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Small-time Corruption in Action

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Published on Feb 13, 2010

When you get pulled over in Manila, more often than not it will be by two useless "authority figures": officers from the Anti-Smoke Belching Unit (ASBU) and Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
The former have very keen hearing, listening for the sound of vehicles with diesel engines, which they will flag down and subject to an emissions test which is impossible to pass because the machine is rigged. They remove your license plate which they hold hostage til you go to their station and pay the P1500 fine. Once you pay the fine, they give you a piece of paper stating that you've passed the emissions test, even though you haven't done anything to your engine.

The latter, collectively known as the MMDA, are unarmed, wear ridiculous uniforms, inhale CO all day, and are adept at remaining out of sight until you commit a violation, in which case they pop out of nowhere, flagging you down. They are well-known for accepting bribes, and I myself have paid them off numerous times back when I was a novice driver. Until recently, these turds would confiscate your license, which you would have to bail at whichever branch the officer happens to belong to. That is a whole day down the drain. Today, unless you are pulled over by actual 5-0, they cannot confiscate your license anymore, and simply give you a ticket which you have to pay for at a bank.

In this clip, an MMDA enforcer tries to solicit a bribe after pulling me over on a 'swerving' violation. In Manila, changing your lane is considered swerving.

This is how dirty it is at the bottom of the food chain; imagine how the big dogs run.

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