborhood.  And the noise?  Come and visit the sites.  We have been tolerating it with a heavy heart for a year and a half.

I pray the DILG can impose the rules on the City Council which is often self-serving.  One very important matter to insist on is for the local government to provide public parking space.  There is not one public parking space in the entire neighborhood except all the sidestreets that the Local Government has allowed. 

No discipline nor order in our area.  It’s an attitude of “tolerance and let go” because “we are not affected.  Let them suffer,” seems to be the attitude of our local officials.

In over 75 years of the existence of Quezon City, why did this have to happen when we have a law-abiding President Duterte, known to abhor abusive public officials who behave as if their city is their fiefdom; their kingdom na sila ang may-ari ng kanilang siyudad that they can do anything they want.  

Remember from hereon, you are all under the Department of the Interior and Local Government as it should be. Amen!           

For comments and suggestions email at mlmorato@yahoo.com

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