METROPOLITAN Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Benhur Abalos has approved the termination from service of two traffic enforcers involved in robbery extortion caught in a video which went viral last week.
Abalos identified the two traffic enforcers as Mark James Ayatin and Jayson Salibio, both assigned at C5 Special Traffic Zone and job order personnel.
According to a resolution, both Ayatin and Salibio “committed grave misconduct as public employees” following an investigation on a complaint and video uploaded on social media involving them in a robbery/extortion activity.
On May 12, a complaint filed by Christ Edward Lumagui said Ayatin and Salibio flagged his vehicle on May 7 along Levi Mariano Avenue corner C5 in Taguig City while he was about to make a U-turn.
The traffic enforcers said he committed a traffic violation. He pleaded for some consideration but to no avail so he told the enforcers to issue him a traffic ticket citation for his violation.
However, Salibio asked for his driver’s license and instructed him to make a U-turn so that they could talk on the other side of the road. At this point, he and his cousin decided to take a video.
Ayatin insisted that he will not be able to drive since he is using an international driver’s license and that they are willing to help. Lumagui reiterated that he would just get the ticket citation. But Ayatin insisted to help him, which was “a discreet way of telling him to just give grease money.”
In the latter part not shown in the video, the two enforcers checked his cousin’s cell phone and demanded P300 for the violation. After Salibio took the money from Lumagui, they let them go.
Based on the MMDA Legal Department’s investigation, the video clip clearly showed that the two enforcers displayed their intent to extort money, which is a violation of MMDA policies, rules, regulations, and existing laws.
“It was evident that the two respondents conspired and acted in concert to extort money from Lumagui, which they successfully did,” said in the resolution.
“Considering that respondents TE Ill Ayatin and TE Ill Salibio ‘s employment status are mere Job Order employees which contract of service are not covered by Civil Service Law but by COA Rules under Section 2, Rule XI of the Omnibus Rules on Appointments and Other Personnel Actions, thus, they cannot be charged under the 2017 Rules on Administrative Cases,” the resolution added.
Meanwhile, Abalos acknowledged social media as a tool in exposing unscrupulous activities being committed by some of its personnel, while underscoring the importance of reporting such actions to the agency’s official social media accounts.
“These two traffic enforcers are now terminated. The MMDA does not and will never condone any wrongdoing of our personnel,” Abalos said.
Abalos also warned those personnel involved in illegalities of the cases that might be hurled against them if they continually violate the MMDA’s policies.
“We won’t be gentle in meting out punishments as we are very serious in keeping the MMDA corruption-free,” he said.
Only last week, the MMDA dismissed from service two traffic enforcers also on a viral video after investigation found them guilty of extortion and grave misconduct.