By Alexandria San Juan
The Land Transportation Office (LTO) has relieved five duty enforcers whose patrol vehicle was caught in a now-viral social media post improperly parked in a major thoroughfare in Malabon City.
In a statement on Wednesday, LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante said he already ordered the Central Office Law Enforcement Service (LES) to relieve from their position the law enforcement officers involved in the viral post as the probe is ongoing.
“I have directed the Law Enforcement Service Chief to immediately relieve the LEOs from their present position, and to cease from performing law enforcement functions, pending investigation,” Galvante said.
According to Galvante, five enforcement officers of the LTO-National Capital Region who used the Patrol Vehicle 8 on Tuesday were directed to explain within 24 hours upon receiving the Memorandum why no disciplinary action should be taken against them.
Galvante lamented the incident, noting that the personnel involved were actually cited earlier for their humanitarian efforts in the rescue and relief operations following Taal Volcano’s eruptions.
However, the LTO chief reiterated that the agency does not tolerate similar behavior especially from their enforcers “who are supposed to be the first to follow rules and regulations” on the road.
The issue stemmed from a Facebook post of a netizen who uploaded several photos of an improperly parked LTO NCR patrol vehicle, with half of its body protruding in a busy road in Malabon.
The uploader mentioned in his post that the officers left the vehicle in front of a restaurant where they were also seen eating.
This was immediately reported to the LTO Central Office who is now probing the incident.
“We assure you that the agency does condone such actions and that it will act swiftly and accordingly to the law,” Galvante said.
Meanwhile, Galvante emphasized that government workers and officers should be more conscious of their behavior, especially in dispensing their work in public, especially in the current social media environment.
“We will always be judged based on our last act or performance, and not what transpired before. So it is really incumbent upon us in government to consistently act in a manner that befits our responsibility as public servants,” he added.