Stradcom says Aquino misinformed by LTO chief
The company that provides information technology (IT) to the Land Transportation Office (LTO) is fighting back.
In a statement issued Thursday, company officials said that President Aquino was “grossly” misinformed about the issues surrounding Stradcom Corp.
They also said that Mr. Aquino was letting his friendship with LTO chief Virginia Torres cloud his judgment, leading him to stray from his own tuwid na daan (straight path) against corruption.
Earlier this week, the President said the government was considering terminating Stradcom’s contract ahead of its expiration in 2013 because the company had not been effective in curbing corrupt practices at the LTO.
He also praised Torres, a reported shooting buddy and province mate from Tarlac, for pointing out violations in Stradcom’s contract.
But Stradcom chair Cezar Quiambao asserted Thursday that, “first and foremost, Mr. Aquino said there are flaws in the data encoding of Stradcom. This is absolutely false. Only LTO personnel can access and input data into the LTO IT system,” which Stradcom operates.
He was referring to Mr. Aquino’s statement about Stradcom supplying erroneous data on the bus that figured in the deadly hostage-taking at the Luneta last year where eight Chinese tourists were killed.
“Stradcom put up the IT system, maintains the IT system at 260 sites nationwide, but the actual encoding of motor vehicle data and accessing of the system is done by the LTO,” Quiambao said.
Quiambao said that instead of focusing on the allegations against the company, Mr. Aquino should consider the gains the LTO has made with the computerization of its operations.
“The IT system that Stradcom put up and maintains has increased the income of the LTO from P1 billion annually to almost P15 billion,” Quiambao said.
Torres has accused the company of failing to stop anomalous activities at the LTO, one of the reasons for which it was hired in the first place.
In a statement earlier this week, Torres also accused Stradcom of threatening to shut down its operations, which would force the LTO to return to manual operations.
Torres said this was in response to the decision to withhold payments to Stradcom due to an unresolved intracorporate dispute. Two sets of officers lay claim to the management of Stradcom.
Torres said the LTO wanted to make sure the real owners of the company received the fees, which had ballooned to over P1.3 billion.
But Stradcom said that even allies of Mr. Aquino wanted Torres out of LTO.
“Even allies of the President have called for Torres’ resignation,” Stradcom said, referring to Senators Franklin Drilon and Francis Pangilinan.
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