Honey, Isko is facing criminal and administrative charges

(UPDATE) VARIOUS criminal and administrative charges have been filed against Manila Mayor Maria Sheilah “Honey” Lacuna-Pangan and former Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, including for looting, bribery and bribery, before the Office of the Ombudsman in relation to the implementation of the contact ban. apprehension policy (NCAP).

In addition to looting, bribery and bribery, Lacuna-Pangan and Domagoso, a defeated presidential candidate, have been charged with violations of the Data Privacy Act, the Code of Ethical Conduct for Public Officials, oppression and abuse of authority, breach of due process and disproportionate penalties clause. , and violation of the Public Procurement Reform Act.

The charges were filed with the mediator by attorney Alex Lopez on Thursday.

Manila City Government implemented NCAP in 2020 through City Ordinance 8676 when Domagoso was still the city mayor and Lacuna-Pangan was still the city vice mayor.

“It should be remembered that NCAP was made or implemented by the private sector through the public-private partnership in this case Mayor Lacuna and QPAX Traffic Systems Inc.,” Lopez said.

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He pointed out that in the said ordinance, there is no mention or even a hint of how the penalties will be distributed between the city government and the collecting private entity.

“Furthermore, there is also no mention of a special fund to put collected fines paid for alleged traffic violations,” Lopez said in her complaint.

He said the purpose of the technology-based NCAP is to avert “robbery-extortion perpetrated by law enforcement against traffic violators, ease traffic flow in Manila, and relieve the local government of past methods in the implementation of traffic rules and regulations”.

However, Lopez argued that “the use of lawful force” can only be done by the state and that a private entity, in this case QPAX Traffic Systems Inc., cannot exercise police power or of law enforcement.

“There are three powers of the state and one is the power of the police. Private entities cannot be delegated to implement the power of the police,” Lopez explained.

“Furthermore, monetary penalties (money) owed to law enforcement must go directly into government coffers and cannot be divided or given to a private entity as a percentage,” he added in his statement. complaint. “Money received by the state must be complete and its disposal is subject to so many other laws.”

Lopez, the eldest child of former Manila Mayor Gemiliano “Mel” Lopez, said QPAX Traffic Systems Inc. is not part of the government and therefore cannot act as an agency, unit, bureau, law enforcement group or tool to apprehend and penalize traffic violators. .

He pointed out that the city ordinance that established NCAP in the city is “patently unconstitutional” for violating various bills of rights under the Constitution and the Data Privacy Act.

Further, Lopez said that the illegality is even evidenced by a “contract and transaction” with a private entity and the law enforcement is actually implemented by said private entity.

“What’s even worse is that a percentage of the penalty will go directly to the private entity through a percentage agreement,” he noted.

According to Lopez, QPAX Traffic Systems Inc. as law enforcement officers on Mayor Lacuna-Pangan’s imprimatur is “obviously in violation of laws and rules” as it receives shares of penalties for traffic violations. Traffic Laws.

“Under this pretext, Mayor Lacuna-Pangan should be preemptively suspended from office while he is under investigation (…) to protect the evidence that will be collected from the Manila City Government” , did he declare.

A thorough study of the use of technology in law enforcement is needed and the Supreme Court needs to have case law or a decision to clarify its implementation, Lopez added.

The Supreme Court last August ordered a temporary shutdown of NCAP which is being implemented in key cities in the National Capital Region, including the city of Manila.

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