'Abusive' motorist issues public apology

By Dharel Placido, ABS-CBNnews.com

Posted at Aug 23 2012 09:01 AM | Updated as of Aug 24 2012 10:26 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) – The motorist who was caught on video hurting and berating a traffic enforcer has turned up at the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) and issued a public apology.

MMDA Traffic Discipline chief Yves Gonzalez, in his Twitter account, posted a photo of Robert Blair Carabuena reading his letter of apology before MMDA chief Francis Tolentino and several MMDA traffic enforcers.

Photo courtesy of Yves Gonzalez

Carabuena, an employee of a tobacco company, was caught on video slapping and berating MMDA traffic enforcer Saturnino “Sonny” Fabros last August 11, prompting outrage especially among the members of the Filipino social media community.

Fabros was not at the MMDA headquarters to listen to Carabuena's apology. Carabuena asked Tolentino's permission to meet Fabros to personally apologize.

In his letter of apology, Carabuena belied reports that he went in hiding, and assured that he is ready to face the consequences of his actions.

"Nitong nakaraang linggo, naramdaman ko po ang galit ng publiko sa aking inasal. Simula ng lumabas ang video sa media at social media, minabuti ko pong manatili muna sa aming tahanan. Kinailangan kong humingi ng payo sa aking pamilya at mga kaibigan, gayon na rin sa aking mga abugado," Carabuena said in his apology.

"Kung mayroon man akong hihilingin sa puntong ito, ako po sana'y mabigyan ng pangalawang pagkakataon, at personal na makahingi ng tawad kay Mang Sonny."

Carabuena added that while he respects the decision of Tolentino to request for the cancellation of his driver's license, he is appealing for a reconsideration because he needs it for his work.

In a separate tweet, the MMDA said despite Carabuena's public apology, "the direct assault case filed against Carabuena will push through. There is a preliminary hearing later today at the QC Prosecutor’s office."

Fabros was recently promoted to Traffic Constable 2 from Traffic Constable 1. He also received financial support and scholarships for his six children.

On Tuesday, about a dozen MMDA workers surprised Fabros by starting the repair and improvement of his two-story house in Quezon City.

Public apology of Robert Blair Carabuena (click image to enlarge). Photo courtesy of Yves Gonzalez