Philippine economy

Cop who operates ‘colorum’ jeepneys threatens MMDA officer

Kimiko Sy

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Cop who operates ‘colorum’ jeepneys threatens MMDA officer

Kimiko Sy

Senior Police Officer 2 Ariel Aguilar tries to throw his weight around after the MMDA tows his 'colorum' jeepney. MMDA traffic supervising officer for operations Edison Nebrija stands his ground.

MANILA, Philippines – A policeman apparently met his match when he attempted to intimidate and even “bribe” an officer of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) who apprehended the driver of a colorum jeepney owned by the cop.

MMDA traffic supervising officer for operations Edison Nebrija posted the video of the encounter on Facebook, which involved Senior Police Officer 2 Ariel Aguilar.

Nebrija said in a phone interview that traffic enforcers flagged down a  jeepney driver when he loaded and unloaded passengers in a prohibited zone on September 8.

He said that the jeepney driver tried to flee when he was caught operating without proper documents and a franchise. The driver even hurled his license at authorities when the traffic enforces caught up with him, and even left his jeepney in the middle of the road. 

As the MMDA prepared to tow the vehicle, Aguilar arrived with the jeepeny driver, who turned out to be his nephew, and accused the MMDA men of illegal towing.

Nebrija tried to explain their procedures to the driver and the policeman. He said that if they had any complaint regarding their manner of enforcement, they could file it with the Traffic Adjudication Board. 

ARIEL AGUILAR. SPO2 Ariel Aguilar is the traffic enforcer of Quezon City Sector 6 who claims to own the towed 'colorum' jeepney.

Aguilar then threatened Nebrija,  “Subukan ninyo hatakin ‘yan, magkakamatayan tayo (Try towing that and we’ll both end up dead)!”

It was found out that the towed jeepney was the fourth jeepney of Aguilar to be  impounded by MMDA enforcers since September 6, or when the MMDA began the operation under the Inter-Agency Council on Traffic (I-ACT). 

“This is the 4th jeepney na na-tow sa kanya for two days. Then apparently, [may nagsabi sa amin na ] 20 to 25 [jeepneys] ata iyong pag-aari nya na pinoprotektahan niya,” Nebrija told Rappler. 

(This is his 4th jeepney to be towed in two days. Then apparently, [someone told us] that he has about 20 to 25 jeepneys, I think, that he is trying to protect.)

After the incident, Nebrija said that Aguilar even tried to bribe him in exchange for the release of the towed vehicle. He even accused the MMDA men of “carnapping.”

“Inofferan pa niya ako: Puwede ko ba dito na bayaran? Pakawalan ‘nyo na ‘yan. Bitawan mo na lang sa may Quezon City Memorial, bayaran kita dito (He even offered to pay me. He said: Can I pay you right here? Release it. Just leave it at the Quezon City Memorial. I’ll pay you right here),” Nebrija recalled.

Nebrija shared his frustration and disappointment  with Aguilar as the latter was a traffic enforcer who violated the laws he was supposed to uphold.

“This is why we can’t solve the traffic problem in [the area of] Quezon City Memorial Center. Despite how many times you apprehend them, they will always return on the road because they are well protected. When you apprehend them, a policeman will protect them,” Nebrija said in Filipino. 

As of September 12, Aguilar was relieved of his post as a traffic enforcer and was demoted to sentinel duty at the gate of Camp Karingal in Quezon City. 

The IACT focuses on clearing out road obstructions such as illegally parked vehicles, among other objectives.

It seeks to address traffic problems through inter-agency coordination and pooling of resources and personnel through joint operations involving the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), Land Transportation Office (LTO), Highway Patrol Group (HPG) , and local governments.

Aside from Metro Manila, IACT will also be implemented in Bulacan, Rizal, Laguna, and Cavite. – Rappler.com

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