February 7, 2023

The prosecutor investigating the complaint against three personnel of the Public Order and Safety Division has been asked to submit their answer to the complaint within 10 days.

The order for the three personnel to submit their counter affidavit is an offshoot to the filing of three complaints against POSD chief enforcer Marvin Herrera, enforcer Norman Wanas Jr., and another enforcer identified only by his last name Gaki.

Another complaint against the three is under investigation by the Commission on Human Rights.

Complaints for violation of the Magna Carta for Disabled Persons, Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012, and libel were filed last week by Madino Codasi, a visually-impaired flower vendor.

On Nov. 21, Codasi and his friend Wilbur Beldio were issued citation tickets by enforcers Wanas and Gaki for jaywalking at Magsaysay Avenue.

In his complaint, Codasi said he was humiliated by Wanas and Gaki when they accused them of being hardheaded. He said they apologized to the enforcers and explained they were not aware that it was them whose attention was being called via megaphone by POSD personnel for crossing in an area not designated for pedestrians. 

Codasi said he suffered more humiliation when Wanas allegedly shouted at him for failing to sign on the line showing that he was duly issued a citation ticket. He said the enforcer knew he is a PWD having shown the enforcer his ID card describing his disability, but they were still issued the ticket despite pleas for consideration. 

The Magna Carta for PWDs penalizes persons who ridicule or vilify people for their disability.

Codasi also filed libel and violation of the Cybercrime Act for the POSD’s posting in its Facebook account a statement debunking his claims about the humiliation he reportedly suffered. Herrera made a similar account in an interview aired over a local radio station.

In both accounts, the POSD maintained that procedures were thoroughly followed and that PWDs are not exempt from the law. It also said Codasi is not entirely blind contrary to what came out in social media that he is totally blind and therefore is not able to see where the pedestrian crossing was. 

Codasi said these statements are malicious and untrue. He said one eye is blind while the other could only see shadows. He said the POSD’s statements made it appear that he was taking advantage of his disability to evade the law.

“The action of respondents vilified me as member of the PWD community and it brought me lose my self-esteem and the Facebook post of the POSD continues to this day to incite ridicule against me as a person with disability,” Codasi said in his complaint.

Codasi has filed a similar complaint with the CHR.

CHR Supervising Investigator Brigida Cecilia Abratique said they are already investigating the complaint. She said the POSD will also be asked to answer the complaint and if they find merit in his complaint will come up with a recommendation to be submitted to the City Prosecutor’s Office for further action.

Meanwhile, POSD Security Officer II Daryll Kim Longid said the POSD will assist the personnel involved in the issue.

He maintained that the POSD was not remiss in reminding Codasi and his companion that they were crossing in a non-pedestrian lane.

“We initiated an investigation even if the complaint was done on social media and based on our investigation, awan ti nilabsing da nga linteg. They just did their duty,” Longid told the Courier.

He said the POSD did not defame Codasi when Herrera gave an interview and posted the result of its investigation on social media.

Mga POSD pa nga ang nababash and one of those mentioned in the complaint is the one traumatized to the extent that he had to deactivate his social media account and declined to work for several days because his family was already receiving threats,” Longid said.

“They complained on social media. Unfortunately, their allegations became the truth (to people who are not aware of the entire story),” Longid said but stressed that the POSD is prepared to answer all allegations.

He added they have eyewitnesses and a video account of what transpired, which will be submitted to the CPO and the CHR. – Rimaliza A. Opiña