MMDA dismisses 900 traffic law enforcers over corruption

admin   •   February 28, 2018   •   5134

FILE PHOTO: MMDA personnel enforcing light truck ban along EDSA

MANILA, Philippines — Around 900 traffic law enforcers of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) were sacked due to their alleged involvement in corruption.

With this, MMDA plans to ask Congress to increase the salaries of traffic enforcers so they would no longer get involved in illegal activities.

From more than 3,000, MMDA now deploys only around 2,100 traffic law enforcers.

According to MMDA officer-in-charge general manager Jojo Garcia, most of the sacked enforcers have been involved in extortion of motorists.

Others voluntarily resigned after facing complaints, while some have gone absent without official leave (AWOL).

“Lahat nung mga nagba-viral sabi ko nga nagkakaroon tayo ng due process na iniimbestigahan namin.  So karamihan diyan nasuspinde or na-terminate na,” said the MMDA official.

(Those who have been part of viral videos, we will follow due process where an investigation will be conducted. Majority [of the enforcers] were either suspended or have been terminated.)

The MMDA also assured that the mass dismissal of traffic enforcers would not affect the quality of the agency’s job.

“Sabi nga ni chairman, ‘Doon na ako sa konting matino kaysa madami na mas nakakagulo’,” said Garcia.

(As the chairman has said, “It’s better to have a few good men than having many who cause trouble.)

The MMDA will ask Congress to increase the salaries of traffic law enforcers to encourage them to not get involved in illegal activities.

It can be noted that a traffic law enforcer earns only P10,000 a month.

But the agency insisted that having small salary is not an excuse to be involved in anomalies.

A new batch composed of 300 traffic enforcers are still undergoing MMDA’s training.

Afterwards, they will be deployed to manage traffic in Metro Manila roads. — Joan Nano | UNTV News & Rescue

Trump inauguration organization committee sued for alleged corruption

UNTV News   •   January 23, 2020

President Donald Trump (l) takes the oath of office at his inauguration ceremony in Washington DC on Jan. 20, 2017. EFE-EPA/Justin Lane/File/Summary EPA Photos of the Year January 2017

Washington – District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine on Wednesday sued the nonprofit committee designated by President Donald Trump to organize his January 2017 inauguration and the businesses overseeing Trump International Hotel in Washington, alleging that the committee coordinated with the mogul’s family members to overpay for event space in a way that enriched the Trumps.

The lawsuit contends that the Presidential Inaugural Committee coordinated with the Trump family to pay $1.03 million to rent space in the hotel, which included a dance hall and meeting rooms, a price far above the going market rate normally charged by the hotel.

Moreover, the text of the complaint states that the inaugural committee knew it was paying prices far above the market rate and did not consider other less expensive alternatives and even paid for hotel space on days on which no events were scheduled.

The DC Attorney General’s Office found that Rick Gates, who was the No. 2 official on Trump’s 2016 campaign committee, personally dealt with the Trump hotel as vice president for the inaugural committee to rent space for the inaugural celebration.

According to the suit, a member of the committee, Stephanie Winston Wolkoff, tasked with planning the event, expressed her concern over the high price the Trump hotel asked to the president’s oldest child Ivanka Trump and to Gates.

The AG’s Office also says that the committee allegedly used nonprofit funds to stage a private party for the Trump family that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“District law requires nonprofits to use their funds for their stated public purpose, not to benefit private individuals or companies,” said Racine in a statement regarding the lawsuit. “In this case, we are seeking to recover the nonprofit funds that were improperly funneled directly to the Trump family business.”

In his statement, Racine notes that the presidential inaugural committee planned and organized assorted activities to celebrate Trump’s ascension to the presidency.

The committee was headed by Thomas Barrack, a real estate investor friend of Trump’s, and other associates of the president such as casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife, oil businessman Harold Hamm and coal company CEO Joseph Craft were also on it.

Last December, Gates was sentenced to 45 days in prison and three years probation for fraud and for lying to investigators after finally admitting that he had helped Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort hide in foreign bank accounts $75 million obtained for consulting work for Ukrainian politicians.

Trump’s hotel – which he has often visited as president – is just a few block away from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC.

The Trump Organization has called the lawsuit’s claims completely false, asserting that the case is just a “PR stunt.”

“The AG’s claims are false, intentionally misleading and riddled with inaccuracies,” a Trump Hotels spokesperson said in a statement provided to CBS News. “The rates charged by the hotel were completely in line with what anyone else would have been charged for an unprecedented event of this enormous magnitude.” EFE-EPA

MMDA officer carries sick child to hospital amid traffic

Aileen Cerrudo   •   January 20, 2020

Mit Javellana and her family were on their way to the hospital. Her son, Earl, was having chills due to high fever and was in need of medical attention.

But their car was not moving due to the severe traffic and they had no choice but to forcefully make their way through just to get to the hospital.

An MMDA officer, Jeremi Lukban, noticed and approached them.

“Nung malaman niyang papuntang ER, nag-offer siya na buhatin si Earl at naglakad na lang pa-ospital (When he learned that we are going to the ER, he offered to carry Earl and walked to the hospital),” Mit said in her Facebook post.

MMDA Chairman Danilo Lim lauded Lukban’s action and reminded the public to never hesitate to ask the MMDA for any assistance.

“Lagi tayong handang tumulong sa ating mga kababayan (We are always ready to help our fellowmen),” he said in his Facebook post.—AAC

LIST: Road closures in Manila due to Traslacion 2020

Robie de Guzman   •   January 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has announced the closure of some roads in Manila on January 9 to give way to the annual Traslacion event of the Catholic community.

In an advisory, the MMDA said the following roads will be temporarily closed to vehicular traffic as these will serve as the procession’s route:

  • Quirino Grandstand
  • Katigbak Road thru Padre Burgos St.
  • Finance Road thru Ayala Boulevard
  • Palanca St.
  • Quezon Boulevard
  • Arlegui St.
  • Fraternal St.
  • Vergara St.
  • Duque de Alba St.
  • Castillejos St.
  • Farnecio St.
  • Arlegui St.
  • Nepomuceno St.
  • Concepcion Aguila St.
  • Carcer St.
  • Hidalgo thru Plaza Del Carmen
  • Bilibid Viejo thru Gil Puyat
  • JP De Guzman St.
  • Hidalgo St.
  • Quezon Boulevard
  • Palanca St. thru under Quezon Bridge
  • Villalobos thru Plaza Miranda

MMDA chairman Danilo Lim said he has ordered these roads be cleared of obstruction and debris for the safety of the devotees.

He added that tents, plastic barriers and fences are also now being set up at the Quirino Grandstand in Manila where several activities in connection with the procession will be held.

The MMDA said it will deploy 1,000 personnel to help ensure the peaceful and orderly conduct of the procession.

“Our action plan is already in place. Aside from manpower, ambulances, road emergency vehicles, traffic mobile cars, and other necessary equipment will also be dispatched,” Lim said.

The agency will also position street sweepers and road clearing group members at the tail of the procession to immediately clear roads of all types of clutter.

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