LTFRB ‘whistleblower’ asks NBI to move hearing date
MANILA, Philippines — The former aide of suspended Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) Chairman Teofilo Guadiz III, who “exposed” alleged corruption schemes within the board but later recanted the same, has requested a rescheduling of his hearing before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) due to a conflict in schedule.
In a statement on Sunday, Jefferson Tumbado expressed his willingness to cooperate in any parallel investigations to be conducted by the NBI on other alleged corrupt practices within the LTFRB.
Tumbado, however, said is “constrained to ask for a resetting of the hearing because I have to prepare for the Congressional hearing that I will attend on Tuesday, October 17, 2023.”
Tumbado added that he had already asked his legal counsel, Atty. Pearl Campanilla, to appear and coordinate with the NBI on his behalf at the hearing to be held at 10 a.m. on Monday, October 16.
Last Saturday, NBI said that it had served a subpoena to Tumbado, urging him to “present evidence to support the allegation of corruption in the LTFRB.”
The subpoena requires Tumbado to personally appear before the NBI, and failure to do so may be penalized under the law.
The corruption allegations were made in a press conference organized by Manibela transport group on October 9.
Tumbado tagged Guadiz and other government agencies in the alleged “lagayan scheme,” where under-the-table transactions such as modifications of routes, prioritization of franchise papers, and special permits were being processed in exchange for P5 million per transaction.
The LTFRB chief was suspended the same day the press conference was held.
Tumbado recanted his allegations two days later, and claimed that his supposed expose’ was “borne out of impulse, irrational thinking, misjudgment, poor decision making and were encouraged by some individuals to make the statement which may have added to my confusion and affected my better judgment.”