Philip Morris suspends ‘abusive’ motorist


Posted at Aug 16 2012 11:02 AM | Updated as of Aug 17 2012 01:38 AM

Traffic enforcer Saturnino Fabros being interviewed by the media at the MMDA office. Photo by Yves Gonzalez

MANILA, Philippines – Philip Morris Fortune Tobacco Corp. (PMFTC) said Thursday it has suspended one of its employees, Robert Blair Carabuena, following his involvement in an altercation with a Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) traffic enforcer.

PMFTC made the announcement after a group of petitioners from various sectors urged the company to fire Carabuena, who was caught on camera berating and slapping MMDA aide Saturnino Fabros last Saturday, August 11, after he was pulled over for a traffic violation in Quezon City.

While the company said Carabuena was “on his personal time and not on duty for the company at the time,” it stressed that “it does not condone inappropriate conduct by any of our employees.”

“PMFTC has suspended Mr. Carabuena pending the outcome of the investigation,” it said in a statement.

The MMDA has filed a direct assault charge against Carabuena and his brother Benjamin on Wednesday.

Carabuena has closed his social media accounts after several Internet users took to Facebook and Twitter to condemn what he did to Fabros, as captured by a cellphone video.

The MMDA earlier said that assaulting a traffic enforcer is grounds for suspending or canceling one’s driver’s license.