He ‘protected’ colorum drivers for P80K each
A man who allegedly demanded P80,000 protection money each from drivers of “colorum” or unauthorized passenger vans so they could use an illegal terminal in northern Caloocan City was arrested in an entrapment operation on Thursday.
The arrest came following warnings from Transport Undersecretary for Roads Tim Orbos that the crackdown on colorum vehicles would intensify in the holiday season.
Albert Bacalzo, 33, is facing charges of estafa (swindling) and violation of the anticolorum law after being caught in a joint operation by the Interagency Council on Traffic (i-ACT) and the Philippine National Police Highway Patrol Group (PNP-HPG).
Bacalzo allegedly operated an illegal terminal used by at least 48 UV Express vans on Bagumbong Road in Barangay 168 Deparo, according to HPG director Chief Supt. Roberto Fajardo.
He asked for P80,000 per driver, claiming he had connections that would allow them to ply their routes without being apprehended, Fajardo said.
The current standard fee for franchise applications is only around P520.
Fajardo said initial findings showed that Bacalzo was not working in cahoots with any official, but said the HPG would continue to investigate why he was able to operate for a long time without getting caught. —KRIXIA SUBINGSUBING
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