Back at LTO: Motorists call on traffic enforcers not to ask, accept bribes

January 10, 2023 - 2:31 PM
File photo of Land Transportation Office. ( / Irish Lising)

The Land Transportation Office should also turn its attention to enforcers who allegedly ask for bribes.

Several Filipinos raised this concern to the LTO after it called on motorists to stop bribing traffic enforcers.

LTO Chief Assistant Secretary Jose Arturo “Jay Art” Tugade issued this appeal in a statement on January 5.

“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,” Tugade said.

This appeal came after the transport office received a report about a bribery attempt in Sorsogon City.

A driver allegedly tried to bribe the group of enforcers who flagged the vehicle along Maharlika Highway at Barangay Guinlajon, Sorsogon City.

The vehicle was being used “for hire” without a franchise, thus labeled as a colorum vehicle. The driver was also ferrying 17 passengers from Northern Samar to Cubao, Quezon City at that time.

In the report, the driver supposedly tried to offer them P1,000 each as a bribe when one of the enforcers was preparing the Temporary Operator’s Permit (TOP).

What the driver did not notice was that the whole scene was being recorded on camera.

“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 for not being tempted by acts of corruption. They are exceptional public servants that should be emulated by everyone,” Tugade said.

‘What about LTO enforcers?’

LTO’s statement received mixed cheers and jeers online.

While some reacted positively over LTO’s call, others criticized the agency for not reprimanding its own enforcers who are accepting bribes.

“Ibinabalita yung hindi pagtanggap ng suhol ng taga LTO pero hindi ibinabalita yung mga tumatanggap at humuhingi ng suhol na LTO enforcer. Takot kayo mapulaan o mabatikos kaya tahimik kayo sa mga kawani ninyo na tiwali,” a Facebook user said.

“Iba ang nanunuhol sa nagpaparamdam…parahin kaba naman tapos hahanapan ka ng violation,” another Facebook user commented.

“We, the vehicle owners, also appeal to all traffic enforcers not to accept any bribe or ask for money in return,” another Facebook user said.

Some Filipinos also pointed out that the burden should be on the enforcers, not on the motorists.

“Kung talagang tapat sa tungkulin at malinis ang enforcer, kahit anong suhol pa yan, hinding hindi tatangap yan,” one Facebook user said.

“Parang lumalabas na kame pa masama ah. Sila mismo nag ooffer para di na daw kame maabala nang matagal. Pag usapan nalang daw,” another online user said.

According to Article 210 of the Revised Penal Code, direct bribery is “any offer, promise, gift or present received by such officer, personally or through the mediation of another” to perform or execute an act “constituting a crime, in connection with the performance of this official duties.”

It is one of the prohibited acts categorized under “malfeasance and misfeasance in office.”

LTO, meanwhile, previously reminded local government units that only its authorized agents can confiscate driver’s licenses.

Filipinos welcomed this reminder and expressed hope that this policy will be fully enforced on the ground.

RELATED: Suggestions as DILG reiterates policy on driver’s license confiscationDILG’s license confiscation memo cited amid viral TikTok video questioning Makati traffic officers’ authority