Malacañang condoles with Torres’ family
THE PALACE on Sunday expressed sympathy and relayed its condolences to the family of former Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Virginia Torres who died on Saturday following a heart attack.
Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr., said Torres rose from the ranks at the LTO where she started as a cashier in 1980 and rose to an assistant secretary in 2010 until her retirement in 2013.
“We recognize her 33-year continued service in the government and to the people,” Coloma said on state radio.
When asked by text message if President Aquino had gone to Torres’ wake, Coloma said he had no such information yet.
The President was spending the holidays in the presidential mansion in Baguio City when news of her demise reached him.
Torres was one of President Aquino’s controversial friends, having been involved in certain controversies even after her retirement in 2013 that was prompted when a cell phone footage of her playing in a casino surfaced—a no-no for government officials.
Torres, 63, died in a Pampanga hospital several hours after she was brought there due to complaints of dizziness and chest pain.
A two-day wake has been arranged at Torres’ home in Paniqui town in Tarlac province, before she would be transferred to her hometown of La Paz, also in Tarlac.
Before she was appointed chief of the LTO in 2010, Torres headed the LTO in Tarlac. She was known to be a shooting buddy of Mr. Aquino.
Meanwhile, there is no official appointment yet of a new LTO chief although lawyer Roberto Cabrera has been recommended for the job, according to Coloma.
Coloma said this was the statement of Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya to him and which he shared to the media via a text message.
Abaya said that LTO chief Alfonso Tan Jr., voluntarily resigned from the job in November for family reasons.
“I requested him (Tan) to hold on until a new appointment is made by the President. The recommended replacement is Roberto Cabrera, the former executive director of LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board),” said Abaya’s statement.
Abaya said his office had yet to receive a copy of the appointment of the new LTO chief.
“We hope to get a copy of the appointment by [today, Monday],” he said.
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