TOWED. A Metropolitan Manila Development Authority wrecker tows a container truck during clearing operations along Dagupan Extension in Tondo, Manila on Tuesday (Jan. 24, 2023). MMDA Acting Chair Don Artes said criminal and administrative charges will be filed against a barangay chairperson who assaulted an MMDA worker during a clearing operation in the area in late January. (Photo courtesy of MMDA)

MANILA – The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will file criminal and administrative charges against a village chief who punched an MMDA worker during clearing operations along Dagupan Extension in Tondo, Manila last month.

During an inspection of clearing operations in Dagupan Street on Tuesday, MMDA acting chair Don Artes vowed to support their workers who are assaulted in the line of duty.

“We stand behind our personnel who got hurt or injured while doing their duty. These incidents, however, will not hinder us from performing our job,” Artes said.

Road clearance operations, he said, are performed on certain roads that are used as important traffic arteries with obstructions that affect traffic flow.

He said Road 10 Yuseco Extension in Dagupan St. was cleared because it is used as a major artery going in and out of the ports in Manila.

“The agency will coordinate with the police to ensure peace and order in the area where we are conducting clearing operations. This is to avoid incidents where personnel from our teams are injured or harmed by violators,” he said.

He appealed to the public not to resort to violence during these incidents as MMDA personnel can be negotiated with and are “directed to observe maximum tolerance at all times.”

The local government of Manila and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) will help maintain the cleanliness of the area while the MMDA will set aside funds for wreckers or large tow trucks used in towing heavy vehicles such as container vans, Artes said.

During the inspection, DILG Undersecretary for Barangay Affairs Felicito Valmocina said maintaining the cleanliness and orderliness of these areas fall under the responsibility of the barangay chairperson.

“The DILG will monitor the cleared areas. Should the barangay captain fail to maintain the cleanliness of their areas of jurisdiction, they will face appropriate sanctions,” Valmocina said.

On Jan. 24, Barangay 51 chairperson Rommel Bravo allegedly punched a member of the MMDA Task Force Special Operations and Anti-Colorum Unit during a clearance operation in Mabuhay Lane along Dagupan extension.

The altercation started when Bravo tried to stop the MMDA worker from removing the water compressor of his self-service car wash supposedly used to provide additional funding to the barangay. (PNA)