THE Cebu City Legal Office found no legal basis to file any complaint against former Capitol security consultant Byron Garcia, even if he took back from City Hall’s traffic enforcers his aide’s motorcycle.

Assistant city attorney Carlo Gimena, who reviewed an incident report the City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) submitted, said the aide, Filomeno Rodriguez, can be held liable, but not Garcia.

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“I don’t think his taking back the motorcycle can be cited as a ground to file any case. It is not provided in the rules or any provisions of Republic Act 4136 (Land Transportation and Traffic Code) that driving with only a student permit may warrant the impounding of a vehicle,” Gimena said.

The lawyer clarified, though, that Rodriguez, who also owns the motorcycle, can be held liable under the Land Transportation Office’s (LTO) Department Order 2008-39 and Memorandum Circular 39-105.

Rodriguez was driving his motorcycle when policemen from San Nicolas Police flagged him down at a checkpoint on V. Rama Ave. early this month.

Rodriguez did not have a driver’s license and showed only a student’s permit.

This prompted the apprehending officers to turn over the motorcycle to Citom for safekeeping, but Garcia later claimed it, saying the vehicle would be safer with him.

The former consultant, also Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia’s brother, took back the motorcycle without paying Rodriguez’s P500 fine for driving without a license.

It was learned, though, that the police filed a case against the aide for the traffic violation.

Garcia said he was not surprised by Gimena’s opinion, since he (Garcia) has some

background on traffic laws as he was once a deputized LTO agent.

He suggested that Citom and the Traffic Group conduct a refresher course for their personnel.

He recalled that when he confronted a traffic investigator, the latter could not explain to him the basis for Citom’s keeping the motorcycle.

Citom Chairman Sylvan Jakosalem admitted there were lapses on the part of some traffic personnel at that time, but added it won’t happen again.

Jakosalem said impounding receipts, temporary operator’s permits and citation tickets were given to their desk officers.

“Technically, the motorcycle was never impounded because there was no receipt at that time, so, nag-expect mi nga wa gyud tay mapasakang kaso against Byron kay safekeeping ra man to (we expected that there would be no basis to file a complaint against Byron),” Jakosalem said.

As to Garcia’s advice, the Citom chairman said traffic personnel regularly undergo seminars about traffic laws and regulations, as well as the correct procedure in impounding vehicles for traffic violations. (ETB)