Estrada orders MTPB to arrest fake traffic enforcers preying on motorists

news.mb.com.ph | By: Analou De Vera | August 26, 2017

 

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada has ordered the city’s traffic and parking bureau to arrest fake traffic enforcers who have been preying on motorists in the capital city.

Citing a report from Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau chief Dennis Alcoreza, Estrada said those men posing as traffic enforcers were former MTPB members whom he fired in November.

Estrada fired the 690 personnel and traffic enforcers of the MTPB that month due to reports of extortion and various illegal activities.

“I will never, ever let this pass. Nakakahiya. We should all arrest these people and make them answer in the court of law,” Estrada said.

Alcoreza meanwhile has already formed a unit to conduct entrapment operations against the fake traffic enforcers. In a series of operations that began in May, three men have been arrested. They were identified as Benjamin Baliwag, Enrique Duque and Kenneth Garcia.

The three were among the 690 MTPB men who were fired  and were unable to reapply due to their bad records, according to Alcoreza.

“Ang nangyayari (What happens), they operate at night, mostly targeting delivery trucks and even tow trucks, still using their old uniforms, claiming they were their official escorts. They would then demand what they call ‘SOP’ or money from these drivers,” said Alcoreza.

Last Monday, three more former MTPB enforcers were arrested after trying to extort P5,000 cash from a driver of an SUV whom they flagged down for a supposed speeding violation; the driver turned out to be an undercover MTPB traffic officer.

The suspects were identified as a certain Jerome Miller, Mark Buzeta and Rogelio Balatbat. Found in their possession were fake tickets and the money they allegedly collected from their previous victims.

Alcoreza assured that MTPB special unit is still on the hunt for these fake traffic enforcers. He reminded the public that legitimate MTPB enforcers are on duty from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. only.

After 10 p.m., only selected traffic enforcers with verifiable mission orders are allowed to operate but only on special occasions, he explained.

Alcoreza said: “When you are flagged down by a uniformed MTPB enforcer or anyone in civilian clothes identifying him- or herself as member of MTPB past 10 at night, demand a mission order and ID. When they can’t present any, they’re fake. Call for help.”