March 5, 2024

The head of the Public Order and Safety Division has found himself at the receiving end of public criticisms for alleged arrogance in the enforcement of the mandate of the office he heads and the inhumane treatment of a person with disability (PWD).

Early last week, an online petition circulated asking Mayor Benjamin Magalong to remove POSD head Marvin Herrera for alleged abuse of authority on several instances such as when he was caught on video arguing with a vendor at the public market and when he took the side of one his men who issued a citation ticket to a PWD for jaywalking.

In a radio interview Tuesday, Magalong said apart from said incidents, Herrera have contributed significantly in organizing the city market, especially while the city is on community quarantine.

He said Herrera also has a good working relationship with other members of the POSD.

The mayor said he already reprimanded Herrera and was told to maintain humility. 

 “Sometimes your emotions get the better of you,” the mayor said, but stressed the incident does not warrant Herrera’s removal. 

Despite the mayor’s pronouncement, City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña said investigation on Herrera’s actuations will continue.

He assured there will be no whitewash and Herrera will be given a chance to answer the allegations hurled against him.

Dela Peña said any action that will be imposed on the POSD head will be based on evidence submitted by all parties concerned, not on a sole video that does not show a complete account of what transpired.

The city government also investigated the complaint on the issuance of a citation ticket to a vendor with visual impairment who was accosted for jaywalking at Magsaysay Avenue.

POSD Security Officer II Daryll Kim Longid said the POSD enforce had not committed abuse of authority.

He said before issuance of the citation ticket, the PWD was warned several times through megaphone that he was crossing an area not designated for pedestrians.

Longid said the warnings were ignored prompting the enforcer to cite the PWD for jaywalking.

He said the PWD’s life or limb will be in more danger if he were allowed to cross on a non-designated pedestrian lane.

The PWD’s disability was also not apparent. He said the enforcer did not know that the PWD had visual impairment. He said had he known about this, the PWD will even be assisted.

“Hindi sa wala tayong puso. But we would like to remind everybody that we have rules,” Longid said.

He said if there are grievances against the POSD, complaints may be submitted to them so they can act accordingly. The POSD has guidelines on how enforcers should carry out their mandate and violations have corresponding penalties.

Longid said posting on social media muddles an issue because the public tend to base their judgment based on an incomplete version of a story. – Rimaliza A. Opiña