MANILA — The traffic enforcers who confiscated the license plate of a judge that visited Baguio City were only obeying a local law on illegal parking, Mayor Benjamin Magalong said Thursday.
Magalong defended the enforcers after they were summoned to the the sala of Cabanatuan Municipal Court Judge Nelson Lago to explain why they should not be cited for contempt for handing him an illegal parking ticket in October.
Lago violated a local ordinance when he parked near a jeepney terminal, said Magalong.
"Maayos naman ang pagkakasita sa kanya... Nagpapatupad lang tayo ng ordinansa rito," the police official-turned-mayor told radio DZMM.
(He was confronted properly. We are only enforcing an ordinance here.)
"Puwede naman po silang mag-file ng kaso at i-question ang ating ordinansa. Bakit naman gagamitin mo iyong position para lang mag-exert ng influence e alam mo namang mali kayo?"
(They could file a case to question our ordinance. Why would you use your position to exert influence when you know you were wrong?)
Lago was quoted as saying in an Inquirer report that settling the fine and recovering his license plate "evidently caused delay in the scheduled hearings" and "the administration of justice."
Magalong said he also hoped to get a subpoena from the judge so he could explain his city's traffic ordinance.
The mayor added that his own child did not contest a recent illegal parking ticket and instead paid a fine.
"Iyong mga may awtoridad dapat magpakumbaba sila at sumunod na lang po sa ating batas," Magalong said.
(Those in authority should be humble and just follow our law.)
Magalong recently made headlines after accusing former national police chief Oscar Albayalde of protecting several officers who allegedly resold confiscated narcotics, which the latter denied.
In 2015, Magalong also led an investigation that held then President Benigno Aquino and former national police chief Alan Purisima accountable for the deaths of 44 elite policemen in an anti-terror operation in Mamasapano, Maguindanao.