Bribing in the passenger seat? MMDA to probe Stephen Speaks selfie buy off

By: Jean Mangaluz - Reporter / @JMangaluzINQ - | February 18,2023 - 08:51 PM

Bribing in the passenger seat? MMDA to probe Stephen Speaks selfie buy off. FILE PHOTO: MMDA traffic enforcers. INQUIRER/GRIG C. MONTEGRANDE


MANILA, Philippines — The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is stepping in and will investigate its officer who was allegedly bought off by a selfie with a member of the American band Stephen Speaks for a supposed traffic violation.

It also said Saturday that it is coordinating with the Land Transportation Office for possible suspension of the driver’s license since the band was aboard a transport network vehicle service when the purported beating-the-red-light breach was committed.

“The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority will investigate if the traffic enforcer who was bribed, as identified in the post of the American pop-rock band Stephen Speaks, is one of its personnel,” the MMDA said in a Facebook post.

“Fame, power, and connections are not considered free passes to avoid being ticketed. It is wrong that a traffic violator was not given a citation ticket just because the passenger is a well-known figure,” it added.

On Friday night, singer-songwriter Rockwell Ryan Ripperger of Stephen Speaks band narrated the “bribing” incident on social media. Ripperger is currently in the country for a series of shows.

READ: Stephen Speaks to hold benefit gigs for wounded Marawi troops

According to his Facebook post, a traffic enforcer stopped their car for supposedly running the red light.

“Our Grab (like Uber) driver just got [pulled over in Manila] for running a red light, and my tour crew bribed him with a selfie with me to let us go. He said he sings ‘Passenger Seat’ at the karaoke bar,” Ripperger wrote, referring to one of their hit songs.

“I was like…. I can’t believe that actually worked,” he added.

READ: Stephen Speaks crew ‘bribed’ PH enforcer with selfie for traffic violation: ‘Can’t believe that worked’

But in a supplemental social media post, Ripperger clarified that it was later proven that their driver did not commit any traffic violation.

Still, the MMDA said, an investigation of the incident is in order.

“Motorists who cross on a green light but [stuck] in the middle just when the light changes to red should not be flagged down unless given [a] signal by the enforcer beforehand,” it then explained.

The MMDA stressed drivers and motorists who get away with traffic violations by using their fame should not be emulated.


MMDA: ‘Stop and go’ scheme on Edsa-Shaw northbound from February 7-10

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