Philip Morris exec attacks traffic aide, is charged
QUEZON CITY – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) filed criminal charges against a Philip Morris executive who beat up a traffic constable in Quezon City last Saturday.
MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said he has directed the Legal Service to file direct assault charges against Robert Blair Carabuena, recruitment officer of Philip Morris tobacco company, on behalf of Traffic Constable Saturnino Fabros.
The criminal complaint was filed Wednesday 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.
The MMDA chief said that Fabros was just doing his job dutifully as a traffic enforcer but the actions Carabuena showed total disregard for a person of authority and a blatant disrespect for the law.
Saying the assault on Fabros is also an attack against the MMDA, Tolentino demanded that Carabuena issue a public apology.
“A public apology is demanded from Mr. Carabuena, not only for Mr. Fabros, but for the entire Authority, which he unjustly and intentionally offended,” he said.
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.
Tolentino added that all support will be given to Fabros in his search for justice in the proper court.
“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.
“I urge the MMDA community to continue the good work that we have shown for the past years, and because of your support and cooperation, we have served the public and achieved our mission with sincerity, and integrity. Keep in mind that this incident should not have happened in the first place. Nonetheless, I trust that this unfortunate spectacle shall become an example for all motorists on how to behave and conduct themselves,” Tolentino said.