RUPA’s statement on DOTR’s defense of Tugade

OUST TUGADE. RUPA Convenor Ray Junia (2nd from left) is joined by RUPA Vice President Atty. Ramon Cuyco (extreme left), Bishop Nilo Tayag of Rebolusyong Duterte (3rd from left) and Nick Elman of Union of Filipino Workers (extreme right) as they announced the formation of Oust Tugade Movement during a recent press briefing. (Photo: ART TORRES)

We at Road Users Protection Advocates (RUPA), take exemption to the allegations of DOTr Assistant Secretary for Communications Cherrie Mercado, that our group was formed only for the purpose of besmirching the reputation of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade.

Let me remind Ms. Mercado and the public that the issue here is not RUPA but rather Mr. Tugade’s obvious incompetence and inability to solve the monstrous traffic jams in Metro Manila and other highly urbanized centers.

Let me also inform the public that the Oust Tugade Movement where RUPA is a participant was formed out of the people’s frustrations on Mr. Tugade’s failure to deliver the services expected from him.

We are calling for his ouster because he was inefficient and his loyalty along with his top lieutenants are highly suspect having came from conglomerates that do business with the government.

Mr. Tugade is reportedly claiming that they have done many things already to address the traffic problem. 

RUPA and the people however strongly disagree with this claim. It is nothing but hogwash born out of his wishful thinking.

The best evidence to belie his claims is the daily CHAOTIC TRAFFIC SITUATION itself.

What have they done to at least ease the situation? If they are really doing a good job, then why can’t they convince the public and Congress that the situation has already improved?

To be blunt about it, their claims are nothing but stories made for their self serving press releases. 

In fact, Mr. Tugade is not even giving us a glimmer of hope that this terrible traffic situation would ever be solved either in the near future or even few years from now.  

We also maintain that the requested emergency powers were nothing but just a ploy to jump over existing procurement laws that in the end would benefit their favored principals.

Mr. Tugade’s reputation was further tainted after it was discovered that Chinese gambling tycoon Mr. Jack Lam managed to operate his illegal online gambling operations with impunity during his tenure as head of Clark Development Corporation.

Ms. Mercado for her part even tried to demean our reputation by saying that RUPA has no searchable profile or a mission statement nor had it advocated any issue to protect road users. 

We would like to state that Ms. Mercado was dead wrong with her assertions. 

Ms. Mercado has just proven that she just like the other officials of DOTr are not fond of doing their home works and showed their consistent inefficiency when they failed to diligently research on RUPA’s background.

Had they done their research, they will know that RUPA has been at the forefront of many battles protecting consumers and people’s rights for a long time now.

In fact, it was the last man standing when the issue on toll rate hikes at SLEX was brought to court many years ago, likewise RUPA made a stand in favor of the people when the group of Mr. Cesar Quiambao figured in an ownership issue of LTO’s technology provider Stradcom.

Suffice it to say that RUPA was not formed just to call for Mr. Tugade’s ouster but rather to advocate for the protection and welfare of the consumers and the people.

And we vow to be will always be at the forefront of every battle when we see that some of our government officials have not been truthful in discharging their mandated tasks.




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