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Go ahead, catch erring MMDA men on video

Public encouraged to upload clip to agency’s website
/ 04:40 AM December 05, 2014

MANILA, Philippines—Right after he ordered the suspension of a traffic constable caught on video receiving bribes from bus conductors, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chair Francis Tolentino urged the public on Thursday to take videos of any MMDA personnel involved in illegal activities and upload the footage on the Metro Solusyon website.

“I am encouraging motorists and the general public as well to use video cameras to record and document perceived illegal or unlawful activities by our employees or by anybody to help attain a disciplined society, and also for evidentiary purposes,” Tolentino said.

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On Wednesday, a two-minute video uploaded on the Facebook page of car magazine Top Gear Philippines showed an MMDA traffic constable collecting money from the conductors of buses picking up passengers in front of a mall near the Edsa-Shaw Boulevard intersection.

The netizen who took the video asked other people to share it, saying he had yet to hear from the MMDA after he brought it to the agency’s attention.

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400K views in 24 hours

“He doesn’t do his job and he just sits around. He only stands up to collect money from the buses (P20 per bus). I see this almost every day,” he added.

Since its posting, the video has gone viral, generating 400,000 views in just 24 hours. It has also been shared by around 8,000 Facebook users.

In response, Tolentino said the MMDA had “suspended indefinitely” the traffic enforcer whom it refused to identify. “If proven guilty, he faces possible termination from the service,” he added.

At the same time, Tolentino stressed that he would not tolerate any of his men’s involvement in illegal activities as he urged the public to capture their activities on video and upload the clip on the agency’s Metro Solusyon website (www.metrosolusyon.mmda.gov.ph.).

“The public can report complaints or incidents involving MMDA employees, laud or commend a good deed done by MMDA personnel through the website,” the agency said in a statement.

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The MMDA has been criticized by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in the past few days for its policy of encouraging its personnel to videotape motorists who violate traffic regulations after one of its traffic constable, Jorbe Adriatico, accused a Maserati-driving businessman, Joseph Russel Ingco, of punching him last month.

According to Adriatico, Ingco became angry when he saw that the traffic constable was videotaping his movements, including his earlier attempt to make an illegal U-turn at the corner of Araneta and Quezon Avenues.

Privacy violation

The VACC said the policy was a violation of a person’s privacy since the footage may be used by criminals, including kidnappers, scouting for victims.

The CHR, meanwhile, expressed concern over the policy, saying it should first be studied.

Tolentino, however, said the videos taken by its personnel serve the same purpose as those captured by closed-circuit television cameras.

He also stressed that under the MMDA’s rules on the use of video cameras, there should be “a causal relationship between the event being recorded and the perceived traffic violation.”

In addition, the video recording should not be intrusive and used only as evidence against the party involved. The motorist can also ask for a copy of the footage, according to the MMDA.

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TAGS: CHR, Commission on Human Rights, Francis Tolentino, Jorbe Adriatico, Joseph Russel Ingco, Maserati, Metro Solusyon, Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, MMDA, Motoring, traffic constable, VACC, Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption
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