METRO BRIEFS: Sept. 10, 2019
One of Pasig City’s ‘Blue Boys’ arrested for extortion
MANILA, Philippines — One of Pasig City’s “Blue Boys” was arrested on Sunday after he allegedly tried to extort money from two security guards he had flagged down for not wearing a helmet. Rante Caberto, 36, a member of the Traffic Parking Management Office, was charged with robbery with intimidation after the Pasig City police staged an entrapment operation against him. The police were approached by the two victims, Gerald Viernes and Marco Leobrera, on Aug. 31. They claimed Caberto demanded P2,000 from them then confiscated Leobrera’s cell phone when they were able to give only P1,400. Caberto reportedly told them to return the next day with the rest of the money before the phone would be returned, but they went instead to the police to file a complaint. —Matthew Reysio-Cruz
Lawyer for Chinese suspect facing bribery raps
MANILA, Philippines — After attempting to buy their way out of a trafficking case, a lawyer for a Chinese national and his two accomplices instead ended up facing charges of bribery, according to the National Capital Region Police Office.
The three suspects — lawyer Joselito Vasquez, 56; 29-year-old Chinese national Huang Xiangfei; and driver Meljohn Palma — were arrested by Regional Special Operations Unit (RSOU) agents at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig last Friday.
Vasquez was supposedly the lawyer for Li Xuemei, one of two Chinese nationals arrested last Wednesday for allegedly running a sex den in Makati City.
Also arrested at the time was Kuang Meiting, also a Chinese national.
Vasquez had reportedly attempted to bribe the RSOU chief with P2 million for Li’s release.
After giving the police P1 million, he was arrested with Palma who was carrying P200,000. —Krixia Subingsubing
Valenzuela City offers free e-trike rides to bus passengers
MANILA, Philippines — Some 20 e-tricycles have been deployed to Valenzuela Gateway Complex (VGC) to offer free rides to passengers of northbound provincial buses that stop at the proposed interim terminal.
The e-tricycles will transport passengers to six tricycle terminals around VGC. Launched last week, the free transportation service has already been availed of by over 300 passengers.
The first route starts from VGC and will pass by Maysan Road and its inner streets while the second route will traverse East Service Road.
The third route will make three stops on Paso de Blas Road. The e-trikes are available every day from 5:30 a.m. to
Shuttle drivers are in red vests with their vehicles bearing a body number and stickers that say “free shuttle service.” —Nikka G. Valenzuela
Makati City gov’t asks DPWH to fast-track roadworks
MANILA, Philippines — Tired of being blamed by the public for the gridlock caused by Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) projects, the Makati City government has asked the agency to speed up the roadworks.
Upon the orders of Mayor Abby Binay, the city’s Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW) wrote to Arleen Beltran of the DPWH Metro Manila 2nd District Engineering Office.
“We would like to request your good office to fast-track the completion of ongoing and pending DPWH flood control projects in Makati City to prevent the recurrence of massive flooding in certain parts of the city during a downpour, especially this rainy season,” DEPW head Lauro Reyes said in a letter dated Aug. 30.
The ongoing projects were on Makati Avenue and Daffodil, Begonia, Aster, Lilac, Mullein and Azalea Streets.
He noted that the projects in these areas were the cause of massive flooding and ensuing traffic jam on Aug. 24, during the onset of severe Tropical Storm “Ineng” (international name: Bailu).
Reyes asked Beltran for a definite target date of completion for the projects, pointing out that the city government had been unduly blamed by residents and commuters. —Dexter Cabalza
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