LTO chief reminds enforcers to uphold the law and not to accept bribes
Here in the Philippines, it’s an open secret that following traffic rules can be ‘optional’ because a lot of traffic enforcers are ready to turn a blind eye as long as the “Ninoy” (aka PHP500 pesos) starts talking.
Thanks to technology and the abundance of camera phones, traffic enforcers who are used to taking bribes are now thinking twice and would rather uphold the law. However, there are enforcers who are still open to negotiating at the street level and have found creative ways of accepting bribes.
In a recent meeting, Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief, Atty. Hector Villacorta and executive director, Atty. Esteban Baltazar, Jr., gathered the agency’s law enforcement units and reminded them to always uphold the law and not to take bribes, of any form, from erring motorists.
Additionally, the LTO chief inspected the new body cameras that will be worn by their law enforcement units during their operations, including their encounter with erring motorists.
With the apprehension being recorded, the hope is that motorists would not even dare to offer bribes in exchange for getting away without a traffic ticket.
Bribery is a crime
For some motorists, offering a bribe to a law enforcement officer is often the easiest way to save themselves the hassle of spending the whole day trying to pay the penalty and getting back their driver’s license from the LTO.
But did you know that offering a bribe is a punishable offense? Under Article 212 of the Revised Penal Code: Corruption of Public Officials, it is unlawful to offer a bribe or gift to a public official (or law enforcement officer) in exchange for getting away with a violation. The penalty imposed could be punishable by up to 12 years in prison.