The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has called on the public to be on the lookout for individuals posing as employees who are soliciting money for events supposedly being organized by the agency.

MMDA General Manager Thomas Orbos issued the warning after authorities arrested a bogus traffic supervisor in the municipality of Pateros following an entrapment operation of the agency.

“We have not authorized any employee to solicit money or any donation of any kind from the public. The public should be discerning and extra careful of such illicit activities, especially when it involves valuables or even money changing hands,” Orbos said in a statement.

In past incidents, persons who have already been dismissed from the agency were the ones apprehended in sting operations conducted by the MMDA.

“We are also calling on the public to be vigilant and urge them to report such illegal activities to our office so we can swiftly act on them,” Orbos added.

Policemen, along with MMDA action officer Nelson Magan, apprehended Sonny Silverio at about 7:30 p.m. last Tuesday at Barangay San Roque, Pateros after Joel Reyes, a former councilor, reported to authorities that the suspect came to his house and solicited PHP1,500 for a fun run organized by the agency.

Reyes phoned and asked Magan if there is a certain Sonny Silverio, who introduced himself as a supervisor at Sector 1 of MMDA’s Traffic Discipline Office (TDO), currently employed at the agency.

Magan informed Reyes that Silverio is not included in the roster of MMDA employees, telling the former councilor to stall and keep the suspect from leaving until they arrive at the place.

Authorities nabbed Silverio right after Reyes handed over the money to the suspect. Police discovered from his possession several stickers bearing the MMDA logo inside a bag and a fake MMDA ID.

Magan said the office of Mayor Miguel Ponce has been receiving several complaints regarding Silverio’s alleged fraudulent activities.

Last March 31, businesswoman Marlene Quibe of Barangay Western Bicutan, Taguig City filed a complaint before MMDA-TDO against Silverio, who allegedly came to her asking for PHP6,600 for a boodle fight of MMDA employees at Sector 1.

He promised to give Quibe, who owns a water refilling station, 25 MMDA stickers to exempt her vehicles from being towed in exchange for money.

However, the suspect only gave Quibe nine MMDA stickers after she handed over the money to him.

Quibe later found out that the agency is not issuing any sticker to exempt vehicles from being towed for any traffic violation.

Silverio was brought to the Pateros municipal jail and is facing charges of extortion and usurpation of authority. (PNA) ABP
Photo Credit: facebook.com/MMDAPH