2 LTO execs, 11 agents face criminal raps
COTABATO CITY—North Cotabato Gov. Emmylou Mendoza on Thursday filed criminal charges—in behalf of the provincial government—before the North Cotabato provincial prosecutor’s office in Kidapawan City against two Land Transportation Office officials and at least 11 deputized agents on Thursday.
The charges stemmed from alleged mulcting activities and usurpation of authority of the deputized agents.
“This has been going on since time immemorial and we want to put an end to these malpractices,” Mendoza later told reporters.
She said she had been receiving complaints from motorists about the activities of the LTO deputized agents.
Mendoza said based on the complains she got, motorists were being flagged down along the North Cotabato highway and were being asked to pay penalties ranging from P2,000 to P6,000.
These penalties, she said, were based on questionable violations and motorists would often agree to give the LTO men lesser amount in exchange for not being apprehended.
Mendoza said on Thursday, she finally chanced upon the LTO men in Barangay Kilada in Matalam, North Cotabato, as she was heading for office in Kidapawan City.
She said she immediately ordered the police to round them up and check their documents, including their authority to enforce traffic laws.
Mendoza said that Badrudin Ali, who claimed to be the team leader, had argued that their “law enforcement work” is inherent in the LTO memorandum order from the Central Mindanao LTO office.
The order, issued by LTO Central Mindanao Director Arlan Mangelen was meant “to enforce special laws,” she quoted Ali as saying.
Mendoza, however, said that upon scrutiny of the memorandum order, Ali’s team was not included in it.
“Therefore, he had no legal authority to assist or lead the group for that matter,” she said.
She said under the civil service law, “contractual and job orders, to include deputized agents are not allowed to enforce special laws without the presence of a regular or permanent organic personnel of the implementing government office,” hence the usurpation of authority charges.
Mendoza said Andy Batocapal, acting LTO district officer stationed in Kabacan town, was also included in the charge sheet because he allegedly authorized the deployment of Ali’s team.
Mendoza said Ali, Yusoph Mamaluba, Ferdan Reformado, Eddie Wagia, Ting Mastura, Roy Pedtamanan, William Ismael, Abdullah Paunte, Alamada Israel, Sapalon Mulod and Jordan Jainal, were also made to undergo a drug test and are being held by police at the provincial capitol.
She said except for Mangelen and Batocapal, those charged had undergone inquest proceedings at the prosecutor’s office. Charlie Señase, Inquirer Mindanao
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