Riders’ Safety Advocates of the Philippines (RSAP) founder Bonifacio Bosita made a very confusing Facebook post Monday, March 15, as to where his current convictions lie in the “slippers controversy”.
On the other side of the coin is Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) traffic czar Edison Bong Nebrija, whom Bosita has butted heads with amid the online debate as to whether or not it’s legal for an MMDA enforcer to ticket a motorcycle back-rider for wearing slippers instead of shoes. Bosita, backed by the chorus of his hundreds of thousands of followers, has argued that it isn’t.
However, his post Monday morning appeared to acknowledge that Nebrija’s camp had “won,” especially after former Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Alberto Suansing chimed in.
Suansing opined that the MMDA enforcer was right to ticket the backrider as per the language of LTO Administrative Order No. AHS-2008-015, or the rules and regulations for the use and operations of motorcycle on highways.
“Naniniwala po ako na hindi tayo maaring ‘makipag-paligsahan sa mga lawyers’ kapag batas na ang pinag-uusapan (I believe that we can’t ‘compete with lawyers’ if the topic of laws),” wrote Bosita, a retired colonel from the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG).
“Maaring may alam tayo pero hindi sapat para isipin natin na mas magaling tayo sa kanila. Amenin natin na sila ang tama at higit na dapat paniwalaan at sangayunan (We may know something, but it is not enough for us to think that we are better than them. Let’s admit that they are right and that they must be believed and followed),” he further said.
“Kung may ligal na basehan ang sinasabi ni Colonel Bong Nebrija para hulihin ang mga backriders na naka-sandals o naka-tsinelas, iminumungkahi natin sa Pamunuan ng MMDA na maglabas ng kaukulang pahayag ‘para matuldukan ang usaping ito at ng maging malinaw sa publiko’ (If there’s legal basis to Colonel Bong Nebrija’s statements on the arrest of slippers-wearing back-riders, then we suggest that the MMDA leadership release a related statement ‘so that this issue may be concluded and clarified to the public),” he added.
But the “quote card” or image that came with the Facebook post had a more rebellious tone to it.
The actual quote, which has more visual impact to the reader, says “Nirerespeto natin ang DOTr (Department of Transportation) consultant na dating LTO chief, Engr. Albert Suansing, pero naniniwala tayo na ang kanyang pahayag ay hindi alinsunod sa naaprobahang administrative order nr. AHS-2008-015 (We respect DOTr consultant and former LTO chief, Engr. Albert Suansing, but we believe that his statement isn’t in accordance with the approved administrative order nr. AHS-2008-015).” Both Bosita and Nebrija have huge social media followings.