Briones: Police privilege?

On the go

THE Talisay City Government’s announcement that it would strictly implement its 2012 clamping ordinance was, for all intents and purposes, a declaration of war against illegally parked vehicles.

Starting on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, motorists who leave their vehicles by the side of the national highway or any road at all that has a “no parking” sign is free game.

The City of Talisay Traffic Operations and Development Authority (CT-Toda) will give them a five-minute warning in the form of a bleating siren to move their vehicles before these are immobilized.

Members of the public cannot feign ignorance. The CT-Toda gave a one-month notice that this would be the penalty for violators of the presidential directive to clear all public roads of obstruction. Motorists who would deserve to get their driver’s license revoked or taken away.

The government means business. Unless, of course, the violators are our men and women in blue.

The CT-Toda’s counterpart in Cebu City, the City Transportation Office (CTO), had made similar declarations.

The latter even clamped 200 vehicles, including one belonging to a government-owned television network, in one single operation past midnight last Aug. 9.

But then, that was the last I heard of Cebu City’s tough stance on illegal parking.

Granted, CTO Operations Chief Andres Bayarcal did admit that conducting the operation was a challenge considering his office lacked resources and manpower.

He pointed out that they only had one towing truck and 50 personnel to go after hundreds, no, make that thousands of violators who brazenly defy this straightforward directive every day.

Take, for instance, drivers who continue to park their motorcycles and other vehicles on the sidewalks that line both sides of Osmeña Blvd.

Just look at that stretch from the corner of R.R. Landon St. in front of the Abellana Police Station all the way up to Uytengsu Road.

Apparently, police officers consider themselves immune to the DPWH order that prohibits “the construction of buildings, houses, stores and junk shops on sidewalks; putting up signs, billboards, fences, walls, basketball courts, garbage cans, posts and telecommunication towers along the highway; and ANY ACTIVITY THAT WILL OBSTRUCT PEDESTRIANS ON THE SIDEWALKS and vehicles on the highway” because they have reserved a portion as their exclusive parking area.

In fact, you know something’s going on across the street at the Police Regional Office headquarters when police vehicles from different towns and cities across the region suddenly claim the sidewalk as their own.

Oh well, I hope Jonathan Tumulak won’t have the same problem in Talisay.


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