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Going parochial

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AMID THE cacophony of jeers and sneers, the damning, demanding and demeaning shrills rising out of the shambles that is the hosting of the 30th Southeast Asian Games, I can only think of two things: kleptocracy and kakistocracy.

The first is defined as “a government with corrupt leaders that use their power to exploit the people and natural resources of their own territory in order to extend their personal wealth and political powers.”

“Typically, this system involves embezzlement of funds at the expense of the wider population,” furthered Wikipedia.

The rule of thieves, precisely.

The second references “a system of government that is run by the worst, least qualified, and/or most unscrupulous citizens.”

The reign of idiots, unarguably.

Both systems confluence on a single face. I need not say a name. And sayeth further naught.

I leave the discourse to the more erudite national and foreign media, the snarling to the netizens, retreat to my own little neck of the woods, and indulge myself in purely parochial concerns.

Like the Christmas season and all the traffic that comes with it, on weekends especially.

In the cities of Angeles and San Fernando, road rules and regulations seemingly go on holidays too on Sundays.

Took 24+ minutes to cross AC-Porac Road via Circumferential Road this Sunday past, starting at Holy Family Academy or a distance of some 200 meters. Aside from the non-working traffic lights, there was not a single enforcer manning the intersection.

In San Fernando, all three-wheeled contraptions take over central downtown, where they are banned on weekdays. Yes, even Baluyut Bridge down to its northern approach serves as padyak-sikel terminal.

Of course, the violation of that Department of the Interior and Local Government banning tricycles from national roads has become the very rule in the two cities. The city governments apparently shirking their responsibility, indeed, abdicating on their duty to uphold lawful order.

Helmetless motorcycle riders, whether single or pillion, long the norm in San Fernando streets, have made a comeback in Angeles after their virtual eradication at the time of Mayor Ed Pamintuan. Sad, sad, sad to note the absence of any move from the Angeles City Traffic Development Office to revive implementation of the law. Yes, the law.

Traffic at the main entry to the Clark Freeport is a constant bad during rush hours and on weekends. Traffic through the roads of SM City Clark are even worse.

One Friday, it took me 25 minutes to negotiate the less than 200-meter stretch from the SM entry at the east lateral SM-Dau-Mabalacat Road to the steel deck parking. Reduced as it has been to one lane, valet parking occupying the other lane.

Can’t SM Clark management just designate one floor of the steel deck for valet parking, keeping thereby the roads around the mall at two-lane?

On record, I still do not subscribe to the double-visionary Deng Pangilinan’s take of the current “traffic mess” at SM City Clark as some manifestation of “greed atop profit.”

At the Clark Freeport, has the motorcycle-at-the-outermost-lane restriction been rescinded? A number of times I had to compete with them for the innermost lane, internationally designated as passing lane or for fast vehicles.

And then there is the 60-kph speed limit supposed to be prescribed in the freeport. Ain’t that some Third World retardation to the claims of world-classness of Clark?

Fast-paced is an attribute of progress. Of course, this goes without any implication of recklessness, as breaking the speed limit is synonymous to.

And when’s the road improvement in Clark targeted to be completed? It’s but five days (as I write this) to the opening of the 30th SEAG and there are still a lot of asphalting going on.

No, I have too much respect for the Clark Development Corp. to even think of this as part of the games’ organizing committee’s kleptokakisto affliction.

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