LTFRB whistleblower Tumbado cited for contempt over confusing allegations
MANILA, Philippines — Jeff Tumbado, the former Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) employee who accused suspended LTFRB Chairman Teofilo Guadiz of being involved in corruption, has been cited for contempt by a House of Representatives panel.
During the hearing of the House committee on transportation, Sagip Rep. Rodante Marcoleta moved that Tumbado be held in contempt after he changed several of his answers to lawmakers’ questions.
After it was seconded, Antipolo 2nd District Rep. Romeo Acop, the committee chair, approved Marcoleta’s motion.
According to Marcoleta, it is hard to believe Tumbado’s statements because aside from claiming corruption in LTFRB, recanting it, and then maintaining his accusations again, the whistleblower has made it appear that it is not hard for him to lie.
“Ang dali mong magsinungaling eh, ito ‘yong problema natin ngayon eh. Alam mo kung nasa korte ka hindi ka paniniwalaan eh, alam mo ba ‘yong recantation mas que sa korte […] hindi binibigyan ng halaga ng korte ang mga ganitong klaseng, mga walang kakwenta-kwentang salaysay ‘pagka recantation,” Marcoleta said.
(It’s easy for you to lie. That’s our problem here now. If you are in court, people won’t believe you, do you know that a recantation, even in court […], is not given much weight like these senseless recantations.)
“Alam mo kung bakit? Ang korte kasi naniniwala na ‘yong unang bugso ng damdamin mo na gumawa ka ng pahayag, ‘yon ang mas pinaniniwalaan,” he added.
(You know why? Because courts believe the first surge of emotions when you make a statement, they believe that.)
After questioning Tumbado, Marcoleta suggested citing the resource person for contempt. The hearing was suspended for a while by Acop, which resumed with Marcoleta formally raising the said motion.
“I believe the answers supplied by Mr. Tumbado to us, for every question asked by each member, did not bring any consolation, did not bring any enlightenment on the part of the members of this committee. After each and every question, Mr. Chair, there has not been any basis for us to believe any of his statements or answers or replies to every question,” Marcoleta said.
“I hope we are able to get something from him, but we failed to do that […] On the basis of our rules under Section 11, Paragraphs E and F, Mr. Chair, I move that he be declared in contempt, Mr. Chair. I so move,” he added.
Tumbado previously accused former LTFRB chair Teofilo Guadiz III of being involved in bribery schemes and irregularities for supposedly seeking money in exchange for franchises and alteration of routes.
Two days after, though, Tumbado recanted his allegations.
Guadiz, meanwhile, has been suspended by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. after the accusations came to light.