• Abaya charged in license scam

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    6 other former officials implicated

    CRIMINAL charges were filed on Tuesday against former Transportation Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and six other former officials of the Department of Transportation and Communications in connection with the P3.8-billion Motor Vehicle License Plate Standardization Program (MVLPSP) that was disallowed by the Commission on Audit (COA).

    Charged at the Department of Justice (DOJ) for allegedly violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Government Procurement Reform Act and Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Government Officials and Employees were Abaya; Jose Perpetuo Lotilla, former chairman of the Bids and Awards Committee; Rene Limcaoco, Julianito Bucayan Jr. and Dante Lantin, former members of the BAC; Catherine Jennifer Gonzales, overall head of the BAC Secretariat; Alfonso Tan Jr., former chief of the Land Transportation Office (LTO); and Ron Salo, corporate counsel of PPI-JKG Joint Venture.

    The complaint was filed by the Citizens Crime Watch and Liga ng Eksplosibong Pagbabago.

    The complainants said the respondents should be made liable for collecting payments from motorists without issuing the corresponding license plates.

    “The conspiracy of the car plate manufacturers to commit the offenses, as charged, would not have succeeded without the knowledge, intervention, act or omission of the members of the BAC,” they added.

    The complainants said no post-qualification of the winning bidder was done contrary to recommendations of the Technical Working Group that would have established if PPI-JKG joint venture had the money to finance the manufacture of the license plates.

    “It can be inferred that the DOTC-BAC acted in manifest partiality toward PPI-JKG Joint Venture. The members of the DOTC-BAC, knowing the falsity of the documents submitted, qualified the said joint venture and even approved the award of the MVLPSP project to the same,” they added. “Apparently, the award of the project to the same joint venture hinged on the financial and/or material gains that these respondents would get from the same joint venture in the event of a successful award.”

    The groups urged the DOJ to investigate the respondents and file charges against them in court if it finds sufficient evidence to warrant their indictment.

    In June this year, the Supreme Court stopped the LTO from distributing the 300,000 imported license plates confiscated by the Bureau of Customs after the PPI-JKG failed to pay the shipment’s duties and taxes.

    The LTO wanted to release the license plates to ease the backlog but the High Court issued a temporary restraining order without prejudice to the resolution of the case.

    The tribunal also stopped the transportation office from releasing 400,000 license plates for motorcycles.

    Named respondents in the case before the SC were Abaya, then-Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., then-Budget Secretary Florencio Abad; and National Treasurer Roberto Tan.

    In July this year, the COA found the P3.8-billion license plate procurement deal illegal and ordered officials of the DOTC, now the Department of Transportation, to settle the P477.9 million it initially paid to the plate supplier.

    In its Notice of Disallowance, the audit commission said the deal was illegal because the contract awarded to the joint venture of Knieriem BV Goes and Power Plates Development Concept Inc. (JKG-PPI) was not in accordance with procedures prescribed under Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

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    19 Comments

    1. The scams perpetrated by the crooks of the Cory Aquino and Benigno Aquino governments are in the hundreds of millions, billions and trillions. These amounts are much bigger than even the national budgets during the time of Ferdinand Marcos. If indeed Marcos stole money from the people, how was he able to complete scores of projects that are still being used for the Filipino people today? If indeed the Aquinos did not steal money from the people, how is it that with their humongous budgets year after year there is little to show for it?

    2. So how does this affect vehicle owners, will they sometime soon get the plates they’ve paid for?
      What about drivers licenses, is this a separate issue? I’ve been waiting 7 months for mine (renewal only). Past experience shows this leaves drivers/ vehicle owners open to abuse from unscrupulous traffic enforcers, especially now leading up to Xmas.

    3. Aside from the obvious bid rigging graft, deliberate chaos of backlogged plates has led to proliferation of so called “kambal plaka” or twin plates, maybe even triplet or quadruplet plates. Only the original registered plate payment gets remitted to the gov’t/treasury, meaning payments to the doubles or kambals must be going into someones pocket. Obviously smuggled cars are also shielded from detection by using a kambal plaka.

      That is why Abaya and his criminal partners orchestrated deliberate chaos at the LTO and how they were still able to rake in huge profits from their incompetence.

    4. Dapat dyan sa mga ulol at magnanakaw na yan ikulong, 18 months ng bayad yung new car plate ko hanggan ngayon wala pa rin, yung driver license ko 1yr na sa Jan wala pa rin, paanong hindi ka magagalit sa mga hinayupak na yan puro pagnanakaw ang inaatupag!

    5. It’s past time for this to happen. I haven’t even had a new sticker since 2012 even though I pay for one every year. Paid for new plate 3 years ago, never received. And you get a piece of paper for a driver’s license because “out of plastic”. Life in prison would be appropriate for these scum. Oh, but why, if a government entity is ordering supplies, should tax and duties be paid? By the company they order from? Someone please explain, I’m curious.

    6. Inept, incompetent, insensitive, corrupt to the core!!! That was Daang Matuwid???? — This car plate mess from the very President of the Liberal Party and his cohorts.Not to mention the flood of tens of thousands of Grab & Uber vehicles that pushed traffic to previously unknown levels of road anarchy every day!

    7. Stay tuned for Abaya’s denial

      Wait another 5 years for the Ombudsman to investigate
      Wait another 7 years for the trial to start
      Wait 6 more years for the trial to run until the charges are dropped for lack of evidence

      Same as every other trial

    8. Ineptitude, incompetence and inefficiency has been the hall mark of the Aquino years 8 of Cory and 6 of Noynoy and they still want to be in power? via their stoodge Robredo and Pigromix Drilon? not to mention de5 the narco queen?
      I hope justice is to be rendered and these characters be placed behind bars ASAP the only way to repay back for what the Filipino people in general suffered by mismanagement of the country
      When will Abad, Noynoy and others follow?

    9. Abaya and other yellow crooks thought they could get away from their crimes confident that another yellow pig would become president. Mar Roxas lost. Now the corrupt yellow officials are in trouble.

      • They thought Duterte can only have a majority of 3Million votes, so they flooded the ballot boxes, in connivance with the yellow dogs in the comelec, 3Million marked ballots. Setting aside those marked ballots, Duterte should have registered a lead of 9Million votes and not only by 6Million votes. God’s will that Duterte be President. In the case of Bong-bong, since he earned only a lead of 3Million, he lost the VP race. I did not vote for Bong-bong but I pray that the ballots’ recount would reflect the true electorate’s will. Watch out for the replay in Congress of the Mamasapano cover up soon.

    10. ogie de guzman on

      Finally…some sanity in the LTO. 6 years of inept service and abuse on motor vehicle owners during the yellow years.