IT WAS one of my hastiest mornings to comply with the requisite from a government agency for a new venture.

Near the crossroads of Recto-Bonifacio, I held my patient as fifth in the queue of five who were also in a hurry to catch a Sasa route. So when the Filcab stopped to pick us up, I was the last one who got on, making a full capacity of the 7-7 PUJ.

Even sitting elbow to elbow, most of the passengers managed to finger on their smartphones while the seemingly contented driver maneuvered at a nominal speed until we reached Bajada, particularly in front of NCCC-Victoria mall where the LTFRB agents flagged us down.

One tall and handsome agent approached the driver and asked for his driving license. Sensing the violation, some passengers disembarked to somehow save the driver from fines.

Being the last person who boarded, I was guilty then, but determined not to get off with them. In my mind, I should help the driver either to beg for pardon to the officers or share the onerous penalty should his efforts in the negotiation fail.

The driver in late 50s is not supposed to shed tears at his age when he begged absolution in ultimate justifications. I could not clearly catch his words, not because I was at a three-sit distance, but because he was gasping with mucus and tears for mercy.

Until one of the agents, I guess it was their team leader, as his pronouncement implies authority, pardoned the driver.

Don’t get me wrong for sharing this experience. In fact, I discouraged the readers to do or try committing the same offense. But let my paramount salaam be conveyed to the LTFRB agents!

I don’t know who they were because I cannot read their IDs at a distance. They perform their duties with full understanding of the essence of the codified law -- not on how it was written but how this government cared for its people on health during this pandemic when only 70 percent is the allowable sitting capacity.

The agents understood the circumstance of the driver. More so, they understood that the emotion and tears spent by the repentant offender is more than enough to teach him a lesson for a lifetime. After all, the purpose of the law is not to rake-in money from the offender in favor of the government but to instill order in society.

Sorry for my guilt that gave the driver a lifelong lesson.