MMDA fully investigating conditions surrounding alleged bribery of enforcer by Stephen Speaks

A Grab driver “got all that he needs right there in his passenger seat” when an alleged MMDA enforcer flagged him down for beating the red light. If that sounded familiar, this story comes from Stephen Speaks – behind the hit song Passenger Seat – after the band posted about their experience on their official Facebook page. So what exactly happened?

MMDA to confirm if enforcer is one of their personnel, investigates circumstances surrounding the “bribe”

Mmda Alleged Bribery Stephen Speaks Inline 01 Min

This is Stephen Speaks’ fifth time in the country, this time for an album launch, and the band’s post caused quite a stir. To cut the long story short, they were riding a Grab, the driver supposedly beat the red light, was pulled over, and after the passengers introduced themselves, the enforcer let it slide and just took a selfie with the band. Wow. Well, we “can’t believe that actually worked” either.

Mmda Alleged Bribery Stephen Speaks Inline 02 Min

It gets interesting because of four things. First, the word “bribe”. Second, the alleged enforcer took the “bribe”. Third, the Grab driver had evidence that he didn’t beat the red light making for a wrongful apprehension. And fourth, the MMDA is now looking at whether the enforcer is, indeed, from their agency.

First of all, the word “bribe” should never be taken lightly. It just doesn’t mix with the words “law/traffic enforcer”. This leads to the second point. Under no circumstance, whether in a proper on wrongful apprehension must any enforcer accept any form of bribe. Now on to the third point, was the alleged enforcer unaware of the circumstances surrounding the Grab’s being caught in the middle of the intersection? Finally, this is a problem for the MMDA, especially with the government’s strong push towards zero corruption in the Department of Transportation and all the departments and agencies that belong under it and alongside it, and if the enforcer is indeed from the MMDA’s ranks.

Mmda Alleged Bribery Stephen Speaks Inline 03 Min

The band has since edited its post, explaining what happened, which has been taken by the MMDA into consideration. But this still leads us to the question: why bother introducing yourselves to elements of the law? As is being emphasized, “fame, power, and connections are not considered free passes to avoid being ticketed”. Okay, it’s pretty clear that the band’s tour crew introduced who the passengers were, but again, whether for a proper or wrongful traffic stop/apprehension, why? What for?

But we’re not going to stick around for the answer. The fact of the matter is that there are many concerning factors surrounding this whole fiasco. Calls for stopping bribery have openly been expressed by the government, particularly by the LTO, and everyone should take heed, right? Right now, nothing’s conclusive and everything is still an assumption, as well as a bunch of questions.

So what’s going to be done about it? Let’s see.

Mikko Juangco
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