• Siga ng sidewalk (Hoodlums on sidewalks)

    Moje Ramos-Aquino, Fpm

    Moje Ramos-Aquino, Fpm

    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?

    Feedback to moje629@gmail.com.


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    1. Horrible experience indeed. Undeserved.

      It’s not just the sidewalks in sta. mesa but entire streets as well. Parallel to V Mapa street is Guadalcanal street, which is full of parked cars, vendors and what nots. Informed mmda about this but mmda just said it’s not within their jurisdiction. The barangay simply refuses to do anything about this even if garbage collection trucks are already affected.

      To make it even worse, Guadalcanal street even has 3 basketball courts in it. Imagine that.

    2. our traffic enforcers are up to no good

      they are visible only to issue ticket and/or extort under the table money from the violators and made up violations of motorists…

      example, roxas boulevard corner mia road

      jeepneys, bus and uv express are notorious to take all the lanes, and yet, when a car happened to be in near the center island lane and opt top go straight to coastal, they are flagged down and issued traffic violations or asked to pay (in the case of my friend who happened to be a professor at DLSU-Taft, 500 pesos)

    3. Yesterday, on my way to an ATM kiosk along Katipunan Ave across Miriam College near Rustan’s Supermarket, I had the hard time walking because motorcycles were taking all the pedestrian lane. Being a senior citizen who uses cane, I asked the traffic enforcer to mind his duty to make the sidewalk be given to people instead of the motorcycles. So, anung nangyari? wala! Dedma lang ang mga enforcers.

      Mr. Francis Tolentino, ayusin no trabaho mo!

    4. You rightly expect better law enforcement in the capital, but here in the provinces (negros Occid, San Carlos City in my case), what you describe is normal!
      Its a bit like living in the wild west. Sidewalks and crossings are designed as shady parking for cars and especially motorbikes. Not for people. The so called traffic aides do just that! They aid only vehicle owners. Pedestrians have no rights. There is virtually no law enforcement. Vehicles park where they like. I never see a crash helmet, even on a policeman. Lights are a minority interest. Mufflers designed not to muffle but to amplify. Many bike riders have no licence and no insurance. Some are underage. None are aprehended. At least its a LITTLE better in Cebu and the big Cities.

    5. Imagine being a foreigner in this country. Where we come from our police strictly enforce the laws so when we see every single day by 99.99999% recurring terrible driving of all of those drivers how do you think we feel. My friend said yesterday when he went out he was going to try really hard to try not to complain about the bad driving, but within 1 killometre of leaving our subdivision he failed. Filipipinos like laws, but only as long as they dont apply to them or if not enforced. My wife is on the HOA in our subdivision & have made & put up on boards the rules for driving in the subdivision, but almost 100% of the people break them every single time they drive. The rules are not enforced as any who got punished & their friends would turn against you & who knows what they would do to you, your animals or your property. Then when you mention your police or anything to do with the law well its a joke.
      Im going through it right now & the person making the allegation doesnt have to prove it, my lawyer is telling me i have to prove im innocent, its like talking to an idiot. They say i have an income i say i dont. How do i prove i dont, it should be them to prove i do, but they cant because i dont so there is no evidence. But talking here in this country to anyone, well its frustrating at the least.

    6. Cres Malifier on

      Wonderful column, Ms. Moje-Aquino.
      Let’s see how the PNP command will respond to this simple expose. Let’s ask Deadshot Columnist Erwin Tulfo and his radio and TV programs to help.
      Let’s keep on reminding these anti-citizen and unpatriotic policemen that their duty is to uphold the law and protect the good citizens of our country not the lawbreakers and SIGA SIGA.
      But will they even acknowledge that this thing is happening?
      What I see in our country’s streets is something like the situation in China before the Second World War, when Gangster Lords ruled and the policemen were all employed by one Gangster Gang or another and the good policemen were terrified of the baddies.

    7. Paging our Senators and Congressmen, you need to make laws so our sidewalks should be used only for what it is intended for. Another law should be enacted also for tricycles including kuligligs not to ply national and provincial roads and there should be bicycle lanes at the edge of all roads. In Tuguegarao City, why is it that still our tricycles are almost 90% using two stroke engine motor bikes? And there is daily chaos in our street because tricycles are double parking especially near malls and market areas unlike in orderly Laoag City which the Mayor is personally checking their streets on a daily basis.

    8. You are very right. Majority Law enforcers victimi ze simple citizens. They use their uniform to rob. I wish there will be VIGILANTES. It is the best solution on this problem.

      To follow the legal process will not work and will not solve things that you mentioned.

      Now a days, with the criminal actions of majority law enforcers of our Country, criminal actions is the solution. Davao tactics must be used. Rally and protest will not work on this kind of problem. This is where the riding in tandem is needed. You have to be a criminal to stop criminality like Tong, Lagay and Hulidap.

    9. Please do not stop there. File charges. Publish the name of that driver and those inept traffic policemen. Please for the sake of the small people who are constantly victimized by arrogant entitled people.

      Please do not let this go.