I am withholding the names of other people involved until such time that this matter is closed.
On the evening of April 7, 2006, my friend and I decided to go jogging at the
along L.P. Leviste st. in
. As we are aware that the area is a tow-away zone from 5pm to 7pm, I checked the time on my car’s digital clock to make sure that we are safe within the time allowed for parking by the side street. My car’s clock indicated 7:01 pm.
When we got inside the park, my friend noticed that my car is no longer on the space where I parked it. We proceeded to where we’re supposed to claim my car. Along the way, I asked an apprehending officer (in yellow uniform) who was also in the process of towing another vehicle if parking along L.P. Leviste is allowed. He confirmed that it is not allowed from 5pm to 7pm. I then told him that we were towed despite the fact that we parked after 7pm. He then said that we can contest it at their office in Yakal st.
At their office, I first talked to the person in the front desk. He said that the ticket submitted by the apprehending officer, recorded the time of towing at 6:52pm. I then told him that according to my time, it was already 7:01pm when I parked, which indicates a time differential of 9 minutes. After repeated arguments, the front desk man kept insisting that the alleged violation is subject to the apprehending officer’s discretion. He further stated that I should have been present when the towing occurred so I could state my plea on the spot. When I asked him if there is such a written rule that says “the time of apprehension depends on the apprehending officer’s time”, he showed me a parking ticket that didn’t indicate anything of such nature.
The front desk man referred me to their OIC. Mr. OIC basically had the same arguments as the front desk man. He obliged to check my car’s digital clock and compared it with his wristwatch’s time. My clock read 7:44pm, while his watch indicated 7:45pm. I then requested to see the apprehending officer’s watch, but was told to wait because the officer is still out in the field.
After waiting for about 30 minutes, and after several follow-ups, the apprehending officer showed up. Mr. OIC told him to show me his watch. It was a red plastic mountain climber’s clip (NOTE: I don’t know what it is really called. Jeryc, help?) with a digital clock. His time indicated 8:13. My car’s clock showed 8:18 – now a difference of only 5 minutes! I told them that I don’t know how it happened that from 9 minutes, the time differential became 5 minutes. My point is, there obviously is a slight difference of time between my clock, the apprehending officer’s digital timepiece, and Mr. OIC’s watch.
That being the case, I asked Mr. OIC if I can be given a consideration for reasons of time technicality. He insisted that it is the officer’s discretion. I paid P1,000.00 on the premise given by Mr. OIC that I can still contest it. I told him I will. He replied with “sige, pwede nyong i-contest yan, kung mananalo kayo”.
Before we left, an old man attending the entrance and exit gate asked to see my unofficial receipt. After looking at it, he sneered and said “wala rin palang nangyari sa protesta nyo.” I shot back with “may mangyayari ho.” My friend and I left the place, leaving a bunch of other complaining alleged parking violators.
My initial questions now are:
- Whose watch are we supposed to follow each time an apprehension is made?
- Is there a written rule that states: “the apprehending officer’s discretion stays even if the alleged violator contests it” with valid reason?
- Why don’t they have a written copy ofMakati
’s traffic rules and regulations that they can share with motorists?
- Are we motorists supposed to wait for every tow truck to pass by before we leave our parked cars even when we are definite that we have parked within the time allowed?
I tried researching on MAPSA’s traffic management code from the internet as soon as I got home. Unfortunately, all I got from the
website are mere descriptive summaries of certain traffic codes.