Police have arrested a traffic aide of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) for alleged extortion in Port Area, Manila.
The suspect, identified as Rey Gaza, 53, was assigned at the MMDA Northern Traffic Enforcement Division – Traffic Reaction Unit. He was arrested in a joint entrapment operation conducted by the Regional Special Operations Group (RSOG) of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and the MMDA Intelligence and Investigation Office (IIO) on Friday.
The operation stemmed from the complaint of a trucking company owner operating in North Harbor and Valenzuela.
In his complaint, Salvador Jecino claimed that Gaza and his cohorts were exacting “payolas” amounting to P10,000 every month since 2019 from his trucking and transport service business.
MMDA chairman Romando Artes reiterated that they will never tolerate any wrongdoings like “kotong” or “payola” and other illegal activities in the ranks.
“The MMDA is serious in cleansing its rank. As a matter of fact, the agency is continuously cracking down against corrupt employees as part of its intensified cleansing program to weed out erring personnel,” Artes stressed.
MMDA general manager Undersecretary Procopio Lipana confirmed that he received a report from the agency’s IIO that Gaza was involved in extortion activities.
“When we were informed of the extortion activity, we immediately conducted an investigation and found out that it is true. We then convinced the complainant to file a formal complaint, after which the
MMDA immediately coordinated with the NCRPO and requested for theconduct of an entrapment operation,” Lipana said.
The investigators staged an entrapment operation, with the trucking company owner giving marked P5,000 bills to Gaza.
Gaza, who was brought to RSOG Compound for investigation and proper disposition, is facing charges of robbery extortion and violation of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.