‘Erring’ Cordillera transport official refuses to quit despite dismissal order
A ranking official from the Cordillera regional office of the Department of Transportation has refused to step down in spite of Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade’s order for his dismissal from the service after a DOTr investigation had found him liable for corruption.
In a statement, Assistant Regional Director Datu Mohammad Abbas refused to acknowledge the dismissal order served to him and his superior, Regional Director Jesus Eduardo Natividad, saying he was an appointee of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Natividad stepped down peacefully.
The department clarified that Abbas was appointed by former President Benigno Aquino III.
Both Natividad and Abbas have already been replaced by Robert Allan Santiago (officer in charge, regional director), Jennilyn Avelino (assistant director for the Land Transportation Office) and Jess Balagot (assistant director for Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board), respectively.
Suspended 90 days
In May, the two officials were accused of corruption, grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty after they were alleged to have extorted money in exchange for their services, and were ordered suspended for 90 days.
Natividad allegedly demanded money in exchange for the issuance of applications of certificates of public convenience, which are issued for the operation of public services that do not need franchises.
Abbas allegedly extorted money in exchange for the release of impounded vehicles.
A certain Regina Migano also filed a complaint against Abbas for accusing her of being a “fixer.” —KRIXIA SUBINGSUBING
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