LTO Region 7 chief sues motorcycle dealers for cyber libel

LTO OFFICIAL SUES – Land Transportation Office (LTO) Region 7 Director Victor Emmanuel Caindec (center), with his lawyer, Ben Cabrido (right), shows a copy of the cyberlibel case filed against officials of five motorcycle companies who accused him of extortion. At left is Atty. Majed Ungab, also a lawyer of Caindec. (LTO 7 photo)
CEBU CITY – The regional director of the Land Transportation Office (LTO)-Central Visayas (Region 7) has filed cyber libel charges against officials of five motorcycle companies who accused him of extortion.

Victor Caindec lodged 10 counts of cyber libel charges against the officials of the five corporations owned by the Du family – namely Du Ek Sam Inc., Des Marketing Inc., Des Strong Motors Inc., Desmark Corp., and Premio.

Ben Cabrido, Caindec’s legal counsel, said the corporations are facing a criminal case for libel committed through a computer system, also referred to as cyberlibel, under Section 4(c)(4) of Republic Act (RA) No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

The string of cases stemmed from the joint statement of the five companies accusing Caindec of demanding P500 as grease money to hasten the registrations of their motorcycles.

Caindec has launched an intensive investigation against motorcycle dealers for alleged tax evasion and submission of spurious and falsified documents.

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, chaired by Sen. Richard Gordon, had also looked into the alleged anomalies by the motorcycle dealers.

In denying any wrongdoing, the five corporations said “our dealings with RD Victor Caindec greatly deteriorated upon our outright refusal to pay his ask of P500 per unit (SOP) or under the table,” a statement posted on their Facebook page said.

The five corporations added that had been subjected to various forms of harassment by personnel of LTO Region 7.

Caindec’s legal team said the statement of the five companies that was posted on social media has already garnered at least 500 likes and 1,000 shares.

Cabrido described the accusation as “pure lies” and an offshoot of the Senate hearing.

Caindec said officials of these five corporations wanted him be removed from office. “They want me out, I want them jailed,” Caindec said.