City traffic enforcers assaulted

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Friday, June 20, 2014


DUE to the strict implementation of the ‘Hapsay Dalan’ campaign of the Cagayan de Oro City Government, some Roads and Traffic Administration (RTA) enforcers had been physically and verbally assaulted by a few angry motorists and vendors on separate occasions.

Around 4 p.m. on April 30, 2014, RTA enforcer Jose Tabor Jr., the first to complain of harassment recalled he was issuing traffic citation tickets to three vehicles parked on a "No Parking" zone along Velez and Hayes streets and while he was preoccupied with his task, a gray van pulled over beside him and a driver identified by RTA as Christopher Lagonero badmouthed Tabor, the enforcer’s affidavit said.

Not content with the verbal insult, Lagonero continued poking Tabor’s chest and slapped him on the nape and attempted to kick him.

Other enforcers who saw, immediately backed him up, and advised the driver to talk it out peacefully, but Lagonero refused.

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The incident was reported and recorded at the nearest police precinct.

Another RTA officer, Bryan Hoylar, was assaulted by a vendor named Alikman Panara of Barangay Puerto when the group was in the middle of driving away vendors who were selling on the streets and obstructing the public road from vehicles and pedestrians.

Last June 5, 2014, while wrapping up from a Hapsay Dalan operation at Puerto, Hoylar was hit with a rock on his head resulting to a two-centimeter laceration. He was brought to Northern Mindanao Medical Center for treatment.

RTA consultant, lawyer Edgardo Uy, said that they have become lenient to vendors because the Puerto public markets cannot cater to all of them.

“Actually, we just continually check and remind them of their violations whenever they would draw near the streets. We talk to them when they go beyond the line where motorists could not pass anymore. However, we got violent reactions from them on how we are treating them,” Uy said.

Hoylar filed a complaint against Panara for direct assault with attempted homicide.

On May 31, 2014 at Guillermo Street fronting Gaisano-Cogon, a female vendor punched an RTA enforcer who confiscated her stall.

The female RTA enforcers held and calmed her down. Unfortunately, she continued punching and slapping everyone.

Uy suggested to the officers who were assaulted to file charges.

As Uy took a picture of the woman who assaulted everyone near her, she attempted to punch and kick Uy.

Another RTA officer named Orvil Mulihon was nearly stabbed by a vendor as law enforcers were about to confiscate his goods. The suspect was subdued by other enforcers.

A case will be filed as soon as the supporting documents are completed.

In spite of the attacks on the RTA enforcers, Uy said the Hapsay Dalan operations will continue through inspection and confiscation on a daily basis.

“They are not allowed on the streets, that is [the] basic rule. They do not need reminders because they know it is against the law,” Uy said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on June 20, 2014.

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