Complaints about the traffic in EDSA are increasing with the situation getting worse more today than yesterday. Over 120,000 cars were sold in 2012 (not including trucks and other vehicles) – just think of the heavy volume of vehicles added to the streets every year. It was really prudent of the government to defer the two-year EDSA rehabilitation plan unless new alternative routes are opened. Yesterday when parts of EDSA were closed for the 27th People Power celebrations, a young businessman spent four hours getting to the airport from White Plains – double the time it takes on a “normal” day.
A lot of plans and proposals have been made to address the worsening traffic and the only feasible plan is to build a skyway, plus add more trains on the MRT and lessen the number of buses. Other creative solutions have been tried and tested, but none made remarkable improvements as far as traffic congestion is concerned. Reader Dr. Ron Benitez is suggesting a “brand coding scheme” in addition to the current number coding to ease up traffic – saying his proposal could help drastically reduce the estimated 400,000 vehicles plying EDSA every day. The plan is for every vehicle manufacturer to attend a “lottery” conducted by MMDA or DOTC to draw the day when their respective brands will not be allowed along EDSA. For instance, if Toyota drew Monday, then all types of Toyota-manufactured vehicles will be restricted from EDSA. MMDA or the DOTC can combine different brands or vehicles to make it fair and reasonable for all manufacturers, he said. But you can be sure there will be another EDSA revolution, this time coming from the private owners of different brands.
The reality is that the current volume of vehicles has become too heavy for EDSA to accommodate. Many are convinced the long-term solution is to develop an effective mass transport system but our feedback is that more often than not, MRT passengers are jampacked like sardines (not surprising since about 600,000 people ride every day) on trains that frequently bog down. While the public appreciates innovations like live CCTV feeds online showing the situation in the platforms, this is of little help. According to experts, in less than two years – it will only get worse not better – traffic in EDSA will be at a standstill and will look more like a parking lot.
Final chapter on the Silverio saga
It looks like the long-running “son vs. father” legal battle between Ricardo “Carding” Silverio Sr. and Ricardo “Ricky” Silverio Jr. has reached the final chapter after the Supreme Court Second Division ruled with finality in favor of Ricky Jr. regarding an ownership dispute involving Pilipinas Development Corporation (PDC). Lawyer Manuel “Lolong” Lazaro of the MM Lazaro and Associates represented the young Silverio.
Those who have been watching the Silverio saga know how deep the enmity has become for the father and son, with the old man accusing the son of stealing the stocks transfer book of PDC. All this started when Carding’s millionaire wife Beatriz Sison died intestate – triggering a series of bitter court battles for ownership of the Silverio properties including a house in Urdaneta Village. Adding fuel to the fire is Carding’s current wife, his former secretary Lorna Cillan under whose name Silverio Sr. transferred ownership of Pilipinas Development Corp.
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Last year, the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Ricky Jr., dismissing the appeal of Carding Sr. and noting that in the first place, “it would appear that plaintiff Silverio Sr…. is not even the owner of the alleged stolen shares of stocks to begin with…” adding that “the owners themselves of the alleged stolen stocks have not come forward to assail the endorsement to Silverio, Jr.”
After close to a decade, the Supreme Court has denied any more motions for reconsideration and has ruled with absolute finality in favor of Ricky Silverio, Jr.
Thieves on a plane
A business class passenger bound for Hong Kong almost had his possessions stolen by a fellow passenger who took his bag and divested it of valuables before replacing it on the overhead locker. Fortunately, the passenger checked his bag before embarking and raised an alarm, prompting other passengers to check their luggage during which they discovered that items were also missing. Security was called and passengers were prevented from embarking – leading to the apprehension of the thief.
Apparently the thief (and perhaps his cohorts) had been busy while the other passengers were asleep or engaged, systematically pulling bags from overhead lockers and returning them when no one was looking. This is becoming a frequent occurrence, with the criminals targeting foreign airlines supposedly because the penalties are lenient compared to the potential worth of their loot. In any case, passengers should be warned about these “business class thieves.”
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