LTO summons driver who ran over enforcer’s foot in Caloocan
MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has issued a show-cause order to the driver and the owner of a Ford Everest that ran over an LTO enforcer’s foot while being flagged for a traffic violation in Caloocan City.
It was Renan Melitante, the chief of the LTO Intelligence and Investigation Division (IID), who issued the order, according to an LTO statement issued on Monday.
The driver, the LTO statement added, was reportedly a relative of a city mayor in Metro Manila.
“A separate show cause order was also issued to the registered owner of the SUV,” the LTO said.
The LTO did not identify the driver and the owner of the vehicle. But it gave an account of the incident.
It happened on the Edsa Busway in Caloocan. Butch Sebastian, a member of the LTO Field Enforcement Division, said he instructed the Everest driver to move forward after attempting to make a U-turn in the wrong lane.
Instead of moving forward, the driver turned on the vehicle’s blinkers and siren and continued to steer to the left, running over Sebastian’s foot.
In a statement, Sebastian said the driver only stopped the car when he knocked on the driver’s side window. The driver tried to escape using his blinker and siren, but Sebastian blocked his way.
Under the Land Transportation and Traffic Code, only authorized government vehicles such as ambulances, fire trucks, and police cars are allowed to use law enforcement vehicle accessories such as blinkers and sirens.
“Time and again I have stated that the LTO will not hesitate to prosecute erring drivers regarding the unauthorized use of sirens and blinkers, but most especially those who commit violations against LTO enforcers and any traffic enforcer for that matter, who are on the road fulfilling their duties to keep our roads and the motoring public safe,” said Assistant Secretary Teofilo Guadiz III, the LTO chief, said.
“Our country’s traffic laws apply to everyone. We will not spare anyone from prosecution regardless of whoever they are or their status in life,” he added.
The LTO said it was up to Sebastian if he would want to file a criminal complaint against the driver, in which case it would give him all legal assistance.
The show-cause order directs the driver and the owner to appear at the IID office on Oct. 19 at 10:00 a.m. and submit a written comment or explanation as to why they should not be charged with obstruction of traffic, reckless driving, use of unauthorized accessories, not procuring a license, and not following the procedure in case of an accident.
According to the LTO, it appears that the driver does not live anymore in the address he has been giving for several years.
Meanwhile, the enforcer appealed to motorists to respect traffic laws and regulations, saying in Filipino:
“As a law enforcer from the LTO, I have a duty to perform, and I am ready to put my life in danger to fulfill it. I know who I am.
“If I’m not respected as a person, then I hope the uniform will be respected. I was not lacking in making gestures [to the driver]. So there was communication. I just hope there will be respect for our duty. We are not enemies. We don’t just cite [drivers]. We also give education for the safety of motorists and for the safety of all.”