All employees of LTO in N.Vizcaya sacked after extortion activities

April 08, 2018 - Department of Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade has set out the dismissal of the entire Land Transportation Office (LTO) staff assigned in Bayombong District and Aritao Extension in Nueva Vizcaya over their alleged involvement in extortion activities.
This enforcement came after direct orders from President Rodrigo Duterte himself following complaints from rice traders and truck operators of the decade-long shenanigans of the LTO branch during a Stakeholder’s Meeting in Malacañang, on Thursday evening, April 5, 2018.
The misrepresentation has taken to account about 1,000 trucks loaded with agricultural products that go through the Weighing Scale daily bringing in P500,000 – P1 Million worth of extorted money or an equivalent of up to P30 Million monthly.

"Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade swiftly ordered to relieve employees and personnel assigned at the Land Transportation Office Bayombong District Office and Aritao Extension Office, following numerous reports of extortion activities while in the conduct of enforcement," a DOTr representative said.

Secretary Tugade, with his advocacy of a corrupt-free and transparent governance, have also ordered to expedite the process of a thorough investigation against the concerned staff and officials.

LTO Regional Director Romeo Sales already cancelled the Mission Orders and Temporary Operator’s Permit (TOPs) for the LTO personnel assigned in the Weighing Station in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya.

Meanwhile, a new set of LTO employees were already designated in skeletal capacity to avoid delays in government transactions.

Recently, Appointed Agriculture Secretary and Journalist Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol revealed on his Facebook Post the relentless and decade – long extortion activities in a Truck Weighing Station in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya involving millions on a monthly basis.

This illicit act angered President Rodrigo Duterte and has ordered the immediate dismissal of the DPWH Personnel in charge of the Truck Weighing Station along with the LTO Team they have been discreetly collaborating with.

Piñol quoted President Duterte’s statements upon ordering SAP Bong Go to call on Secretary Arthur Tugade, who’s undergoing a medical checkup at that time: "Art, pasensya ka na istorbohin muna kita pero kailangan mo i-relieve yong mga LTO mo sa Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya. Pagkatapos dalhin mo sila sa akin sa Malacañang kay kumoton nako ilang mga nawong," the President told Tugade in a combination of Tagalog and Visayan dialects.

(Art, I'm sorry but I have to bother you, but you have to relieve your LTO personnel in Aritao, Nueva Vizcaya. After that, you bring them to me in Malacañang because I would like to squeeze their faces.)

Large Trucks transporting agricultural products are obliged by the LTO to pass through the Weighing Scale area to regulate overloading which may become a recipe for disaster if left ignored as merchants’ and distributors’ earnings depend on the quantity of the commodities sold.

According to Secretary Piñol’s post, the agri-traders asserted that ‘OVERLOADING’ has constantly became the excuse to attain extortion between P500 to P1,000 per truck whose operators have no choice but to pay up to avoid delay and inconvenience.

Up to 1,000 loaded trucks go through the scale daily bringing in P500,000 – P1 Million worth of extorted money or an equivalent of up to P30 Million on a monthly basis!

“Ang sipag-sipag po nila Mr. President. Maski holidays at maski noong Holy Week, naka-duty sila at wala kaming ligtas,” one of the Traders said.

Traders also said that this illegal activity has been going on for more than 10 years now and left unsanctioned by previous administrations with almost nobody seem to be bothered by it.

Secretary Piñol ended his post with a humor suggesting if the actual “Face Squeezing” of the corrupt LTO and DPWH personnel could be witnessed by the general public or done discreetly by the President in Malacañang.


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