Viral Video of Driver Assaulting Traffic Enforcer Leads to Lawsuit

Ah, the power of social networking. Just when you thought road rage could not get any worse, we get another case of hot-headedness getting the better of a supposedly level-headed individual. A vigilant news team in the Philippines was able to take a video of a traffic altercation that led to a private citizen assaulting a traffic enforcer. The video then went viral on YouTube.

(Screengrab from TV5 video)

The Mindanao Examiner reports on a certain Robert Blair Carabuena, who “mauled a traffic enforcer in a fit of rage,” after he was flagged for a traffic violation on Saturday, August 11, 2012. The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) has said they will file criminal charges against Carabuena and his brother (as an accessory) for his assault on traffic enforcer Saturnino Fabros.

MMDA Chairman Francis Tolentino wants the motorist to make a public apology, and is considering revoking the latter’s license. “Matanggalan dapat yan ng lisensya at wag nang pagmaneuhin ng kahit anong sasakyan (His driver’s license should be revoked and he should not be allowed to drive any vehicle anymore),” says Tolentino. Carabuena, reportedly an executive at tobacco giant Philip Morris, faces a prison term of six months to six years if proven guilty by the courts.

The video was taken by a TV5 researcher, which then went viral, with the term “MMDA” even trending on Twitter. Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda has lauded the vigilance of media and citizens, “who actively seek accountability from individuals in both the public and private sectors.”

Citizen-driven efforts like this are usually encouraged by major media outfits in the Philippines, which often air photographs, smartphone videos or CCTV footage of public service gone awry, crimes and other significant evens that merit publicity.

In view of criticism and online bashing, Carabuena has deleted his online profiles on social media services.