October 10, 2016
MMDA Continues Cleansing of Ranks
The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is continuously cleansing its ranks of unscrupulous personnel in light of the recent arrest of one of its traffic enforcers for alleged drug-pushing, and four other traffic personnel for extorting money from motorists.
Suspected drug pusher Dexter Lucas, 43, of MMDA Motorcycle Unit, was caught in a sting operation by Quezon City anti-narcotics agents last October 9, Sunday, around 4 a.m. at the corner of Edsa and Muñoz.
Police report showed that authorities apprehended Lucas after handing a small transparent plastic sachet in exchange of P500 bill. Lucas also introduced himself to the undercover police officers as a member of the Philippine National Police – Highway Patrol Group.
After learning of the incident, the MMDA leadership has immediately imposed a 90-day suspension against Lucas, a regular employee of the agency, and will conduct its own investigation into the matter. He was previously suspended for operating a colorum vehicle last July.
Lucas is now jailed at the Quezon City Police District detention center.
Meanwhile, the MMDA- Legal and Legislative Administrative Services recommended the filing of administrative cases against traffic constables Crisaldo Lopez, Victor Santos, Mark Richard de Guia, and Resty Padel for extorting money from motorists.
Lopez, a regular employee of the Traffic Discipline Office assigned at the TDO-Southern Traffic Enforcement District was seen on the MMDA CCTV monitor accepting bribe money from a motorist at the intersection of MIA Road and Roxas Blvd. last October 7.
Meanwhile, De Guia and Padel, both assigned at the Edsa Special Traffic and Transport Zone, were caught by a motorist on video last October 8, allegedly negotiating for the payment of money in exchange for not issuing a violation ticket. The incident reportedly happened along Edsa-Magallanes southbound.
Like Lucas, the four traffic personnel were immediately placed under 90-day preventive suspension pending summary dismissal.
If found guilty, the traffic personnel will be sacked from the service.
As this developed, MMDA General Manager Tim Orbos is set to meet with the Traffic Sector Heads to discuss command responsibility among them.
“This is to remind them that it is their responsibility to be aware of the activities of the people under their command and they will be ultimately accountable for any action of their subordinates,” Orbos said.
The MMDA official also said they will start posting notice to the public bearing the photos and criminal and administrative cases of MMDA personnel within the agency premises.
Orbos said that this way, the general public will be aware of those erring personnel of the agency and avoid illegal transactions with them.
“If we acknowledge and recognize the good deeds of our people, we have also the responsibility to the public to warn them to stay away from those unscrupulous personnel,” he added.
In the next few days, Orbos said they will soon launch on the official MMDA website, www.mmda.gov.ph, “Report Kotong”, a portal where the public are encouraged to report any illegal activities of its personnel.
“We are calling on the public to be on the lookout for these erring traffic personnel on our streets. We want them to help us in weeding out these people as a way to better serve them,” he said.