CCTO: Bribery a ‘two-way street’
MANDAUE CITY, Cebu -So whose fault was it?
The enforcer who received the bribe? Or the driver of the apprehended vehicle who offered the bribe?
This question now stands amid the fuss brought about by the surfacing of a ‘kotong’ video showing a traffic enforcer of Cebu City receiving a bribe from a driver who was apprehended for a still unknown violation.
The enforcer, who has been working with the city government for 25 years, was terminated after this video made rounds on social media. The mayor of Cebu City, Edgardo Labella, made sure of this.
The Cebu City Transportation Office (CCTO) said it doesn’t tolerate enforcers receiving bribes. But the agency believes drivers also have a part in this issue.
This is why Paul Gotiong, CCTO spokesperson, is pleading to motorists to refrain from offering anything, particularly money, to traffic enforcers if they are caught for a traffic violation.
“Og wa’y mo bait nila, wa man sa’y mahitabo nga kanang kotong,” he said.
(If nobody lures them, then no bribing will happen.)
Gotiong said motorists who will be caught for a traffic violation can plead to enforcers but not to the point where they offer money to get off the hook.
“Mahitabo na siya usually if mohangyo ang atoang driver. Di ba? Kay kinsa may ganahan madakpan? Labi na’g dako ang iyahang violation. So siguro for the motorist, if naa mo’y violation, pwede raman gyud sila mohangyo and it is up for the enforcer to pasaylo or not. But ayaw lang gyud sila mo offer og something in exchange for the violation,” Gotiong added.
(This usually happens when a driver pleads. Right? Because who would ever want to be apprehended? Especially if it is a major violation. So maybe for the motorist, if you commit a violation, you can plead and it’s up to the enforcer to decide if he will forgive you or not. But just don’t offer something in exchange for the violation.)
Offering money could be tempting for the enforcers at this time during a pandemic as, according to Gotiong, enforcers who are out on field on a daily basis earn around P12,000 a month, depending on their salary grade.
Gotiong clarified though that the CCTO doesn’t tolerate this kind of behavior from their enforcers and urged motorists to report to them directly their evidence such as videos and photos.
“We need evidence, like any photo or video, that they can send to us to report for possible hidden agendas of our enforcers,” he said.
As of this year, two traffic enforcers were already terminated, the first of whom was arrested on June 17 during an entrapment operation along MJ Cuenco Avenue in Barangay Carreta, Cebu City.
Gotiong further said that they have been constantly reminding their enforcers that they will be automatically terminated should they be caught doing illegal activities.
On Thursday, Cebu City Councilor Dave Tumulak also asked the City Legal Office not to let the driver in the controversial video off the hook.
“I also urge the City Legal and the police that if there is an investigation, [include also] the driver because that was bribery,” said Tumulak
The councilor said that the driver must surrender the copy of the whole video to find out if he offered the bribe or was coerced to give a bribe.
The councilor said the traffic enforcer was really wrong because he had the intention of receiving bribes. But driver, who offered the bribe, should not also be let off the hook.
“The video [showed] more on the violation of the traffic enforcer. They cut [the video]. So [I am asking the] driver, please surrender the full video,” said Tumulak.
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