Despite controversy, Inton still traffic czar, says Belmonte
MANILA, Philippines — Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte said on Tuesday that she was not accepting city traffic czar Ariel Inton’s resignation despite the controversy that erupted after he smashed the window of a parked car during a road clearing operation last week.
“I filed my resignation because I don’t want the mayor to be dragged into this,” said Inton, the head of the city’s Task Force for Transport and Traffic Management, in an interview.
A video uploaded online by the traffic management office showed him smashing the window of a 1990 Nissan Maxima. The car had reportedly been parking on the sidewalk on Timog Avenue for almost two years.
Under a 2004 city ordinance that allowed local authorities to confiscate illegally parked vehicles, these cars were already considered “garbage” from a legal standpoint, Inton said.
In a radio interview, the car owner said he had filed a carjacking complaint against Inton, aside from administrative charges for abuse of authority in the Office of the Ombudsman.
Inton issued a public apology last week, saying he “overdid it” due to pressure to meet the deadline set by the Department of the Interior and Local Government for mayors to clear roads and sidewalks of all obstructions.
“Sometimes we commit lapses, and this is one of them,” he said. —Mariejo S. Ramos
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