Of trees and robberies - SunStar

Of trees and robberies

Jerome NeriAtty. Jerome G. Neri
The Scrutineer

Our Mayor wants to remove the center island at Pope John Paul II Ave. (formerly San Jose Dela Montana) in Mabolo in a bid to decongest traffic. This move is being opposed by a certain Balbino Guerrero who claims to be an environmentalist and a tree lover. He is a blogger and has support of netizens that our good Mayor got a lot of flak for his plans.

Mr. Guerrero offered alternative solutions to the traffic problem, such as better enforcement and good traffic planning. However, these are not solutions to our traffic problem, they are only part of the solution. Every single solution to the traffic problem in Cebu must be done. These solutions complement each other and are not alternatives. We have to do everything.

Trees along Pope John Paul Ave.
Trees along Pope John Paul Ave.

Cebu needs more space, and every meter Cebu can get for the roads will help, so I say let’s get rid of all those trees on Pope John Pall II Avenue and all other trees in the middle of the road in the entire Cebu Province. Trees do not belong in the middle of the road, they should be in parks and forests. The road is a hostile environment for the trees and will cause more harm than good to the trees. Trees in the middle of Pope John Paul II Avenue will also cause more harm than good to us humans.

These trees should be uprooted and transferred to a better place. Right now the roots of these trees are sucking up polluted water. The air these trees breath are likewise polluted. The more space these trees take up on the street, the less space there is for cars, which results in longer duration gridlocks and more air pollution. Bad for both trees and people. Common sense tells me that removing these trees and relocating them to a better environment is better for the trees.

Another argument that is being brought by Mr. Guerrero is that the trees make our City look beautiful, and it will be highly appreciated by APEC visitors and the 2016 International Eucharistic Congress. In reality though, the guests of those events are coming to Cebu for their respective businesses, they are here not to look at trees in the center island of a road. If these people want to see trees, they can go to the mountains, if they want to be in a concrete jungle then they can stay in the City. I have to hand it to Mayor Rama for choosing function over form.

ROBBERIES. As of this writing I already know of three people who got robbed at gun point at the Transcentral Highway in Balamban. What is wrong with our police? After the first one, the perpetrators should have been caught already as the robbery and hold-up takes place in the same vicinity, which is the narrow single lane bridge after West 35.

In the first case the thieves stopped their motorcycle at the single lane bridge and immediately approached the victim at gun point. The victim panicked, and the robber shot at the victim. Everything on them except their clothes and the car was stolen.

It was the same modus for the second victim, except this time, while approaching the car the perpetrator was already firing his gun in the air.

The third victim, the perpetrator set up a fake check-point, and when the victim stopped he was held-up at gun point.

An armed criminal operates in the same area, how difficult can it be for the police to find and arrest him?

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