MMDA to probe enforcer allegedly bribed by Stephen Speaks crew


Posted at Feb 18 2023 06:52 PM

Photo from Stephen Speaks' Facebook page
Photo from Stephen Speaks' Facebook page

MANILA – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will investigate the traffic enforcer who was allegedly bribed by the crew of pop rock act Stephen Speaks after their vehicle reportedly committed a traffic violation. 

In a series of tweets, the MMDA said it will coordinate with LTO Chief Jay Art Tugade to look probe the now-viral post of Stephen Speaks. 

The agency hinted at the possibility of suspending the license of those involved.

Stephen Speaks recently shared on Facebook that their Grab driver was pulled over by a traffic enforcer for a violation but was let off in exchange for a favor.

"Our Grab (like Uber) driver just got pulled in Manila over for running a red light, and my tour crew bribed him with a selfie with me to let us go. He said he sings Passenger Seat at the karaoke bar," the band said. "I was like…. I can’t believe that actually worked."

The group clarified the incident in follow-up posts.

"The kid driving us showed the officer on his dash cam that he was clear of the light, someone stopped in front of him and that’s why he didn’t make it all the way through. We aren’t criminals here. It’s like the replay in a sports game when the referee realizes he saw it wrong. I just thought it was funny the officer wanted a selfie with me. I apologize for using the word 'bribe', that’s not actually how it went down."

"Thanks for reaching out but we're moving on from this. We did not mean anything by this. It was just a poor choice of words on our part. It was done in jest that resulted in this. We apologize to all who have been bothered by this seeming disregard for authority. Rest assured, we respect all the authorities in the Philippines. We will learn from this. Once more, my sincerest apologies."

The MMDA said fame, power, and connections are not considered free passes to avoid getting a traffic violation ticket.

“It is wrong that a traffic violator was not given a citation ticket just because the passenger is a well-known figure,” it said. 

“Should the band's clarification be true, the apprehension is likewise wrong since motorists who cross on a green light but stuck in the middle just when the light changes to red should not be flagged down unless given signal by the enforcer beforehand.”