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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, March 8, 2018
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Foreigner apologizes to BTAO


The foreigner, whose driver’s license was recommended to be revoked by the Bacolod Traffic Authority Office, made a public apology yesterday.

Benjamin James Oates, 39, yesterday apologized for writing the words “FCK D BTAO” on the citation ticket issued him by the BTAO last month for illegally parking along Lacson-San Sebastian streets in violation of City Ordinance No. 338.

Oates, who hails from Inverness, Scotland, said he is apologizing to the people of Negros Occidental, the mayor, the local government, the BTAO and enforcement agencies who have worked so hard to police the city.

He said he was under pressure at that time and that it was not his intention to write those words on the citation ticket. He is hoping that the case filed against him will not be pursued.

Oates said he has learned to be more cool-headed, not to make spur-of-the-moment decisions, and to respect people who are policing the roads.

BTAO head Supt. Luisito Acebuche said they have elevated the administrative complaint filed by traffic enforcer Roilan Gulmatico against Oates to the land Transportation Office after the citation ticket he was issued became viral on social media.

Acebuche said they are just waiting for the LTO to summon them for a confrontation.

He said Gulmatico is pursuing the case to have the driver’s license of Oates cancelled. But because of latter’s public apology, Gulmatico might soften his stand and no longer pursue the case.

Oates said he has been living in Bacolod for five years and is married to Love Shirley Balza of Brgy. Alangilan. He is a seaman.

He likes to stay in Bacolod because of the nice climate, the friendly, trusting and welcoming people of the city, he said.

Acebuche said this will serve as a lesson to foreigners to observe traffic rules. Under City Ordinance 338, or the Bacolod City Traffic Rules and Regulation, Oates will be meted a penalty of P300.

Because there was a blotter report against him, they elevated the complaint to LTO, he said.*CGS


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