Do you remember when MMDA Task Force Special Operations (TFSO) head Col. Edison “Bong” Nebrija said that backers won’t do you any good? Do you also remember the agency’s call to the public for law violators to stop bribing enforcers? Surely we all remember – KNOW – that there’s a legal way of obtaining a driver’s license, yes?
In one of the strangest incidents, a motorist was nabbed for illegal parking and was later found to have a fake driver’s license. What makes this even more, hmm, “odd”, is how the man planned to get out of being fined and his motorcycle being impounded.
Man attempts to bribe MMDA enforcers. Take a guess with what.
Before we proceed, we’d again like to thank our friend, Gadget Addict, for his coverage of this deplorable but nonetheless quite a laughable incident. Now, on to it.
The video starts with a motorist who was being accosted by MMDA TFSO Deputy Chief Gabriel Go. It seems that his license was found to be fake, and that’s already an offense added to his motorcycle being illegally parked. Only a few seconds in, the motorist can clearly be heard apologizing, which is good. But what he said next is one of the most radical bribe offers we’ve heard.
“Sir, ako na po nakikiusap sa into, sir. Ako na po ang babawi sa into. Floor manager ako sa club, sir. Kahit pumunta kayo diyan, ilibre ko na lang sa inyo ang mga ano diyan [Sir, I am pleading with you, sir. I will make it up to you. I’m a floor manager in this club, sir. If you go there, I’ll just give it to you free].”
Wait, what? A bribe? It gets worse, brazen, and dare we say funnier.
The video then cuts to the same motorist, this time speaking with MMDA’s Col. Nebrija. What happens next? “Sir, floor manager ako diyan. Ako na lang ang babawi, ako na lang nakikiusap sa inyo, sir. … Ako na nakikiuisap sa inyo, sir, nagmamakaawa sa inyo. Pag pumunta kayo diyan, ilibre ko na kayo lahat diyan. Big Night namin sa ano, sir, ako na bahala… [Sir, I’m a floor manager here. I will make it up to you, I’m asking you, sir. … I am pleading with you, sir, begging. If you go there, I’ll pay for all of you. It’s our Big Night, I’ll handle it].”
As if it’s not enough to be rejected once by the Deputy, the man has courage enough to use pretty much the same script, offer the same bribe, and walk up to the MMDA TFSO Head himself. As Hector in The Fast and the Furious said, “You’re brave, man. You’re brave.” Safe to say that a weaker individual may have bit the hook, line, and sinker, but not Nebrija and his MMDA TFSO team.
Instead of taking the bribe, both Go and Nebrija were later seen in the video getting to the bottom of the fake license, how it was acquired, and where. The motorist admitted to having paid PHP 7K for his license which he said his fixer guaranteed will be original. Obviously, it was not. The man did not take the exam, did not have his biometrics logged, and instead of having a photo taken inside the LTO, gave his fixer a 1×1 photo to use.
Both Go and Nebrija were very clear that the mere fact that the motorist had to go through a fixer already makes his dealings and his driver’s license illegal and fake. They even went on to ask a very relevant question: the man was already at the LTO anyway. Why fork PHP 7K when you can pay a fraction of that for a real driver’s license? Right?
Later in the video, another motorist was apprehended for a fake license, and his motorcycle was also set for impounding. This man had it much worse because he had to pay his fixer PHP 10K! The motorist told the MMDA that he had to go to work so he had a fixer process his application.
Worth noting is that both individuals claim that their fixer was in the East Avenue office of the LTO. The floor manager even offered to show the MMDA who his fixer was. We hope that that was one offer that the MMDA picked up, for sure. Hello there, Land Transportation Office!
Time and time again, let us all be reminded that having a driver’s license is a not right, but a privilege. We understand that while legally acquiring one takes some time off our busy schedules, the LTO has made moves to make them more affordable, too. And all things considered, it doesn’t take that long anymore, as long as you have all the requirements in hand.
“God knows Hudas (who does) not pay”, and for so long as there are supporters of fixers and other unscrupulous individuals within the LTO or any government agency, they will continue to find ways to “prosper”. If Bong Nebrija and his team in the MMDA can be seen and used as examples of treading the right path, then there’s a glimmer of hope for everyone and all the legalities that we all must abide by.