April 26, 2021
MMDA Chairman Orders Investigation of Two Enforcers in Viral Extortion Video;
Places Them on Preventive Suspension
Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos today ordered the suspension of two personnel from the agency's Traffic Discipline Office (TDO) allegedly involved in extortion, pending investigation.
Chairman Abalos served the notice of charge to traffic enforcers Edmon Belleca and Christian Malemit, who are permanent employees of the agency.
Belleca and Malemit were placed under 90-day preventive suspension pending the result of investigation for the following charges: extortion, grave misconduct, and other offenses punishable by dismissal from the service.
"Upon learning of the incident, I immediately ordered our TDO and Legal Department to conduct a thorough investigation,” Abalos said. “I am very angry with what they did, they have besmirched the name of the agency. However, administrative procedures require that they be given due process.”
According to the MMDA chief, because of the gravity of the offense and the evidence against them, they are preventively suspended.
The incident, a video of which went viral on social media, occured on Friday, April 23 around 3pm to 4pm at the vicinity of EDSA-A. Bonifacio split towards NLEX.
Based on the video footage taken and uploaded by complainant Miriel Custodio, Belleca and Malemit asked for P1,000 as bribe money in exchange for non-apprehension for violation of Republic Act 10913 or the Anti-Distracted Driving Act and Reckless Driving.
Abalos emphasized the agency does not and will never condone such misconduct.
"We will not tolerate this wrongdoing among our ranks. I will not let anyone tarnish the image of the agency," Abalos stressed.
For his part, Teroy Taguinod, MMDA TDO head, expressed dismay over the enforcers' behavior.
“I am disappointed on the alleged extortion committed by Belleca and Malemit. We frequently remind our enforcers to do the right thing as public servants and they should not engage in illegal activities,” Taguinod said.
Further, the MMDA chief urged the motorists and the public to report any scrupulous activities among MMDA personnel for appropriate actions.
MMDA Chairman Benhur Abalos orders the 90-day preventive suspension of two traffic personnel who allegedly asked for P1,000 as bribe money from a motorist following a Facebook post that went viral on April 23. Abalos served the notice of charge to traffic enforcers Edmon Belleca and Christian Malemi, pending the result of investigation for the following charges: extortion, grave misconduct, and other offenses punishable by dismissal from the service. Abalos emphasized the agency does not and will never condone such misconduct.
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