Briton apologizes to traffic enforcer

A BRITISH national apologized to the Bacoleños after he wrote an obscene language on the citation ticket issued to him by a traffic enforcer along Lacson-San Sebastian streets in Bacolod City last month.

Benjamin James Oates, 39, a resident of Inverness, Scotland and temporarily staying at Barangay Alegria, Murcia town, in a press conference Wednesday, March 7, at the Government Center, said it was not his intention to write a profanity on the citation ticket.

"My deepest regret on my actions and I would like to make a public apology to the citizens of Bacolod City, the mayor, the local government and most of all the Bacolod Traffic Authority Office (BTAO) and the enforcement agencies that worked so hard to police the city, (I’m) sorry," Oates said.

Oates, a seafarer, is staying in Bacolod for almost five years and is married to a Cebuana.

He said he is hopeful that BTAO will not pursue the case against him.

Superintendent Luisito Acebuche, head of BTAO, said that Oates went to his office along the relative of his wife Judy Jinson, a president of Adingawan Small Farmers Association in Barangay Alangilan, and asked for apology.

He said Oates was penalized after he was caught by traffic enforcer Roylan Gulmatico for illegal parking and counterflow.

When Gulmatico issued the citation ticket, Oates wrote inappropriate word on the signature part of the citation ticket, Acebuche added.

The incident went viral on social media last month.

Acebuche said Gulmatico reported the incident to the nearest police station and the complaint was already endorsed to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) for the cancellation of the driver's license of the foreigner.

He said they are still waiting for a communication from LTO to have a conference with Oates to resolve the complaint.

Acebuche said Gulmatico informed him he will pursue the case, but because Oates had already made a public apology, he may withdraw the complaint.

He noted the City Government has an existing City Ordinance 338, or the Comprehensive Traffic Ordinance, which include regulation of public utility jeepney routes and parking areas.

Penalty includes a fine of P1,000, towing and impoundment of illegally parked vehicles, and P1,000 redemption fee of impounded vehicles.

Acebuche accepted Oates apology, but insisted the case will go on.

He disclosed that this will be a lesson to a foreigner to always follow the city's traffic rules to avoid penalties and charges. (MAP)
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