MANILA — Quezon City's traffic czar apologized Thursday for breaking the window of a car parked on the sidewalk of Timog Avenue, as local governments raced to meet a deadline to clear streets of illegal structures.
Ariel Inton, officer-in-charge of the city's Task Force for Transport and Traffic Management, was caught on video using what appeared to be a tire wrench to break the window of the car before it was towed away from the parking area in front of a condominium building, Tuesday morning.
A 2004 city ordinance allows local authorities to confiscate vehicles parked on streets and other public places, noted Inton, a former board member of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB).
Under the same local law, illegally parked vehicles "shall be treated as common or ordinary garbage and shall be disposed of as such," he told radio DZMM.
"But I did it not because gusto kong sirain but gusto ko lamang ma-ano yung lock ng sasakyan para 'pag ini-tow po, e hindi po masira ang sasakyan," he said.
(I did it not because I want to destroy it but because I wanted to open the lock so the vehicle would not be damaged when it's towed.)
"Iyong pagbasag, I must admit I overdid it and I apologize. Iyong pagkakataon na iyon e ika nga, was a call of judgement. Might be wrong, but really, pasensya na po, na-overdid ko lang po iyun," he added.
(In breaking the window, I must admit I overdid it and I apologize. That instance was a call of judgement, it might be wrong, sorry, I just overdid it.)
Inton said he has also apologized to the car's owner.
The city, he said, also keeps tabs on illegally parked vehicles and consults village officials before towing operations.
"We are taking care of all vehicles na ini-tow po namin dito po sa aming (that we towed here in our) impounding area," he said.
"Minsan kahit na kontrolado mo, naki-carry away pa rin tayo... I really apologize, I learned this mistake. We will refine this kasi ayaw ko naman iyong operation namin magkaroon ng lamat dahil sa pagkakamaling ito. I take the blame for this," he added.
(Sometimes even when you're in control, we get carried away... I don't want our operations to crack because of this mistake.)
The interior department earlier gave local governments until September 29 to reclaim roads being used for private purposes.
Among those encountering difficulty in clearing operations is Quezon City, which has the biggest land area among Metro Manila, officials earlier said.