ARTA, PNP nab 2 alleged license fixers; probes 3 LTO clerks

Published November 28, 2021, 11:09 AM

by Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Two alleged fixers of professional driver’s license upgrading were arrested by the authorities in Quezon City on Friday, November 26, the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) reported on Sunday morning.

Joint elements of the Anti-Red Tape Authority (ARTA) and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) net two alleged fixers of professional driver’s license in Quezon City on November 26, 2021. (ARTA Screenshot)

In a statement, ARTA said the female suspect who was only identified as a certain “Vill” was arrested along with her accomplice inside a private building along Magalang Street in Barangay Pinyahan by joint elements of ARTA and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The arrest was made just across the newly-installed ARTAmbayan Outpost of the Authority along Magalang Street after receiving the marked money from the ARTA undercover agent posing as a Transport Network Vehicle Service (TNVS) driver Friday afternoon.

According to ARTA, the operation was made upon numerous tips they have received and surveillance that they have conducted.

The Authority said “Vill” asked the undercover agent a total of P4,500 in exchange for the speedy upgrading of his driver’s license from non-professional to professional with a “sure pass” scheme in the examination. The normal rate for such service is usually only less than half of the aforementioned amount.

The agent, meanwhile, said he was told to contact a certain “Val” at the Land Transportation Office (LTO) Quezon City Licensing Center to facilitate his transaction. “Val”, who serves as an evaluator at the said office, instructed him to proceed to the examination site.

During the test, he claimed that the two proctors, where one held a stick, seemed to be altering his responses in the computer. As promised by the fixers, his results came out as a “pass” despite failing to answer several items correctly.

With this, ARTA Director-General Jeremiah Belgica and the rest of the ARTA team trooped to the LTO Headquarters on the same day to relay to LTO chief Assistant Secretary Edgar Galvante their findings.

The allegedly involved LTO personnel, who are all under a Job Order status, denied the accusation. Galvante entrusted the case to ARTA for further investigation.

Meanwhile, the two arrested fixers are already under the custody of CIDG for inquest proceedings and may be charged with violation of the Ease of Doing Business Act.