Netizens cited for video of abusive motorist who attacked traffic officer

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TV5 producers chanced upon a motorist identified as Robert Blair Carabuena, a resourcing supervisor at the Philip Morris International, manhandling on-duty MMDA traffic enforcer Saturnino Fabros. The incident occurred at Capitol Hills Drive corner Tandang Sora in Quezon City on Saturday. ?We commend our vigilant citizens who actively seek accountability from individuals in both the public and private sectors. A video taken by Karen Bernadette Keith, a researcher for the ?T3: Kapatid Sagot Kita? program of TV5, showing a person assaulting an enforcer of the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) was circulated online and sparked outrage among our fellow citizens through social media,? Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a statement. Lacierda said the administration is supporting the move of the MMDA to file charges against the motorist. ?When people seek out and denounce the abusive, we see our citizens taking an active part in the President?s drive against the ?wang-wang mentality.? This is a convergence that directly links individuals, through social and traditional media, to broader efforts to achieve social change, by bringing to light any possible wrongdoing,? he noted. ?Public engagement is the bedrock of democracy. It is at its most potent and powerful when the constant scrutiny of the citizenry serves as a deterrent to the illicit and unlawful,? he stressed. When the video was uploaded on YouTube, netizens from social networking sites like Twitter expressed their dismay over the display of arrogance by the motorist. The MMDA, meanwhile, said on Wednesday that it will file criminal charges against Carabuena, who was identified in his LinkedIn profile as an alumnus of the Ateneo de Manila University. MMDA chairman Francis Tolentino said he has directed the Legal Service to file direct assault charges against Carabuena on behalf of Fabros. The criminal complaint will be filed at the Office of the City Prosecutor in Quezon City. ?We cannot allow this aggression and shameless attack against our men who are only doing their job as best as they can, regardless of the risks they face in the streets every day,? Tolentino said. Saying the assault on Fabros is also an attack against the MMDA, Tolentino demanded that Carabuena issue a public apology. Carabuena was caught on camera slapping Fabros several times over a traffic violation. Fabros said he had tried to apprehend Carabuena after he ignored the stop signal at the corner of Capitol Drive and Tandang Sora Avenue in Quezon City. Tolentino said he will also ask the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to cancel Carabuena?s driver?s license as ?abusive and arrogant motorists like him, who obviously do not have serious regard to the rule of law, have no right to be in the road in the first place.? Under the Revised Penal Code, direct assault is charged to any person who shall attack, employ force, or seriously intimidate or resist any person in authority or any of his agents, while engaged in the performance of official duties. Direct assault is punishable by a prison term of six months to six years. Tolentino said the criminal liability of Carabuena is aggravated by the fact ? as shown in the video footages ? that he laid his hands upon Fabros, a person in authority. ?As with all of our men who were attacked and intimidated by undisciplined motorists while performing their duties, we will see to it that justice is served to Mr. Fabros,? the MMDA chief said, adding that they will extend all possible assistance to the traffic constable.]]>

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