21 December 2014

Airport Police Suspended After Breaking Taxi Window

Airport Police Suspended
A photograph is worth a thousand words, but a video is worth more than that, especially if heated words were thrown. This was the case when an airport cop was caught on video smashing a window of a taxi after the driver refused to surrender his license. The police personnel has been temporary relieved of duty while investigation is ongoing.

A viral video of the incident shows PO2 Alejandro Pineda Jr. of the Terminal 3 Police Division ordering MGE taxi driver Boots Imagata to surrender his license for illegally picking up passengers at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport terminal 3.

In the video, Imagata refused to surrender his license since he felt he was being singled out by Pineda. This angered Pineda who smashed the window of the taxi at the driver's side.

In an interview, Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) general manager Jose Angel Honrado said the airport police officer will be temporary relieved of duty while the investigation is ongoing, but he was not clear what possible penalty could PO2 Pineda face.

"Pending investigation he has been relieved. We will see kung nagkulang siya sa pasensiya," he said.

On the other hand, Pineda has filed a complaint before the Pasay fiscal's office against the taxi driver for resisting arrest and disobeying a person of authority. Another complaint complaint against Imagata was submitted before the Land Transportation Office (LTO) for obstruction of traffic and disregarding traffic signs.

Honrado said that before the incident, the taxi driver had already been warned twice not to pick up passengers at the airport.

"Sinita na siya dalawang beses, ayaw pa rin. Tinakasan niya security guards then in this incident he resisted arrest. The video only tells part of the story. Minsan kasi walang disiplina e," he said.

Some taxi drivers, meanwhile, complain that guards at the authorized zones usually get money from them. Also, there was no video or proof that Imagata violated anything except the bias testimonies of guards at the NAIA-3.

One guard cannot even identify exactly if Imagata was a violator, but instead observed in general that many unauthorized taxi drivers refuse to line up at the authorized zones but just pick up passengers at the arrival area. He said many taxi drivers settle on a price with the passengers before bringing them to their destination.