MANILA, Philippines (3rd UPDATE) – A traffic enforcer of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) was shot by a motorist in San Juan Wednesday afternoon, according to MMDA traffic director Yves Gonzalez.
On his Twitter account, Gonzalez said the victim, later identified as Larry Fiala, was shot 3 times while apprehending a traffic violator.
Authorities said the suspect, identified as Edward John Gonzalez (no relation to the MMDA official), was flagged down by Fiala underneath Santolan bridge around 4 p.m. for violating the number coding scheme.
The suspect then allegedly punched the enforcer and fled.
“Sinuntok siya. Nagpahabol hanggang doon sa Connecticut,” said MMDA team leader Romeo Galo.
Authorities said the traffic enforcer chased the suspect until Connecticut St.
Falia caught up with the suspect in Florida St., where he was shot in the arm, hand and abdomen.
The traffic enforcer was rushed to Polymedic General Hospital by a taxi driver.
“[MMDA] Chairman [Francis] Tolentino has already sent representatives from the office to Polymedic to take care of the medical expenses that will be incurred,” tweeted MMDA traffic director Gonzalez.
The suspect, who fled the crime scene, was later arrested in his residence by officials of the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group in a follow-up operation.
A witness positively identified the suspect as the gunman. He may face charges of frustrated murder with direct assault.
MMDA enforcers, for their part, remind the public that they are only doing their jobs.
“Kapag pinagsabihan sila, makinig sila. Huwag naman sila magalit sa amin. Kasi sa amin, trabaho lang din naman. Kapag may mali sila, syempre sisitahin namin sila,” said Galo.
Meanwhile, traffic director Gonzalez urged motorists to report abusive traffic enforcers.
“Kung mayroon namang enforcer na abusado, ireklamo niyo lang din sa amin,” he said. -- With a report from Jenny Reyes, ABS-CBN News