• LTO, Ombudsman urged to probe misdeeds in Visayas


    BACOLOD CITY: The Ombudsman and Land Transportation Office have been asked to investigate alleged inaction on an internal report recommending the filing of charges against LTO personnel in Region 6 engaged in tampering with temporary operator’s permits (TOPs).

    John Chiong, national deputy commander of Task Force Crusaders, said LTO Regional Director Roland Ramos continues to sit on findings of the Regional Anti-Fixers Team (RAFT) that paved the way for more irregularities.

    Task Force Crusaders is a volunteer group formed to serve as a “counter-intelligence unit” of the Office of the President and the Office of the Solicitor General, and help the Duterte administration in its campaign against illegal drugs, graft and corruption and crimes.

    Chiong wrote Deputy Ombudsman Paul Elmer Clemente and LTO Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante to conduct an investigation ofthe issue after his office received the complaint.

    The RAFT, led by lawyer Gaudioso Geduspan 2nd, also LTO Legal Section chief, found that several LTO personnel from Western Visayas and Negros Occidental were “liable for administrative and criminal charges,” Chiong said.

    The RAFT launched the investigation together with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in light of allegations against several LTO Regional Law Enforcement Service personnel.

    The internal investigation started with the Roxas District Office on August 10, 2016 where the investigating team examined TOPs and apprehended driver’s licenses.

    “The inks used by the members of the Regional Law Enforcement Team in preparing the TOPs are erasable inks that easily evaporate when heated,” the report said.

    “Separate videos were taken of the demonstration, specifically TOP No. 174865843, apparently issued to one ‘Danosos, Roderick Paul Paderna,’” the document read. “CIDG personnel heated the handwritten word ‘Dumarao’ using a disposable lighter [and the]word easily disappeared without a trace.”

    Other LTO personnel also used the same procedure — using erasable ink on their issued TOPs — the RAFT report said.

    Other LTO offices being investigated were Barotac Viejo District, Bacolod Operations Unit, Antique District, Cadiz District, Sigma Extension, Kalibo District, Calinog District, Pontevedra Extension (Negros Occidental), San Carlos District, Guimbal Extension and Himamaylan District.

    The last investigation was conducted on September 26, 2016 in the Himamaylan District Office.

    All LTO apprehending officers found to be involved in the irregularity could be “administratively liable for grave misconduct, abuse of authority and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service,” the RAFT said.

    The investigating team also recommended the filing of criminal charges against them for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and the Anti-Red Tape Act.|


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