Female traffic enforcer slaps jeepney driver

11/04/2011 - BARELY two weeks after the opening of the Capitol compound as diversion route for lightweight public vehicles, a driver complained that she was slapped by a female traffic enforcer in a traffic altercation yesterday morning.

Rogel Dinaguit, driver of a 07B jeepney, alleged that Cebu Traffic Operations Management (Citom) Officer Imelda Sabellano slapped him during an argument after he was apprehended for violating the No Loading, No Unloading policy inside the compound.

Dinaguit admitted that a Capitol employee requested that she be allowed to disembark near the Legislative Building since the designated jeepney stop is already outside the compound.

He stopped at the area, alerting Sabellano who called his attention.

Dinaguit said he apologized but Sabellano insisted on getting his driver's license leading to an argument.

“I was about to remove my seat belt but she slapped me in the face. It still hurts,” a teary-eyed Dinaguit told Cebu Daily News.

But Sabellano denied the allegations saying she was calm when she approached Dinaguit.

She said she put her arm through the window of the driver’s seat while asking for Dinaguit’s license.

Sabellano said Dinaguit stepped on the gas, causing the vehicle to move forward and dragging her along.

She said she accidentally hit Dinaguit's head. Sabellano said Dinaguit tried to kick her but missed.

Capitol Security Consultant Cesar Veloso said they are investigating the incident.

He said they had already reprimanded Sabellano but gave the Citom office a free hand in imposing sanctions on her.

“The driver was very arrogant. But still, she should not have done that,” Veloso said.

They are also trying to locate the employee who disembarked from the jeepney.

“We will definitely warn that employee. Nobody is exempted from the implemented rules. Not even Capitol employees. Not even lawyers. I myself follow those rules,” he said.

The Capitol Compound was opened as diversion route last Oct. 24 for vehicles from Escario Street heading to M. Velez Street.

The opening was expected to ease the traffic congestion brought about by the ongoing widening project on Don Gil Garcia Street. (Cebu Daily News)

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