By: Jaimie Rose A. Aberia
Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada yesterday warned motorists against bribing traffic enforcers and said they will face the legal consequences of their wrongdoings.
Estrada issued the warning after the body cameras of members of the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau revealed that a number of apprehended motorists offered money or negotiated with traffic enforcers to get away from their traffic violations.
“As we have seen in the videos, it seems many motorists are used to openly bribing traffic authorities. Sanay na sanay, e. But next time, once we catch them doing that, we will arrest them and charge them in court,” Estrada said.
Among the charges, Estrada said, is corruption of public officials as provided for under Article 212 of the Revised Penal Code, which has a corresponding jail term of six months to six years.
“Our traffic enforcers always get the blame, they’re the ones who are always being accused of extortion, asking for bribes, money, but as we’ve seen so far, motorists play a big part,” he said.
The Manila mayor said the principal reason he required enforcers to wear body cameras while on duty is to prevent corruption, but the device exposed motorists’ wrongdoings instead.
“We will use these body cam footages as evidence to charge them in court,” Estrada added.
Since the MTPB procured 48 body cameras, incidents of extortion and other illegal activities among traffic enforcers have practically dropped to zero, MTPB chief Dennis Alcoreza said, adding that they are planning to equip all 300 enforcers with a camera in the future.
Usually worn over the shirt, a body camera is a video recording system that is typically utilized by law enforcement personnel to record their interactions with the public or gather video evidence at crime scenes and has been known to increase both officer and citizen accountability.