Ten days after the midterm elections, thousands of supporters of defeated Taguig City mayoral candidate Arnel Cerafica flocked the streets to protest the results last night, clogging the C5 and McKinley intersection and causing gridlock traffic in Manila’s main highway EDSA.
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said in an advisory last night that at 6:38pm, some 3,000 Cerafica supporters were blocking the C5-McKinley intersection.
The MMDA said the tail-end of the heavy traffic stretched all the way to the South Luzon Expressway exit on the EDSA northbound lane. It also extended to Cubao on the EDSA Southbound lane in Quezon City.
Cerafica lost to his rival former TV director Lino Cayetano. Cayetano had more than 175,000 votes, while Cerafica had over 111,000 votes.
Since traffic in Metro Manila is normally already bad, netizens were angry that the rally made it even worse. Many took to Twitter to rant.
@TravelerFromMNL said this morning that she was still furious about last night’s traffic.
“Imagine, I left my office in Makati at 4:30pm, then I got home in Taguig at 11pm?”
@jejejacinto said it was the worst traffic jam in his entire life.
“I walked from C5 Santo Niño to our home! It is like Morayta to Quezon City circle.”
Morayta in Manila and the Quezon City Circle are about 9.1-kilometer away from each other. Yikes.
@JacqRodriguez1 said, “Why of all places rally in C5? Don’t we have any guidelines on the proper location for these rallyists? Traffic in C5 on a normal/regular day is already heavy and the rallyists aggravated the situation.”
@sixteen_love said, “It’s heartbreaking to see tired workers/employees walking along C5 because jeeps are stuck in traffic. They’ve worked hard all day just to experience even worse traffic because of your selfish agenda.”
@TheBennnn addressed Cerafica regarding the traffic and said in a mix of English and Filipino: “You lost. Ok? Don’t block C5 as hundreds of thousands of people are supposed to be at home resting instead they are in the middle of the fucking traffic caused by your people. GROW UP AND TAKE A LOSS.”
Mayor-elect Cayetano issued a statement last night and spoke out against the protest.
“Instead of teaching his (Cerafica’s) supporters to do good, he put them in harm’s way. They should not have staged a rally at this time, and without a permit, in the middle of the street,” he said in Filipino.
He also urged his opponent’s supporters to just file an electoral protest and head home.
“To those who rallied in the streets, you should all go home and file a protest if that’s what you believe in. For those who got stuck in traffic, in the jeep, bus, car, who are stranded or who opted to walk, I am apologizing to you and to the families waiting for you.”
The MMDA said around 5am today that the intersection has been cleared of protesters.