VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Bong Go falsely claims Duterte never promised to solve Metro Manila’s traffic woes

Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, the former Special Assistant to the President, falsely claimed President Rodrigo Duterte did not promise to solve the traffic congestion in Metro Manila.

STATEMENT

In an Oct. 14 interview, Go was asked about the proposal for lawmakers to use public transportation every Monday to experience the traffic situation in the country.

He said:

"Hindi po nangangako si Pangulong Duterte na maso-solve niya [ang traffic], even during the [presidential] campaign of 2016. Ako po mismo narinig ko hindi po siya nangangako. Mahirap talaga. Maybe mabawasan lang po, bigyan ng konting solusyon iyong trapiko. Pero to solve, napakahirap talagang i-solve iyong traffic sa Metro Manila.

(Duterte did not promise he can solve traffic [congestion], even during the [presidential] campaign of 2016. I personally did not hear him make a promise. It is really hard. Maybe to reduce by providing a small solution to the traffic. But it is really hard to solve the traffic In Metro Manila).”

Source: News5Everywhere, Bong Go sa panukalang mag-commute ang mga mambabatas, Oct. 14, 2018, watch from 1:58 to 1:26

FACT

Go is wrong; Duterte himself admitted that the "only" promise he has failed to deliver on is solving EDSA traffic:

"Nangako ako sa inyo, wala akong pangako na hindi ko natupad except ‘yang EDSA [traffic] (I promised you. I have no unfulfilled promise, except the traffic in EDSA). Nangako ako ng free tuition, nandyan na ang batas. (I promised free tuition, the law is now there). Nangako ako ng free universal health care, pirmado ko na ang batas (I promised free universal health care, I have already signed the law)."

Source: RTVMalacanang, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) Campaign Rally (Speech) 2/23/2019, Feb. 24, 2019, watch from 44:59 to 45:21

In the third and final presidential debate in 2016, then candidate Duterte clarified his previous pronouncements that there was "no solution" to traffic congestion in Metro Manila:

“No, I said there is no immediate and urgent solution there. As I’m saying, as long as we continue to pump in new cars...traffic would always be a problem. It’s mass trans – ‘yung (the) mass transit...dagdagan mo ng train ang extension...dahan-dahan lang (You slowly add trains in the extension). That is doable in six years.”

Source: ABS-CBN News, PiliPinas Debates 2016, April 24, 2016, watch from 1:50:27 to 1:50:58

As a long-term solution, Duterte said in jest he would copy the suggestion of the late Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, his opponent then, of establishing a new "capital city" at Clark in Angeles City, Pampanga.

On what he thought was an "immediate solution" to the traffic problem, Duterte said it would take him "about a year or two to improve" Manila's existing metro and light rail transits and “build new railways.”

In his guesting at the Give Us This Day program of Davao-based preacher Apollo Quiboloy last June, Duterte boasted of significantly cutting down travel time from Cubao, Quezon City to Makati City:

"You just wait. Ayaw ko mag-ano (I don’t want to preempt) but things will improve maybe, God willing, December smooth sailing na (already). You don’t have to worry about traffic. Cubao and Makati is just about five minutes [away] na lang (only)."

Source: Apollo Quiboloy, GIVE US THIS DAY by Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy with special guest Philippine Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, June 8, 2019, watch from 2:08:55 to 2:09:13

Public Works and Highways Secretary Mark Villar said in a forum last July that the five-minute travel time from Makati to Quezon City will be possible through the Metro Manila Skyway Stage 3 project, which is scheduled to be completed in 2020.

In August, Duterte said he would just “let EDSA rot” after his call for emergency powers to address the traffic problem in EDSA was criticized as a tool for possible corruption. (See VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Duterte flip-flops on asking for emergency powers)


Sources

News5Everywhere, Bong Go sa panukalang mag-commute ang mga mambabatas, Oct. 14, 2018

Proposal for lawmakers to commute every Monday

RTVMalacanang, Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) Campaign Rally (Speech) 2/23/2019, Feb. 24, 2019

ABS-CBN News, PiliPinas Debates 2016, April 24, 2016

Apollo Quiboloy, GIVE US THIS DAY by Pastor Apollo C. Quiboloy with special guest Philippine Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, June 8, 2019

Secretary Carlos Dominguez, 2019 Pre-SONA Economic and Infrastructure Forum, PICC, Pasay City, July 1, 2019, July 2, 2019

Presidential Communications Operations Office, Inauguration of the 7.5-MWP Tumingad Solar Power Project (Speech) 8/21/2019, Aug. 21, 2019

Presidential Communications Operations Office, THE PRESIDENT’S REPORT TO THE PEOPLE 2016 - 2018

Presidential Communications Operations Office, President Duterte to new LNB officials: End corruption, Sept. 20, 2018



(Guided by the code of principles of the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter, VERA Files tracks the false claims, flip-flops, misleading statements of public officials and figures, and debunks them with factual evidence. Find out more about this initiative and our methodology.)

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