Ombudsman orders LTO-7 chief to answers graft charges

CEBU CITY – The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the chief of the Land Transportation Office-Central Visayas (LTO-7) to answer the multiple counts of falsification and graft charges filed against him in connection with the issuance of alleged fake student driver’s permits.

Deputy Ombudsman for the Visayas Dante Vargas directed LTO-7 Director Victor Caindec and co-accused Dr. Emmarielle Aniga Oñez to file their counter-affidavits within 10 days from receipt of the order dated Jan. 19, 2023.

The order stemmed from the administrative and criminal charges filed by Dr. Doloreich Dumaluan against Caindec and Oñez.

Dumaluan alleged that Caindec and Oñez connived in the issuance of “hundreds” of falsified medical certificates even when no actual physical examinations were conducted on student driver’s permit applicants.

The complainant alleged that the applicants were asked to pay P700 using receipts that are not registered with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), in violation of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Dumaluan said the issuance of fictitious medical certificates which is a pre-requisite for the approval of an application for student driver’s permit violated Articles 171, 174, and 175 of the Revised Penal Code, Section 3(j) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and the tax code.

Attached to the complaint filed before the Ombudsman was a copy of a medical certificate issued to one of the permit applicants, together with the receipt acknowledging the payment of P700 for medical certification, and the subsequently issued student driver’s permit.

Caindec has yet to comment on the issue as of posting time.