In the Know: Virginia Torres’ ties to Aquinos
Virginia Torres, the former chief of the Land Transportation Office (LTO), hails from Tarlac, the province of President Aquino.
She decided to retire in October last year, two months after a report on a video showing Torres playing a slot machine came out. Government officials are banned from playing in casinos.
Torres admitted in a television interview that she was in a casino “way back” while having dinner with a friend. She said she was drawn by the slot machine’s lights and sat in front of it and read the instructions.
Torres served as LTO head in Tarlac before Aquino appointed her as assistant secretary to head the LTO in 2010.
Her time as LTO chief was marked with controversies.
In 2013, the government received a deluge of complaints over the LTO’s failure to issue stickers on the registration of vehicles.
In June 2011, Sen. Franklin Drilon asked Torres to resign for being a burden to the President. The call came on the heels of the recommendation of the Department of Justice (DOJ) to file administrative charges against Torres for allegedly favoring one group in the ownership dispute of Stradcom Corp., the information technology service provider of LTO.
At the time, Torres was charged with graft in the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the dispute. The charge prompted Torres to go on a two-month leave at the request of the President.
Also, Torres and 25 other LTO and police personnel were involved in allegedly facilitating the registration of stolen vehicles.
According to a Feb. 2, 2011, report prepared by then Chief Supt. Leonardo A. Espina, head of the Philippine National Police-Highway Patrol Group, a criminal complaint was filed in the DOJ on May 7, 2009, against Torres in connection with the illegal registration of a Mitsubishi Pajero while she was the LTO head in Tarlac City. Torres said the allegations against her were part of a demolition job.
Torres, a native of La Paz town, is said to be a shooting buddy of the President. She was also a scholar of his late father, former Sen. Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr—Inquirer Research
Sources: Inquirer Archives
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