2 LTO workers found guilty, are dismissed

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Saturday, January 15, 2011


TWO employees from the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Cebu were dismissed from service.

The Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas found Emmanuel Mabitad, clerk III of LTO Cebu City, and Charity Hamayun, clerk II of LTO Mandaue City, guilty of serious dishonesty for conniving with four persons to transfer a bogus motor vehicle registration to another vehicle in 2005.

Apart from the dismissal, Graft Investigator Cynthia Maturan-Sibi also recommended the filing of a criminal case against Mabitad and Hamayun for falsification of public documents (Article 171 of the Revised Penal Code).

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The anti-graft office’s Public Assistance and Corruption Prevention Office launched an investigation into the complaint after receiving an investigation report from LTO 7 Director Alex Leyson on the illegal transfer of plates.

Other respondents

Also charged with Hamayun and Mabitad were Jamela Macadato, LTO Zamboanga del Sur assistant statistician, and Abubacar Racman, LTO Lanao del Sur clerk II, and Joseph Julius Tan and Thomas Alvarez Jr.

A mall guard caught Raul Agapay while the latter was detaching the license plate of a Toyota Hi-Lux in the parking lot. The security personnel called the Regional Traffic Management Office, who brought Agapay to its office.

Agapay is the driver of Alvarez, who claimed ownership of the vehicle.

LTO documents showed the vehicle was originally registered as new with the LTO Manila East District Office to the Visayas Geothermal Power Company. The vehicle bore license plate UKJ 386.

Later, Tan bought the vehicle from the Visayas Geothermal. An employee of the power plant delivered the vehicle’s original registration and official receipt to Tan.

The certificate of registration and official receipt were reportedly issued by the LTO Ormoc District Office. Eventually, these were declared void and ineffectual.

Tan and his business partner, Julius Abad, facilitated the registration of the vehicle in Mandaue City in March 2005.

Transfer

Abad introduced Ha-mayun to Tan to facilitate the transfer of the car’s registration.

They gave Ha-mayun P5,000 to renew the registration and transfer ownership of the vehicle to Tan.

The transaction took place in Hamayun’s house in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City that same month.

As a result, Tan obtained his car’s certificate of registration and official receipt issued purportedly by the LTO District Office 1248 in Wao, Lanao del Sur.

On April 4, 2005, Alvarez bought the vehicle from Tan for P160,000. Alvarez approached Mabi-tad to facilitate the transfer of the vehicle registration to his name.

Alvarez received the certificate of registration and official receipt from Mabitad on June 28, 2005. Mabitad also issued a new plate number, JBT 496, to Alvarez.

Unfortunately, the mall guard caught Agapay trying to replace the plate number UKJ 386 with JBT 496.

Tan failed to submit his counter-affidavit to controvert the charges hurled against him.

‘Good faith’

Alvarez, for his part, admitted he procured the certificate of registration and the new license plate from Mabitad.

But Alvarez pleaded “good faith” in doing so since he said he was also the victim of Tan, who allegedly sold him fraudulent registration papers of the vehicle.

Mabitad reasoned there was nothing irregular in the purchase of registration documents from Mindanao for a vehicle to be used in Cebu City.

Mabitad said he never doubted the genuineness of the new registration documents since these came from an LTO office in Mindanao.

Hamayun, although she denied the charges, did not say why Tan and Abad pointed to her as the one who procured the registration papers for Tan in March, 2005.

But Sibi, in her decision, said it was apparent the documents used to issue new registrations papers were forged.

Apart from Mabitad and Hamayun, Sibi also dismissed Macadato.

The ombudsman also ordered the cancellation of the respondents’ civil service eligibility, forfeiture of leave credits and retirement benefits.

They were also disqualified from holding any public office.

Meanwhile, Sibi dismissed the complaint against Racman for lack of evidence.

The ombudsman also charged Tan, Macadato and Alvarez for conspiring with each other to falsify the registration papers.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 15, 2011.

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