The Traffic Management Office (TMO) or the “Red Boys” of the Valenzuela City government is facing backlash after apprehending a motorist, clamping his car and leaving him alone on Mindanao Ave. for only pulling over while driving supposedly to answer a call.
In a Facebook Live uploaded by Mark Jerald Buenafe on Saturday, an officer was seen clamping the wheel of the car of a male motorist while several other officers blocked him with a tow truck to prevent him from escaping.
This came even though the motorist, backed by several witnesses in the area, explained that he just temporarily stopped to answer a call.
The motorist also did not even get out of his car and was only there for less than five minutes when he was immediately apprehended, according to Buenafe.
“Bigla sya nilapitan at nakorner sya… para kunin ‘yun lisensya nya. Ika nga ng driver ng kotse, ano daw violation nya, tapos my dumating din [na] red boy[s] na dala ‘yung truck [na] pang reker (He was immediately approached by authorities to confiscate his license. The driver even asked what was his violation until the Red Boys eventually arrived with a tow truck),” Buenafe said in a Facebook post uploaded around 10 a.m., which has already garnered 214,000 views as of this writing.
Although there was hardly any traffic in the area at that time, the “Red Boys” did not consider the motorist’s explanation. They eventually turned their backs on him and left him alone while his vehicle was clamped.
“Anong gagawin nyo dito? May lakad ako, pre. Kung titicketan nyo, ticketan nyo (What would you do to my car? I have errands to do. If you will issue me a citation ticket, just do it),” the apprehended motorist pleaded to the officers.
In the video, residents and passersby in the area were heard calling the officers “abusive.” They alleged that the “Red Boys” would even do it to other motorists.
“Sobra na kayo (You are being excessive),” several witnesses told the officers, “Kakahinto lang nyan. Abusado kayo eh… Huminto lang, may tumawag eh, alangan naman mag drive (You’re getting abusive. He just stopped because someone called him. He couldn’t continue driving).”
This is the second time that the “Red Boys” were criticized on social media.
During the early days of the lockdown when mass transportation was suspended, a health worker was issued a citation ticket with P5,000 fine after he was caught backriding with his brother, also a health worker, on a motorcycle while on their way home after duty.
The health worker said they even still tried to show their IDs as medical health workers and asked for consideration but to no avail.
In a Twitter post on Saturday, Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian stressed that “double parking is not allowed anywhere.”
“As it is masama na nga ang traffic situation dyan (the traffic situation in the area is already bad), so we are doing everything to make traffic flow freely. Double parking impedes the flow of traffic,” he added.
Gatchalian also said that their “people are merely doing their jobs.”
The mayor has invited Buenafe to go to his office so they can “have an active discussion on this matter.”