MMDA affirms sacking of traffic constable for extortion

MANILA-- The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Thursday affirmed its earlier decision to dismiss a traffic enforcer who extorted money from a motorist for a lane violation in Quezon City in exchange for cancellation of the traffic ticket issued against the latter.

The MMDA-Legal and Legislative Affairs Staff (MMDA-LLAS) subsequently denied the motion for reconsideration filed by Traffic Constable Rolando Cervo, saying that the sworn affidavits of the complainant, Dr. Rommel Torres, is sufficient to bolster the grave misconduct case against him.

MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim said the affirmation of the decision by the agency's legal body only proves that the agency will not condone misconduct of its personnel.

We vow to cleanse our ranks of bad eggs and we are staying true to our word. May this case and others like this one be a wake-up call to those who might have lost their paths and strayed in rendering public service, Lim said in a statement.

The MMDA-LLAS maintained that the sworn statement of complainant in this case may be admitted and appreciated in evidence in lieu of his direct testimony in finding substantial evidence.

In his motion, Cervo merely denied the allegation against him by Torres, the MMDA-LLAS added.

Respondent Cervo never contended, but in fact admitted that he was the duty officer at the time on the date and place of the incident. He likewise did not challenge the fact that he was identified as the person who apprehended and demanded PHP500 from complainant, the MMDA-LLAS said in the comment on Cervo's motion.

Records showed that on Oct. 5, 2014 around 7 p.m., Cervo flagged down Torres, who was with his wife that time, near the U-turn slot in front of EDSA northbound near a shopping mall for lane violation. He told Torres that he should not be on the lane for vehicles using the U-turn slot.

The traffic enforcer got Torres' license and issued a citation ticket to the driver, adding that he has to undergo seminar for the infraction.

Another traffic enforcer, whom the complainant identified as Jonathan Cabillon, went in front of vehicle and inspected the driver's license while Cervo talked to Torres.

After learning that Torres lives in Nueva Ecija, Cervo offered the driver the option to give an incentive or percentage of PHP500 to him in exchange of cancelling the citation ticket.

When Torres was about to give the money to the traffic enforcer, Cervo changed his mind and demanded P1,000 from the driver. After giving the amount, Torres was allowed to leave the area.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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