If the “Padrino system” doesn’t work, traffic law violators have a last resort: bribing. The LTO is very much aware of this practice and has issued an appeal to everyone to stop bribing its enforcers. The agency asked that the motoring public recognize and respect the authority of their enforcers should they be caught breaking the law.
LTO warns that bribing officers “will only make things worse”
What brought about this appeal is the fact that traffic law violators present a (monetary) situation to enforcers that is difficult to decline. While not restricted to just monetary bribes, anything that is offered for elements of the law to “look the other way” is likewise being condemned by the government agency.
This also comes after a driver was caught red-handed engaging in bribery. As part of Oplan Ligtas Byaheng Pasko 2022, LTO Region 5 law enforcement units apprehended a driver who was caught during a routine inspection for the driver’s license and vehicle registration. Eventually nabbed as driving colorum, the bribe came up to a total of PHP 3,000 which the driver quickly retracted after seeing that he was being recorded by the enforcer’s bodycam. The driver was taken into custody thereafter.
In his issued statement, LTO Chief Assistant Secretary Jose Arturo “Jay Art” Tugade said, “Offering bribes to our law enforcers will not get you anywhere and will make things worse. Wala pong tiwali kung walang mag-uudyok na maging tiwali. Magtulungan po tayo. [There will be no corruption if no one pushes for it. Let’s help each other.]”.
The response of the law enforcer to the aforementioned act of bribery has not gone unnoticed, and Tugade has also sent his thanks to LTO Region 5 Assistant Regional Director Vince Nato. “The entire LTO and I laud the actions of our noble traffic enforcers for refusing to accept the alleged bribery attempt, for standing firm in enforcing the law and not be tempted by acts of corruption. They are exceptional public servants that should be emulated by everyone,” Tugade later added.
Of course, it is right to send out reminders to the general public to not engage in illegal and unscrupulous practices. But what’s bigger and more important is the real challenge of cleaning up from within the LTO‘s ranks. None of these shady enforcers will simply stand up and admit to being patrons of bribes, and the agency has its hands full in weeding out those who do.
To this, we say good luck. If we can start by not bribing, then that will help the greater scheme of things. As we’re pretty sure that ASec Tugade and his team are already coming up with a plan to finally rid us of lawbreakers, both motorists, and enforcers.