3 MMDA men in predawn extortion sacked

Posted at 11/29/12 5:34 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Three traffic constables were relieved for allegedly committing extortion, the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said on Thursday.

In a statement, MMDA said Chairman Francis Tolentino ordered the dismissal from service of three personnel of the agency's Traffic Discipline Office (TDO) after they were caught extorting money from motorists in Makati early morning on Thursday.

The suspects, identified only as Berganio, Abdul and Romero, were caught in the act by traffic constable Tristan Neneria at the Magallanes u-turn slot at around 3 a.m.

Neneria said he, and not the three, was on duty that time.

He said Magallanes was also not the area of responsibility of the three.

It was later found out that Abdul and Romero are from the anti-jaywalking unit whose shift is from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Berganio, meanwhile, is assigned at the EDSA segment 4 and belongs to the 2:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. shift.

MMDA said the three employees were also the same persons spotted last November 14 allegedly receiving bribes from two truck drivers at the same area.

Tolentino said, "We will not tolerate this wrongdoing among our ranks. Let this serve as a warning to all our erring employees."

Aside from dismissal from service, criminal charges will also be filed against Berganio, Abdul, and Romero.

Meanwhile, four TDO personnel were also relieved of their posts after allegedly committing grave misconduct.

Another two traffic constables were also suspended for eight months and one day for grave misconduct.