Malacañang on Sunday defended the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) traffic constable who was reportedly assaulted by a Maserati-driving motorist in Quezon City last week.
Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said traffic enforcer Jorbe Adriatico is entitled to “presumption of innocence” and a “presumption of regularity in the performance of his duties.”
“‘Yun pong mga traffic constables ng MMDA ay mga alagad ng batas at sinisikap nga po nilang maging maayos ‘yung daloy ng ating trapik. Hindi naman po makatuwiran ‘yung tinatawag nating ‘road rage’ [The traffic constables of the MMDA are enforcers of the law and they make sure traffic rules are followed. There is no rationale for ‘road rage’],” Coloma told government-run dzRB radio.
“There is a presumption of regularity in the performance of official duties. We also recognize a person’s right on the presumption of innocence. That is why it would have been better if those involved in similar incidents immediately face authorities and tell their side of the story,” he said.
Coloma was reacting to the incident involving Joseph Russel Ingco, the driver of the blue Maserati Ghibli, who allegedly bullied and roughed up Adriatico during an altercation last November 27.
Ingco has said he will no longer submit himself to a police probe, noting that he was already judged for his actions. He claimed self-defense when he supposedly dragged Adriatico a hundred meters down the road.
Coloma said Malacanang is standing by the MMDA’s statements that also defended the traffic enforcer.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino had declared that his office will give full support to Adriatico, saying his accounts were spontaneous whereas Ingco only surfaced a few days after the incident to give his side of the story.
Tolentino noted that Ingco’s face was spotless. Adriatico, on the other hand, has to undergo surgery.
Adriatico has filed charges against Ingco, including serious physical injuries, grave threats and direct assault on a person in authority, as well as robbery, the suspect having taken his mobile phone.
Tolentino said Adriatico may be reassigned to another area for the meantime.