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WATCH: ‘Fiscal’ refuses to be ticketed for illegal parking, hits enforcer’s motorcycle

/ 04:43 PM August 15, 2018

What would have been a simple incident of being issued a parking ticket turned into a full-blown argument involving a handful of traffic enforcers, the police and two motorists, after the driver refused to hand her license for illegal parking. 

A video from Gadget Addict, a vlog which follows the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), captured the MMDA in the process of apprehending a driver for illegal parking yesterday, Aug. 14. The driver had parked in front of a drug store, but her black Hyundai van was jutting out of the parking space, making an obstruction on the road.

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This video isn't suitable for children. What are your thoughts?If you've watched my videos, you'll know the processes of the MMDA. If a vehicle is illegally parked and there's no driver, the enforcers will wait a certain amount of time before calling in a tow truck to take away the vehicle.If the driver arrives in time, they'll be asked to hand over their license so a ticket can be issued and then they're told to move the vehicle.There's two reasons for asking to see the license:1) To ensure the ticket is issued to the correct person2) To make sure the driver actually has a license. You might be surprised by how many drivers attempt to move illegally parked cars and then admit to not having a license. If the driver can't show a license, the assumption would be that they don't have one and the vehicle would be impounded.

Posted by Gadget Addict on Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The video began at a point when the driver was asked to park her vehicle at the side. The woman then asks in a raised voice what the rule was with towing.

MMDA can tow illegally parked vehicles if they are left unattended. In this case, the tow truck driver honks the horn five times to warn the owner of the vehicle and five times again after one minute. If there is no response, the vehicle will be towed and the driver will be issued a ticket at the impounding area.

Edison “Bong” Nebrija, commander of MMDA’s Task Force Special Operations, tried to talk to her calmly and said there was a “five-minute rule” where the truck honks the horn.

The woman said she already arrived after she was called, was ready to leave and insisted she had arrived in five minutes. However, Nebrija explained that the five minutes does not start from when she was called. He also said that if she disagreed with them, she was free to file a complaint.

The woman insisted otherwise, but even then she was asked for her license. She and the enforcer continued to argue about her case. After some time, Nebrija said her vehicle would be towed.

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When the tow truck arrived in front of her car, she continued to insist that her violation of the five-minute rule had yet to be proven, even if she was already informed that she had illegally parked her vehicle.

It was also pointed out that her vehicle’s plate number ended in four, meaning that it was coding on a Tuesday. This she contested again, saying that she wasn’t on a “main thoroughfare.”

One officer said there was no such condition. “Eh di sige, charge-an mo (Go ahead, charge it),” she said.

Over the phone, Nebrija discussed the situation with MMDA’s legal team. “Alam ko na san hahantong (I knew where this could lead) when she said she’s a fiscal so I made sure we will do it right,” he explained in a Facebook comment.

The enforcer who had been hit by her vehicle, with the last name Azures, tried to speak to her so that she could turn over her license. She accused him of blocking her way, but he said it was because she was resisting apprehension. She still refused, even if he explained that her car was over the sidewalk, and that in itself was the violation.

Eventually, a police officer approached her and asked for her license and the vehicle’s official receipt and certificate of registration. He asked her to go to a police station in Balintawak. The video showed a scratch on the left side of the car above the front wheel which seems to have come from hitting the enforcer’s motorcycle. She said she would surrender her license at the precinct.

She was soon joined by her husband, a man in a purple shirt who was speaking to Azures. Again, her violation was explained. The man asked why the apprehension wasn’t “contactless.”

The No Contact Traffic Apprehension Policy is only applicable to areas of Metro Manila with MMDA CCTV cameras and is a supplement to MMDA traffic enforcers, covering moving violations.

Azures said he was part of the MMDA’s Task Force Special Operations, whose duties include towing illegally parked vehicles and clearing sidewalks.

However, the man didn’t seem to want to listen to authorities, and instead began to rage against Azures, claiming that the woman was pregnant and could get a miscarriage because of stress.

Pag ito nakunan, kayo sisisihin ko (If she gets a miscarriage, you are the ones I will blame),” he said and told the woman to give her license.

After the woman handed her license, Azures asked, “Paano po yung damage ng motor (How about the damage to my motorcycle)?”

The man in the purple shirt claimed that after being ticketed, he would rush the woman to the emergency because the woman was bleeding. He also pointed out that there were so many enforcers against one woman.

Then he revealed she was a prosecutor: “Alam n’yo fiscal yan? Di niya sinasabi, di niya ginagamit posisyon niya (Do you know she’s a prosecutor? She’s not saying it, she’s not using her position).

Azures said they still had to file a police report because of the accident. The man, now in an angrier tone, repeated again that the woman was bleeding.

Azures said that the motorcycle’s damage would be charged to him. “Maawa naman kayo (Please have pity) sir,” he pleaded in a calm tone.

He even asked if the man could accompany them rather than the woman. When asked who was behind them in another vehicle, the man said it was his bodyguard. Azures asked if he could drive for her instead so they could file the police report. However, the man ignored this suggestion and drove away.

The video seems to have worked up netizens, garnering 10 million views and over 100,000 comments in about 19 hours, as of this writing. Many sympathized with the officers, such as one Mike Ong who said he witnessed the incident.

“I must say that the MMDA had enough patience in dealing with the situation. I witnessed how the arrogant male driver just drove away in the end. There was an absence of total respect for the enforcer in this situation, I hope that they will pursue the case against this couple,” he said.

Another commenter, Kristine de Jesus, vouched for Azures, who she identified as Larry Azures. “When my daughter’s car broke down along Edsa-Taft, it was Larry Azures and the other MMDA enforcers who helped them push the car to a safe place, so to speak, they were considerate enough, will not just tow any vehicle,” she said.

“Clearly this is a case of harassment and resisting arrest,” she added.

Others believed there should have been more action taken against the driver. “Just arrest that arrogant lady, have her license revoked and have the vehicle towed and impounded. That is why it is difficult to enforce the law because MMDA is too lenient on matters such as this,” said one commenter, Ted Thess.

Some have also gone as far as identifying the couple. According to the man’s supposed Facebook account, which seems to have been taken down as of this writing, he is a prosecution attorney at the Department of Justice (DOJ).

In a press briefing today, Aug 15, MMDA general manager Jojo Garcia clarified that the vehicle could have been towed straight away, even without waiting for five minutes.

However, the MMDA gives some allowance to motorists so that their vehicle will not be towed. When the MMDA arrives on scene, it gives motorists five minutes to go to their vehicle, but will still ticket the driver. Garcia explained that the “five-minute rule” doesn’t mean that the motorist can leave with their vehicle without a ticket.

It was also explained that a license is requested because if not, the vehicle cannot be driven and will be towed. The license is also the basis of the filing of the ticket.

Garcia said MMDA has written a letter to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) recommending that the woman’s driver’s license be suspended or be revoked because of her attitude. They also said the woman works at the DOJ and that they would write Secretary Menardo Guevarra for action on their employee. JB

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TAGS: illegal parking, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), MMDA Task Force Special Operations, resisting apprehension, towing
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