LEGAZPI CITY: The Department of Transportation (DoTr) has suspended an official of the Land Transportation Office in Bicol for 90 days over corruption complaints filed by four bus companies.
Mar Jose Magistrado, LTO chief for operations, had allegely accumulated P1.4 million in solicitations for two years.
Magistrado allegedly orchestrated the collection of P15,000 each from the four bus companies from September 2014 to September 2016 for a total of P1,440,000 for two years.
According to Undersecretary for Administration Artemio Tuazon Jr., DoTr officer in charge, the LTO official was directly and indirectly benefiting from using dummies to win in public biddings, auctions of impounded motor vehicles and taking advantage of his position to enrich himself.
The complaints said Magistrado also receive fees, gifts and grease money in exchange for protection of colorum vehicles.
Colorum vehicles operate without franchises.
Tuazon said Magistrado’s actions were prejudicial to the best interest of the service and contrary to public policy of promoting a high standard of ethics in the bureaucracy.
Magistrado was given three days to answer the accusations against him.
He denied the complaints, which he said were based by the LTO on a poison letter.
Magistrado said he received on October 14 a letter from the central office, which asked him to respond to the complaints on October 15, the date of his suspension.
According to him, he replied to the letter on October 17.
Magistrado said Eutiquio Bagasbas was behind the poison letters signed by a certain Marjorie San Buenventura, Salador Nardin and an alleged concerned bidder whose allegations were not made under oath.
“Therefore all intents and purposes are nothing more than ill conceived stories, lucdicrous and unactionable to say the least. The filing of this is tainted with malicious vendetta orchestrated at the behest of influential puppet masters who intend to force me out of the service,” he noted in his reply.
Magistrado said Bagasbas is a liar and was the one receiving payola from “PUB (public use bus) ad UV express operators.”
But, he added, Bagasbas was “no[t] investigat[ed].” RHAYDZ BARCIA