Tugade sacks employees of entire LTO branch over corruption
Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has ordered the relief of all the officers and employees of a Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Nueva Vizcaya over alleged corruption.
In an order issued Friday, Tugade sacked all the personnel at the LTO’s Bayombong District Office and Aritao Extension Office, following numerous reports of extortion.
Tugade said rice traders and truckers complained to President Rodrigo Duterte of corruption during his meeting with rice industry stakeholders in Malacañang Thursday night.
“Hindi ako mag-aalaga ng mga anay sa hanay ko. Dati ko pang sinasabi sa inyo, ayaw na ayaw ng Pangulong Duterte ng korapsyon. Sa aksyon o persepsyon, ayaw namin ng korapsyon. Hindi ako nagbibiro, hindi ako magdadalawang isip na yariin kayo,” Tugade said in a statement Sunday.
The order was issued by LTO Regional Director Romeo Sales, as instructed by LTO Chief Edgar Galvante.
Sales likewise directed the cancelation of deputation orders and Temporary Operator’s Permit (TOPs) issued to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) personnel manning the weigh bridge in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya.
Based on the complaints raised by rice traders and truckers from Nueva Vizcaya, several LTO personnel in the province earn as much as P1 million a day from over a thousand trucks from Cagayan Valley bringing agricultural products out of the region. They said this practice had been hounding the industry for over a decade now.
“Sa mga rice trader at truckers, wag kayo magalala. Tuturuan natin ng leksyon ang mga siraulong ‘yan para masigurong maayos kayong makapagnegosyo. Kung may mga reklamo kayo sa iba pang opisyales o kawani ng DOTr, ‘wag kayong mangingiming ipaalam sa akin,” the Department of Transportation (DOTr) chief said.
A set of LTO officials and employees have been assigned to temporarily take over the two LTO offices, so as not to disrupt transactions, Tugade said.
Investigations are also on going, he added. /cbb
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