IWAS waiting at the sidewalk under the small shade of an electric post at 2 o’clock yesterday afternoon at the corner of Ramon Magsaysay Blvd. and V. Mapa Street. Then came a car that took a U-turn from the other side of Magsaysay Boulevard. As the driver was approaching, she made hand signal for me to move. I didn’t move at first because there was no shade on the other part of the sidewalk. She continued to move towards me until she came right in front of me and so I had to move aside, still on the sidewalk. Then she opened her window and, with a menacing facial expression and very arrogant tone, she asked, “Anong problema mo?” (What is your problem?).
I replied, “This is the sidewalk and this is for pedestrians, not for cars.”
She retorted, “Sira ulo mo. Dito ako nagpa-park, eh. Hindi ako kasya dyan sa lugar mo.” (You are crazy. This is where I park. My car will not fit where you are standing).
Then we had some kind of an altercation. She insisted, “Sira ulo mo (You are crazy).” The security guard came and other people gathered around us and she kept her very big-headed and condescending stance and tone of voice. I was wearing a well-worn sleeveless shirt, pedal pushers and rubber slippers.
I called one policeman and told him what happened. I said I would just to go to the bank to pay my credit card and then I would come back and both of us would go to the police precinct to file a complaint. I went back in a few minutes but the policeman was not there anymore. The other policemen (about 10 of them) asked me what happened and I told them and, every time a new policeman came near, they would ask me to repeat my story.
They all told me that I needed to write a formal complaint to the barangay (village) where that corner belongs to. Then the barangay will hear my case and, if warranted, will refer the case to the police. But I said, “Your organization’s name is Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau. And I am here now, why can’t you help me? It is very obvious that those vehicles are parked illegally. And the name of your bureau is Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau.”
Their uniform reply was, “There is nothing we can do. You need to go through the process.” Huh?!?!?
They continued to harass passing vehicles (who simply sped away). One or two would stop, one policeman would go to the vehicle and pretend to write something in his notebook.
Then he would go to the driver’s side (I could not anymore see or hear their conversation) and pretty soon, the policeman would let the driver go. I asked them, what was the violation of these motorists? They just said various violations, but I never saw them give out a ticket. I tried to get their names but they got mad at me because they said I had no reason or right to get their names. Huh?!?!?!
I took pictures of the illegally parked cars. The plate numbers are: XPF 313 (SUV) and RGT 117 (small truck). Their vehicles are even already occupying parts of Magsaysay Boulevard. Pedestrians walk on the street, which is very dangerous considering that that corner is always busy with oncoming vehicles from V. Mapa and Magsaysay. (Perhaps The Manila Times could have a special box on the front page featuring the chaos in our streets?)
This is a minuscule sample of the chaos going on 24/7 in our streets. There are many more bullying incidents out there by lawbreakers. And law enforcers who, by their own admission, cannot do anything for the ordinary citizen. In fact, this is not the first time I have complained about this illegal parking in the same place. And those cars are still illegally parked there. Let us do a Hong Kong-style protest!!! Let us demand service from the police. Let us demand that police simply do their job!!!
There ought to be a law requiring business establishments to have proper parking areas for their own and their customers’ vehicles. If these business organizations wantonly violate simple laws like illegal parking, I wonder if they commit bigger infractions with their tax payments and others. Hmmm. What do you think?
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