Stephen Speaks gets out of traffic violation in Manila by ‘bribing’ officer with selfie
Stephen Speaks gets out of traffic violation in Manila by ‘bribing’ officer with selfie

STEPHEN SPEAKS. The acoustic act of Rockwell Ripperger is in Manila for a series of shows.

Stephen Speaks' Facebook page

He later clarifies that the driver didn't actually run a red light but was cut off by other vehicles. The MMDA says it is investigating the incident.

MANILA, Philippines – A Grab driver had all he needed in the passenger seat when he got pulled over by a traffic enforcer in Manila for running a red light.

Stephen Speaks, the acoustic act known for his hit “Passenger Seat,” shared in a February 17 Facebook post that he was in a Grab ride that got pulled over after the driver apparently ran a red light. 

“My tour crew bribed him [the officer] with a selfie with me to let us go. He said he sings ‘Passenger Seat’ at the karaoke bar. I was like…I can’t believe that actually worked,” Stephen said, adding cry-laughing emojis.

He edited his post to clarify that the driver’s dashcam showed that he didn’t actually run a red light. 

“The kid driving us showed the officer on his dashcam that he was clear of the light, someone stopped in front of him, and that’s why he didn’t make it all the way through…you all need to chill out, we aren’t criminals here,” he said.

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in a statement on Saturday, February 18, said that it was investigating the incident.

“The MMDA would like to stress that fame, power, and connections are not considered free passes to avoid being ticketed. It is wrong that a traffic violator was not given a citation ticket just because the passenger is a well-known figure,” it said.

“Likewise, drivers and motorists who get away with their traffic violations just by using their popularity and connections and boasting about it on social media are not praiseworthy and not something to be emulated for,” it added.

Stephen Speaks is the acoustic act of Rockwell Ryan Ripperger. He has been in Manila since February 8, performing in various venues, including the UP Fair, the Theater at Solaire, the Wish Bus, and various malls. He will be playing shows until February 23. –

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