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13 MMDA enforcers, vendor test negative for illegal drugs


By Jel Santos

The coconut vendor and the 13 Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) enforcers, who were involved in the video of the mauling incident which went viral, tested negative for illegal drugs.

The Facebook post by user Mhean Capaycapay went viral and has now over 300,000 shares. The video shows a vendor defying the MMDA clearing group, who reacted by turning violent, punching and mauling the vendor.

Netizens were outraged by the situation, causing the post to go viral.

On Monday, MMDA said three of their 13 enforcers were suspended for 15 days (preventive suspension) pending probe of the mauling incident. The agency declined to name them.

In a press conference yesterday, Jose Arturo “Jojo” Garcia, MMDA OIC general manager, disclosed the result of the drug test.

“They all tested negative from drug use. It seems that they were just carried away by their emotions during the confrontation,” he said.

Garcia earlier condemned what his men did and promised such actions will not be tolerated by the agency.

“The agency is condemning what happened. We do not tolerate such actions. Whatever the reason… What our people did is wrong,” the MMDA OIC general manager said.

Romnick Relos, the coconut vendor who was mauled, said on Monday that he will press charges against the enforcers, saying he wants them removed from service.

The vendor insisted that he was just explaining to the enforcers when he was suddenly attacked. The enforcers claimed otherwise.

“I was explaining to the enforcers when they punched me. The enforcers were also trying to tie a rope around my hands,” he said in Filipino.

Yesterday, Garcia said that Relos was apparently lying when he said on Monday that it was the first time he was told by the enforcers to leave the area where he was selling.

Garcia presented videos and photos showing that the coconut vendor had been told before by the enforcers not to sell on the street as he will block the streets where pedestrians pass by.

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