Driver Who Slapped Traffic Enforcer Faces Charges

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will file criminal charges against a tobacco company executive who roughed up a traffic enforcer.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino said he has directed the agency's legal service to file direct assault charges against Robert Blair Carabuena, recruitment officer of the multinational Philip Morris, on behalf of Traffic Constable Saturnino Fabros.

"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.

Carabuena was caught on video by a television crew attacking Fabros in Quezon City on Saturday.

The video went viral in the social media.

Saying the assault on Fabros is also an attack on the MMDA, Tolentino demanded that Carabuena issue a public apology.

Carabuena was caught slapping Fabros several times after the traffic enforcer tried to apprehend. Carabuena had run a red light at the intersection of Capitol Drive and Tandang Sora Avenue in Quezon City.

Tolentino said he will ask the Land Transportation Office (LTO) to cancel Carabuena's driver's license. "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," he said.

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 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 that he laid his hands on Fabros, a person in authority.