THE Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas has suspended for three months without pay a traffic aide of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Cebu City for allegedly receiving P400 in exchange for the release of an erring driver’s license.

Katherine Arnoco Mahawan, graft investigation and prosecution officer, suspended Marilou Alferez after she was found liable of simple dishonesty.

“Clearly, the respondent (Alferez) has the capacity to intervene in cases of a traffic violation,” said Mahawan in her five-page decision.

The case stemmed from the complaint filed by Virgil Ong before the Visayas Ombudsman, accusing Alferez of dishonesty.

Alferez allegedly received P400 from a jeepney driver who was apprehended for a traffic violation. The respondent reportedly gave the driver his license after paying the amount.

Alferez failed to submit her counter-affidavit, prompting graft investigator to resolve the complaint based on the evidence presented by the complainant.

Such failure on respondent’s part is considered as a waiver on her part to refute the charges leveled against her.

In indicting Alferez, the ombudsman said that she “failed to exercise fairness and straightforwardness in her dealings.”

The ombudsman directed the LTO in Cebu City to implement the suspension order and submit a compliance report within five days.