Cops nab MMDA traffic aide for extortion, coercion

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THE police arrested a traffic aide from the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) in an entrapment operation conducted by the Highway Patrol Group – Special Operations Division in Pasig City.

The MMDA traffic aide was identified by the police as Jomar Palata, 40 years old, and is currently assigned at the MMDA’s Office of the Assistant General Manager for Operations.

A lady complainant sought police assistance after the suspect, who identified himself as a law enforcement personnel of the Land Transportation Office (LTO), tried to extort money from her, according to a police report.

The victim said that on April 28, Palata threatened her that he will apprehend all the commuter vans she owned if she will refuse to give bribe money amounting to P100,000.

Palata is currently detained and is facing robbery extortion, grave coercion, and usurpation of authority charges.

MMDA Chairman Romando Artes said the MMDA does not tolerate such errant activities done by any of its personnel.

He also encouraged all victims of extortion and coercion and those giving “payola” to report such illegal activities.

The MMDA is serious in cleaning its ranks of any wrongdoings as we are likewise very firm in keeping the agency corruption-free. Anyone who was victimized by erring personnel is encouraged to lodge a complaint in our office for investigation. Proven guilty, the MMDA will not be gentle in meting out punishments for these individuals,” he added.

Artes said that legitimate MMDA apprehensions would have to be settled at its Redemption Center in Makati or in authorized online payment channels such as Landbank and Bayad.

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