Ticket to the Policeman's Ball (Russ)

Trip Start Jun 22, 2008
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Trip End Jul 04, 2013


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Flag of Philippines  , Luzon,
Saturday, March 7, 2009

Jane had won an overnight stay at a hotel down by Manila bay from the AWCP Hoe-down last year so we gave the driver Saturday off and headed down EDSA to the hotel.  Little did we realize that we'd end up getting a ticket to the "Policeman's ball".  Now we've driven down EDSA a number of times now and feel that we can navigate it fairly well but somehow just after we passed Roxas Blvd waiting to turn right we hear a tap on our window.  I look over and there's a traffic officer, traffic starts to move, I wave, move on, "just pretend there's nothing wrong and just keep going" that's my motto knowing how the "traffic laws" are handled here, but it wasn't going to be, he knocks again, this time harder and the traffic stops again in front of me so I had no choice.  I pull over to the curb roll down the window and greet the officer, "Good afternoon", "do you know what you did" was his only reply.  "Why no, don't think I did anything wrong"  "Can I see your license; didn't you see the yield sign back there?" was all he said. 

Now first of all, I wasn't merging onto EDSA, I was on EDSA and the only place I could imagine a yield sign would have been off one of the side roads so of course I said so and that's when he said it was a hugh sign.  Well, driving in Manila is always an adventure and you just try not to get hit and keep moving foward so guess I could have missed a sign but knew what this was really about; he saw an ex-pat driving and decided that we would love to buy a ticket to the "Policeman's ball" from him.  I gave him my Philippine license (first mistake) and he walked around to the front of the car, looks at the license plate and acts like he's writing up the ticket.  

He walks back to the window and starts talking about the procedures which, from what I understand, they confiscate your license and you have to go to the station spending the better part of the day trying to get it back.  That's when I ask if there isn't something we can do to get this taken care of quickly, giving him a line that we were heading back to the states in a few days.  After all, that's what  this stop is really about. That's when he said to follow him back to the "station" and we'll see what can be done.  We take the next right and about 100 yards down he pulls over to the side of the road and gets off his bike.  I pull in behind him, roll down my window and now's where the "good cop" comes into play and he hands me back my license "with a warning"  but needed 2000 peso to make it all go away.  Just had to laugh at that and told him no way; that's when he asked how much I had.  Luckily I keep my large bills separate from the others and showed him that I only had 500 which he promptly said that he would take.  Again, laughing I told him that I'd give him 200 where he said no, 500.  Anyway to make a long story not go any longer we ended up giving him 400 pesos for the "Policeman's ball".  And the funny thing was; he didn't want to take the money but had me fold it and put it in his ticket book.

Unfortunately this is not something unusual since I've seen this happen before and it's sad since I am sure there are many officers who do their job honorably.  

So here's what I've learned from this episode, Keep a copy of your license and give them that instead of the original, they will complain but so what.  I'm also going to keep a copy of the fines as posted on the Land transportation office web site and have them point out the infraction that they stopped me for and to compare the fines to the "Policeman Ball" tickets.  Also keep paper and pencil handy so that if you are stopped you can get their name and license number, just to keep things above board so to speak.   

And by the way, I had a chance to go back that way a couple of days later and guess what, no yield sign, guess he just needed a little spending money for Saturday night. 
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Comments

jaydeanster
jaydeanster on

beat em at their own game
Hey Russ,

If you and Jane will be in the Philippines for quite a bit longer and plan to give your driver some time off from time to time, then it might be a good idea to get to know a higher up. I'm pretty sure your driver might know of one or know someone who knows of one. Get the higher ups cell number and you should skate on through phantom minor traffic offenses such as this.

I realize that you'd probably want to do things on the up and up, but the truth is, this 'good' cop spotted you from a mile away and saw his opportunity. The fact that you paid him to go away makes doing things up and up a moot point. So, why not beat em at their own game?

The next time you're in a bind, just call your 'HU' and all should be ok. Be advised, these 'HU's like to receive Christmas gifts and they'll come around to collect it.

gamaliel
gamaliel on

file a complaint
Russ, you should sometimes show them what intimidation means. You should have jotted down the policeman's name and make him see it and do an extra effort of reporting it at their main office in Camp Crame in Quezon City (along EDSA). These bad cops are rotten tomatoes that make the whole image of the Philippine National Police bad so they must be taught a lesson the hard way even up to the point of having them lose their job.

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