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Posts Tagged ‘corruption

A Bridge That Broke Its Promise

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Bridge of Promise by bobit (goaguila)

Typhoon Santi (Mirinae) washed away a four-decade-old, 20-ton-capacity steel Bridge of Promise at 7:30 a.m. today, when the Signal #3 typhoon was leaving Batangas City.  A family in their white Honda Civic car was crossing the bridge on their way to Manila when it actually collapsed and plunged into the murky Calumpang river. One of the three passengers, Malou Soriano, 39, a Provincial health worker, was rescued almost an hour later a few hundred meters downstream after people saw her hanging to a tree and was rushed to Saint Patrick’s Hospital in downtown Batangas City. As of this writing, search and rescue is still on-going for her husband, Romulo, 40, and her son, Nicolo, 3.

When I went to the site, the trusses appear to be intact hinting at the questionable structural integrity of the weakened bridge piers in the middle of the span which witnesses saw were the first to succumb to the raging water.  One driver told me that he felt the “weird shaking” of the weakened bridge yesterday before the storm’s onslaught prompting him to drive faster across the bridge for fear it would “give in”. I saw a Coast Guard rubber boat plying the river once downstream and twice upstream when I was there for  about an hour. No frogmen/divers in sight, neither were there any frantic rescuers. Only curious onlookers, mostly with their camphones, a guy with “Official Photographer” emblazoned on his shirt, and other rubbernecks. Talks were aplenty about premonitions, hindsights, and how corrupt politicians and disasters don’t go together. I asked if anyone saw the Mayor (Eddie Dimacuha). None in the crowd could answer me. “How long do you think they (the government) could rebuild this?” I asked a couple of guys next to me. “If not for Shell (which uses this bridge to transport their crude and refined oil), this bridge would not have been built,” the guy in white shirt retorted.  I disagreed. It’s election time, duh.

We are a nation of resilient people. But the worst disaster that we have yet to recover from is corruption. We didn’t need Ondoy, Pepeng and Santi to know this. I pray for Malou’s recovery and Romulo’s and Nicolo’s rescue. I pray for our enlightenment.

P.S. I searched online in vain to validate the details on the bridge and what not. I am an amateur blogger so the facts on the bridge are not fully vetted, except for the details of the disaster and the family which are in the news. [d]*

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Written by nealm

31 October 2009 at 10:05 AM