BAYANI Fernando, former chairman of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), has no knowledge of road payola allegedly being paid by bus firms and transport terminals to evade traffic sanctions.

Fernando, who was known for his get-tough attitude, said he was very strict in the enforcement of the laws against erring passenger buses as well as “colorum” and out-of-line public utility vehicles.

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“Wala akong alam dyan. Isa pa kung may nalalaman ako ay hindi ko papayagan iyon,” Fernando said.

He said that before he resigned as MMDA chief late last year to file his certificate of candidacy for vice president, he implemented a program that aims to steer traffic enforcers away from committing bribery.

On Thursday, newly-appointed MMDA Chief Francis Tolentino disclosed several bus companies have been paying monthly and weekly payolas to traffic enforcers.

Among those initially identified by Tolentino as "kotong buses" were the Baliwag Transit, Five Star Liner and St. Rose Bus Lines.

He said the Baliwag Transit gives a group of MMDA traffic enforcers P20,000 month while the Five Star Lines and the St. Rose Bus Lines gives monthly payola of P30,000 and P20,000, respectively.

Tolentino added that the monthly payolas are paid by the bus companies so that they can freely violate traffic rules, particularly along EDSA.

The MMDA chairman also exposed transport terminals that are providing weekly payola to erring MMDA traffic enforcers. These include the Novaliches Centennial Terminal (P5,000 a week) and eight FX taxi groups based at the SM Fairview Mall (P4,000 each a week). (AH/Sunnex)