By Alexandria Dennise San Juan
The Department of Transportation (DOTr) has lodged formal charges against a resigned chief-of-staff at the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) over corruption allegations for also receiving money in exchange of franchise issuance.
Based on the formal charge received by the Board on Tuesday, Manolo Labor, the resigned chief-of-staff of LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra III, allegedly solicited and received P385,000 for granting a public utility vehicle franchise.
The charges against Labor came a day before a formal charge against LTFRB Executive Director Samuel Jardin was filed also for alleged corruption activities.
The DOTr said Labor was charged with grave misconduct for soliciting money “for facilitating and fixing the application for the speedy of issuance of a Certificate of Public Convenience (CPC).”
According to the Department, Labor also violated the rules on administrative cases in the civil service for receiving the money, as well as committing conduct prejudicial to the best interest of service.
Labor was also required to submit a “verified answer,” including documentary evidence, within three days after receiving the formal charge.
In October 2018, Civil Service Commissioner Aileen Lizada, then board member of the LTFRB, filed complaint of graft practices against Labor and two other staff of Delgra before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Lizada’s complaint stemmed from alleged irregularities in the processing of an LTFRB order approving a P2.50 fare hike for jeepneys in Region 6.
She questioned the approval of the fare hike petition when she was informed that an order had already been released even without her signature.
During the DOTr flag raising ceremony in Clark, Pampanga on Tuesday, Tugade announced that two high-ranking officials, then unnamed, will be meted orders of preventive suspension for alleged involvement in corruption.
In a statement issued on Thursday, Tugade reiterated that “any corrupt deed, or the perception thereof, in the ranks of the DOTr offices and attached agencies will not be tolerated.”
“The DOTr resounds its stern warning that disciplinary action shall come swift and unrelenting to any official or employee, no matter the rank, for the slightest hint of corruption,” the statement read.