Aquino visits wake of ex-LTO chief
PRESIDENT Aquino on Tuesday visited the wake of his friend, Virginia Torres, the former controversial chief of the Land Transportation Office (LTO).
Palace reporters were informed that the President paid his last respects to Torres, whose wake is being held at her hometown in Paniqui, Tarlac province, but no other details about his visit were provided.
Torres died of a heart attack on Jan. 2.
In a statement, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said, “President Aquino went to the wake of former LTO Chief, Assistant Secretary Virginia Torres, to extend his sympathy and condolences to the family of a fellow public servant who had devoted more than three decades of her life to government service.”
Torres, a known shooting buddy of the President, had a stormy tenure as LTO chief. She was linked to alleged anomalous deals although she was never prosecuted.
She was forced to resign in October 2013 after she was caught on video playing at a casino, in violation of government rules prohibiting its employees from entering and playing at gaming establishments.
Torres was again the subject of news reports last year after Bureau of Customs officials claimed that she tried to pressure officials to release P100 million worth of seized sugar from Thailand.
A Customs official claimed Torres name-dropped President Aquino and hinted that proceeds of the sale of the sugar would go to the campaign kitty of the Liberal Party.
Torres had denied that she used the name of the President to influence the Customs official but admitted that she did try to seek the release of the seized sugar shipment.
President Aquino had said Torres had informed him that she was considering suing those who made the allegations against her.
From Torres’ wake, Mr. Aquino returned to Manila after a six-day vacation in Baguio City, staying at The Mansion, the official residence of the President in the country’s summer capital.
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