MANILA, Philippines - Lawmakers are now also willing to give up their “wang-wangs” and get stuck in traffic just like President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III.
"If the President submits to non-use of wang-wang and other special privileges in traffic situations, who are we to go beyond it? We are lawmakers and not law breakers," Lakas-KAMPI-CMD's Marikina City 1st District Rep. Marcelino Teodoro said in statement.
Teodoro, despite being a member of the past administration's political party, said lawmakers must heed "the call of the highest official of the land."
He said if congressmen, as lawmakers, could not follow simple traffic rules, they should not have the right to create laws.
Teodoro also urged Congress to strengthen agencies that implement traffic rules and laws against the illegal use of special plates and wang-wang.
"If the implementation of the law is clear and strict then these illegalities will be avoided," he said.
On Friday, President Aquino came 30 minutes late for the turnover rites of the Armed Forces of the Philippines at Camp Aguinaldo after getting stuck in traffic on EDSA.
The presidential convoy went along the snail-paced traffic, without using blinkers and blaring sirens. It also stayed on the same lane all the way from Cubao to the Camp Aguinaldo area.
Gabriela Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan said in the same statement that congressmen should avoid abusing the use of the congressional protocol plate No. 8.
"Also, the number 8 plate should be used judiciously. My personal car in Davao City does not have an '8' plate while my Manila vehicle uses that plate only on official trips," Ilagan said.
Teodoro, for his part, said the abusive use of the No. 8 plate is condemnable.
Ilagan said there should be rules on the congressmen's and other public officials' use of special plates and wang-wang during road trips.
"Only during emergencies should the 'wang-wang' be used and the number 8 car plates should not be seen in nightclubs and similar establishments," Ilagan said.
Also on Friday, police traffic enforcers seized the No. 8 plate from former Quezon City congresswoman Annie Susano.
Susano's vehicle was stopped by the police's Highway Patrol Group and brought to Camp Crame, where the protocol plate number was removed and confiscated.
In his inaugural address, President Aquino promised to the people that the public officials' bullying days on roads are over.
"Kayo ba ay nagtiis na sa trapiko para lamang masingitan ng isang naghahari-hariang de-wang-wang sa kalsada? Ako rin," Aquino said in his address.
"Walang lamangan, walang padrino at walang pagnanakaw. Walang wang-wang, walang counterflow, walang tong. Panahon na upang tayo ay muling magkawanggawa," he added.