MMDA men, vendor in mauling incident test negative for drugs

MANILA Personnel of the Sidewalk Clearing Operations Group of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA-SCOG) who were involved in the mauling of a coconut vendor last week tested negative for illegal drugs, an official said on Tuesday.

Coconut vendor Romnick Relos was also tested negative for illegal drugs.

We decided to disclose the results of the drug testing of our personnel as well as the coconut vendor to show transparency under the leadership of Chairman Danilo Lim, MMDA Acting General Manager Jojo Garcia told a press conference.

The MMDA ordered the 13 SCOG personnel undergo drug testing while the vendor volunteered to do the same. Of the 13, three, who are now serving a 15-day preventive suspension pending investigation, were involved in mauling Relos.

The incident happened last March 2 at the vicinity of EDSA-Evangelista footbridge (northbound) in Pasay City, which was caught on video and went viral on social media, showed SCOG members mauling the coconut vendor during a clearing operation.

Garcia said the MMDA would decide whether to extend the suspension of the concerned personnel, who are on job order status, or terminate them depending on the recommendation of its legal department.

We decided to file first the cases against the three personnel as they are the ones directly involved in the incident. We will be deciding on the next steps depending on what our legal will advise us, he said.

Ang problema kapag nasa main thoroughfare ka especially EDSA, a single obstruction will create traffic; libu-libo ang maapektuhan (The problem is in major thoroughfares, especially EDSA, a single obstruction will create traffic; thousands will be affected)," he added.

Garcia also appealed to netizens to do their part in creating awareness on the initiatives to ease traffic in Metro Manila.

Bakit hindi pinapansin ng netizens ang mabuting ginagawa ng MMDA? Every day we are doing our sidewalk clearing operations. The full force of government is trying to clear the major roads in Metro Manila para sa nakararami (Why do netizens not focus on the good initiatives of the MMDA? Every day we are doing our sidewalk clearing operations. The full force of government is trying to clear the major roads in Metro Manila for the benefit of everyone).

The agency has been conducting clearing operations in line with the President's directive to clear major thoroughfares of road obstructions including illegal vendors.

Source: Philippine News Agency