• Govt steps up Anti-corruption drive

    ‘Go after cop extortionists’

    6

    The government will launch an “invigorated” campaign against policemen and traffic enforcers who brazenly extort bribes from motorists–particularly those who prey on truckers who transport goods from Manila’s ports.

    Cabinet Secretary Rene Almendras on Friday said the renewed drive against the kotong cops was reached by government officials, truckers, shippers and port operators during a three-and-a-half hour meeting on Friday.

    “We’ve also decided that during these next two weeks, we’re going to be launching also an invigorated anti-kotong operation particularly against those [who]are targeting these trucks because the truckers have said that one of their problems is that [this]illegal and unscrupulous [operation has]jacked up prices,” Almendras noted in a news briefing held after the meeting.

    He said the Cabinet had sought help of the police in carrying out the drive.

    According to him, a new task force under the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) will be formed to go after unscrupulous police officers.

    The pointman for the campaign will be Chief Supt. Allen Bantolo, an official from the same unit.

    “We are setting up a special head office to ensure that we will be able to respond to [truckers who]will be inappropriately detained or inappropriately arrested,” Almendras said.

    Bantolo will make sure that truck movements will be monitored and be allowed to move where they are supposed to, he added.

    Almendras said the renewed anti-kotong drive aims to specifically make sure that during the next two weeks, “we want to move as much cargo as we can from the ports.”

    Traffic within the port’s vicinity was heavily congested and businessmen have been asking the government to remove thousands of empty container vans stacked in the ports.

    Almenrdas said they were informed that many traffic officers who were not appropriately informed about the scheme are taking advantage of the situation, meaning trucks are being stopped and their drivers apprehended and mulcted when they take “express lanes.”

    “This morning, [Metropolitan Manila Development Authority] Chairman [Francis] Tolentino met with the traffic enforcement groups of [the 16 cities and one municipality of]Metro Manila. The intention of the meeting was to clarify what is going to happen starting Monday when we tag the trucks that come to the port on Sunday,” the Palace official explained.

    He said a good number of importers have agreed to pull out their containers from the ports beginning on Sunday and that policemen and local traffic personnel will be informed of the movement and prevent them from preying on truck drivers.

    Almendras called on all ground personnel to be briefed on the developments, saying they are working out the new traffic plan with their offices and main coordinators.

    “There will be additional meetings between now and Sunday. And, as I said, the police [are]now on board,” he added.

    Kotong, Almendras said, had taken a heavy toll on the trucking business, as shown by records presented to them by truckers.

    “[The truckers’] expenses increased. They showed us their basis for saying so,” he said.

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    6 Comments

    1. gabriela silang on

      anti kotong campaign! nanaman? lagi nalang may kampanya kontra kotong pero lagi ding nababalewala. look deeper into the problem! it is not as easy as you think. how can you stop the cops from kotong when their boss is a kotong suspect? di ba alan?

      • cops who are assigned to man specific areas are obliged by the commander to remit daily kotong percentages. the commander in turn remits to the district commanders. this goes up to the highest echelons. this is an institutionalized method of making everybody happy, and no commander will give an ordinary cop a lucrative area of operation unless there is kotong money that is remitted.
        ask the reporters assigned to police beats, this will be confirmed. this is no myth.

    2. Follow the Leader, higher government should set an example that they are honest and uncorruptible, how could they expect their men to follow instructions from them if they are the one getting rich in getting bribes from wealthy businessmen.

    3. One of my suggestion in your yesterday’s paper that in order to minimize traffic in Metro Manila now that the administration is doing it’s last two minutes huge public work projects is to implement the ODD-EVEN Schemes and STRIKE ONE POLICY to all KOTONG COPS and KOTONG TRAFFIC ENFORCERS AND NOT JUST TRANSFER THEM OR SEND THEM TO OTHER UNITS TO DO AGAIN THEIR ILLEGAL ACTIVITIES.

      The ODD-EVEN Schemes will not only reduced into half the vehicles in Metro Manila but also encourage carpooling among motorists. Vehicles with plate ending in Odd numbers will be allowed on Mondays-Wednesdays and Fridays and vehicles with plates ending in Even numbers will be allowed on Tuesdays-Thursdays and Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays, police patrol cars and emergencies are exempted

      I BELIEVE, THAT IN THE MEANTIME WE HAVE THIS TRUCK BAN PROBLEM AND MAJOR PUBLIC WORKS PROHJECTS THAT CAUSED YESTERDAY’S HUGE, MONSTROUS, UNBELIEVABLE, RECORD BREAKING TRAFFIC IN THE WORLD THAT ONLY HAPPEN IN THE PHILIPPINES, THE ODD-EVEN SCHEME IS THE ONLY SOLUTION TO OUR MONSTROUS TRAFFIC HEADACHE.

      CHAIR TOLENTINO PLEASE DON’T WAIT UNTIL SOMEONE DIES OF HEART ATTACK DUE TO THIS MONSTROUS AND UBELIVABLE EIGHT HOURS STANDSTILL TRAFFIC. RECOMMEND TO THE PRESIDENT TO ISSUE AN EXECUTIVE ORDER IMPLIMENTING THE ODD-EVEN SCHEME.

    4. How do you expect a Normal government employee specially the Police/BIR/COA/ small Government official who handles finacial not to take Bribe when in case, Senator/Congress/Malacanang/Moyor/Governor, ang KOTONG nila is by the hundred Million and Now the Public knows the kurapsyon cancer is so rampant both the Administration and Opposition leaders….. I don’t know if it is effective when Crime and poverty is rising, then the prices is going-up then the Normal labor minimum wage is still the same, not Balance.

    5. You can have cameras fitted into the cab showing how you are driving & its easy to see if there are any laws broken from bad driving. Also the driver can wear a body cam that records what the policeman or traffic enforcer says to the driver after taking him away from the cab. These corrupt policemen & traffic enforcers need to be caught & jailed but its been going on now for so long they look at the money they extort as part of their salary & live according to having that as their income. After having so much money for such a long time they wont be able to manage on their salaries so if not caught they will continue to extort money forever.