Hulidap is common in the Philippines. For those who aren’t aware, hulidap is a combination of huli and hold-up, where law enforcers will catch motorists and citizens doing imaginary violations in order to extort money from them. And according to Weng B, this area in Manila is allegedly a hotspot of hulidap activities.
According to Weng:
We were apprehended by a traffic enforcer from the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau (MTPB) last 28 August 2015. He issued a traffic violation ticket that says “passing through a red light, and arrogant.”
The vehicle we were riding was already in the intersection, inside the yellow marking when the traffic light suddenly turned yellow, then red. We were coming from V. Mapa, and we were turning left to N. Domingo. There were vehicles turning to the same road from the opposite direction, so this slows down the turn of all vehicles trying to get to N. Domingo.
The traffic enforcer took offense when asked what his name is, and when asked to produce an identity card. He had no nameplate on his shirt. He refused to answer questions or provide explanation on why we were singled out while there were jeeps that also made the turn to N. Domingo from V. Mapa, the same time we did.
Naturally, Weng contested the ticket at the Manila Traffic and Parking Bureau.
We were scheduled for a hearing after filing the complaint at the MTPB office. During the so-called hearing, the adjudicator said she will lower the fine to PhP 1000 since the traffic enforcer did not show up. She said the driver admitted his fault (although the driver did not speak at all, nor said so in his complaint form). I asked if I can speak (I am not the driver, but I was in the vehicle apprehended), she cut me off, saying she decides on the violation only, and do not take up “other issues”. I was about to ask why the traffic enforcer acted so arbitrarily and rudely, but she refused to listen and concluded the hearing.
They paid the fine and got the license back, but they noticed a few things:
A.) Apprehended violators or ticketed drivers either alone or with some companion were in and out of the lawyer’s office. Some whom we spoke with related their fines were reduced, but everyone had to pay a fine.
B.) We had a specific time schedule for the hearing, but there were several people who just went inside the lawyer’s office, even without a schedule. Some were accompanied by Manila City Hall employees.
C.) The ticketed drivers we spoke with were all complaining of their alleged violations, some had similar cases like ours, being stuck at the intersection with a yellow light suddenly turning red; some were charged with abrupt or illegal change of lanes; a truck driver said he was just issued a ticket just because he drives a big truck (it happens often), and for other traffic violations.
She calculated that in the span of two hours, there was an average of 15 to 20 drivers all contesting their tickets. If “each fine paid is PhP 500, multiply that by 15 and then by 4 (average drivers fined every 2 hours within an 8 hour period), you get PhP 30,000 per day (PhP 150,000/ week, PhP600,000 per month, PhP 7.2 million per year). But this only cover those who filed complaints and had their fines reduced. The enforcers receive a 20% commission of all paid fines.”
Weng noted that she has written to the head of the MTPB, Mr. Carter Don Yumul Logica, and Mayor Joseph Ejercito Estrada, but the MTPB continues to apprehend private vehicles in the same area.
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