MANILA – “Respect for each other.”
This was the appealed of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Francis Tolentino on the series of attacks by motorists to some of their traffic constables.
”Ang isang lesson dito yung aspeto ng respeto. Yung paggalang natin sa isat isa, bawat driver, ibang pribadong motorista, sa batas trapiko at sa otoridad. Buhayin natin ang respeto sa isat isa hindi lamang po sa enforcer kundi sa kapwa driver at sa pasahero,” Tolentino said on Sunday during the agency’s weekly radio program.
The MMDA chief made the appeal after traffic constable Sonny Acosta died when he was hit and dragged by a furious motorist.
Acosta flagged down an Isuzu Sportivo for being in the lane designated for provincial buses in Cubao, Quezon City last December 19.
The traffic enforcer asked for the motorist’s license, but the driver, identified as Mark Ian Libunao, sped off even while his hand was stuck in the car’s window. He was dragged.
He said enforcers also deserve respect as they are just performing their duties in manning traffic in the metropolis.
Traffic constables, he pointed out, are just strictly implementing traffic regulations so they should be spared from any harm.
The Quezon City Prosecutors Office has filed charges of Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Serious Physical Injuries and Driving with an Expired Driver’s License against Libunao.
The MMDA plans to upgrade the charges to murder against Libunao.
Last November, MMDA constable Jorbe Adriatico was punched and dragged for about 500 meters by a Maserati-driver identified as Joseph Russel Ingco in Quezon City.
Authorities said Ingco assaulted traffic constable Adriatico while taking a video of the driver attempting to violate a traffic rule on Araneta Ave. corner Quezon Ave.
MMDA assistant general for operations Emerson Carlos said Ingco’s actions was a clear and blatant disregard of authority and grave abuse of the privilege of being granted a driver’s license.
Criminal charges for direct assault upon an agent of person in authority.
In 2012, another MMDA constable – Saturnino Fabros – was slapped and verbally assaulted by motorist Robert Blair Carabuena in Quezon City.