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Fee only P520, but LTFRB exec ‘asked for P175K’

Officer faces estafa complaint filed by taxi operator

/ 06:30 AM May 25, 2018

An official of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) has been sued for estafa for allegedly charging P175,000 to expedite a taxi operator’s franchise application in 2016.

Jean Gunda, a transportation development officer under the LTFRB-National Capital Region office, faces a complaint filed May 23 by the operator, Rogelio Colita, in the Quezon City prosecutor’s office.

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Not the first time

The standard fee for franchise applications is only around P520, according to LTFRB Board Member Aileen Lizada.

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This was not the first time Gunda had been accused of irregularities in the processing of franchise applications.

Lizada said Gunda was among the 92 LTFRB officials ordered relieved by President Duterte in December 2016 for alleged involvement in anomalous dealings to circumvent a 2003 moratorium on the issuance of new franchise applications in Metro Manila.

To Mindanao and back

Gunda was later assigned to Mindanao—a fact she brought up in one of her text messages to Colita last year—before she was returned to the LTFRB-NCR office in November last year.

In his affidavit, Colita said that in April 2016, he agreed to pay P175,000 to Gunda—who at that time headed the LTFRB-NCR technical evaluation division—after she promised to speed up the approval of his taxi franchise application.

However, Gunda did not deliver on her promise and even rebuffed his attempts to follow up his case, he added.

Colita showed screen shots of text messages sent by Gunda in which she told him to be patient because the situation at the LTFRB-NCR office was chaotic.

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Instalment offer

Fed up, Colita asked Gunda for a refund.

She instead offered to pay him back in monthly instalments of P5,000, but he refused such an arrangement.

His money was never returned to him, he added in the complaint.

Gunda could not be immediately reached for comment.

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TAGS: Estafa, Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB), taxi operator
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