MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino has asked the poll body to consider “filing election offenses against erring candidates who would cause unnecessary traffic jams in any of their street campaign activities.”
In its petition filed before the Comelec, MMDA pointed out that several election campaigns, caravans, rallies and other similar election-related activities are being carried out in major thoroughfares in Metro Manila greatly affect the “already congested flow of traffic along major thoroughfares.”
Underscoring the gravity of the traffic problems caused by campaign motorcades, Tolentino said Comelec should treat this act as a serious election offense, punishable, in most serious cases, by disqualification.
“We should draft and implement strict guidelines in the holding of such activity, and any form of violation should be taken seriously, regardless of political affiliations. The candidates’ right to campaign is not absolute,” the MMDA chief said.
“To mitigate the effects of traffic congestion brought by election-related activities, there is a necessity to regulate the conduct of election-related activities, particularly motorcades and caravans along major thoroughfares of Metro Manila,” the MMDA said.
The major roads identified by the MMDA are Edsa, C-5, Quezon Avenue, Marcos Highway, Commonwealth Avenue, Espana Boulevard, E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, Ramon Magsaysay Avenue, President Quirino Avenue, Aurora Boulevard, Ortigas Avenue, Shaw Boulevard, MIA Road, Domestic Road, Roxas Boulevard, Araneta Avenue, AH. Lacson Street, Rizal Avenue and A. Bonifacio Avenue.
As a driver in these busy roads, I also don’t want to suffer traffic jams during this terrible hot weather. I was thinking “why not have mini rallies?” Let me explain.
When I helped out with my sister’s campaign in the US 2010 midterm elections, we did mini rallies ten days before the election day. One was held at 6:30 AM and the other at around 5:30 PM during the peak hours. During these times, a lot of cars are on their way to work or going home depending on the time. This is workable for local campaigning but what about the busy streets?
Are mini-rallies better than motorcades? At the very least, drivers and commuters will be entertained or rather informed.