LTFRB suspends Bicol director, 2 employees over alleged corruption
MANILA, Philippines — The Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has suspended its Bicol Region director and two other employees over alleged corruption.
At the same time, LTFRB said it ordered the dismissal of 14 other employees of its Region V office also because of corruption charges. This includes officer Gerard del Rio, who was dismissed in July for grave misconduct for allegedly accepting cash with the promise of speedy issuance of a certificate of public convenience to public transport operators based in Catanduanes and Masbate.
According to LTFRB, it placed under preventive suspension Region V Director Vladimir Kahulugan over charges of grave misconduct, gross neglect of duty, and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the public, as well as employees Andres Tabunda and Arnel Sabello for alleged falsification of documents and deliberately tampering and falsifying the minutes of deliberation in relation to the appointments of some LTFRB Region V personnel.
In a statement, LTFRB said complaints against its Region V official and staff stemmed from reports of cash solicitations from public transport operators. Particularly, the agency said a certain “Mark Sumulong” was allowed to misrepresent LTFRB in collecting money from operators with pending cases, and that an enforcement team was similarly allowed to demand monthly “protection” money from public utility vehicle operators.
In the wake of this incident, LTFRB, led by chairman Martin Delgra, gave assurance that it is taking necessary measures for it to be “transparent, accountable, and corruption-free.”
The agency, however, urged the public to help LTFRB cleanse its ranks by reporting and exposing any malicious activity within the agency.
“The fight against graft and corruption is an ongoing battle. We will not hesitate to rid anyone caught disobeying the law,” Delgra said in the same statement. /kga
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