Lack of basic decency a great challenge in Manila

January 28, 2020

Two incidents in Manila over the weekend are solid proofs as to how gargantuan the task of restoring basic cleanliness and orderliness is, no matter how hard one campaigns for it.

Mayor Kois Moreno is already sounding like a broken record, although he seems far from being tired of what he does. In all his speeches, interviews and social media posts,  he continuously calls for unity, support, cooperation, participation, what have you, for the difficult task of promoting the restoration of basic order and cleanliness in and outside homes.

In the wake of all these efforts came the news of two photos that went viral for being downright disgusting and offensive even for normal, law-abiding citizens. One concerned peeing, the other ‘defecating.’

One showed a public utility driver urinating on one of the wheels while his jeepney was parked on Carmen Planas Street in Recto.  The other was a photo of a man, later found to be a foreigner, sitting butt-naked on a huge display jar in Intramuros, appearing to be defecating.

Immediately after learning of the urinating jeepney driver, Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB) chief Dennis Viaje was ordered by Moreno to look for the said driver.      In no time, Viaje was able to locate him. 

Identified as Jay Salcedo Espenorio.  Finding out that he resides at No. 46 Hulo St., Dalandanan in Valenzuela City, Viaje said the mayor admonished the guy that just because he does not live in Manila, he would no longer have any regard for cleanliness in the city.  

Viaje said Espenorio apologized to the mayor and said he just was not able to contain his urine and admitted having stopped the jeepney, got off and then peed on one of the wheels without any regard that he was doing it in public view.   

According to Viaje, Mayor Kois forgave the driver but warned him never to do it again, not only in Manila but anywhere else because fate may not be as kind the next time around specially since what he had done is a violation of the law.

Then came the viral photo which was captioned ,‘Chinese National Caught Pooping at Philippines Historic Walled City.  On learning this, Mayor Kois directed Special Mayor’s Reaction Team (SMART) chief Maj. Jhun Ibay to investigate so that appropriate actions can be taken if necessary and warranted.  Ibay said the post turned out to be false as based on coordination with the  Intramuros Police Community Precinct, there was no sign of any defecation made in the said area.

The uploader of the said photo, a certain Dos Alvarados whom Ibay  identified as Ronald Joseph Alvarado, a student of TUP, Taguig, personally appeared in the SMART office to testify and confirm the authenticity of the said viral post.  He admitted having taken the said photo and one Edward Dela Cuesta, a professional photographer, ruled that the photo was authentic.

In his report to Mayor Kois, Maj. Ibay said the guy in the photo is a foreigner who happens to be a tourist. It would seem that the foreigner had the photo taken out of sheer fun, at the expense of the country and its image. He is now being hunted down to answer for offenses against decency and good custom and also for grave scandal.

What the driver and foreigner did were a blow to the sensitivies of the public and the endless efforts of Mayor Kois and the entire officials and residents of the city to keep Manila clean and decent.

With all the difficult problems Manila is facing, I can imagine how disappointed Mayor Kois is for having to deal with ‘pigs’ and petty lack of basic decency.

The good mayor is now reaping what had been sown during the past administration or lack of it.  The people had been accustomed to doing what is wrong, knowing there is no government or anyone who would take them to account for their deeds.

The phrase ‘God first’ which Mayor Kois utters at the end of every speech is apt.  He would really need God’s help to turnaround Manila from what it had become.

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