LAWMEN arrested six employees of the LTO licensing center in Cebu City in cahoots with two fixers in the shortcut issuance of driver’s licenses.
The arrests at the Land Transportation Office (LTO) licensing office at SM Seaside City followed an entrapment conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) last Friday, July 12, 2019.
The six LTO employees, who are administrative aides, and the two fixers had been placed under NBI surveillance for six months after word reached LTO 7 Regional Director Victor Caindec and Executive Director Romeo Vera Cruz about the “new license fixing” that was posted on social media.
The target of the NBI operation was the LTO district office at J Centre Mall in Mandaue City because this was where fixing was allegedly rampant.
It turned out that the fixers had their contacts at the licensing center located at SM Seaside City.
NBI agent-on-case Wenceslao Galindez Jr. said they sent out two decoys who brought with them marked money and pretended to apply for driver’s licenses.
A fixer approached the decoys and facilitated the application by referring them to another fixer.
Under the scheme, the second fixer contacts someone in the LTO licensing office. The driver’s licenses are released at a much shorter time than the usual waiting period.
The fixers set a fee of P7,500.
Galindez said the marked money was recovered in the hands of the LTO cashier at the licensing office.
NBI 7 Assistant Regional Director Dominador Cimafranca said his office had to act because the fixing of driver’s licenses has become rampant.
LTO’s Caindec, in a statement, said, that the arrests were “necessary actions in the processes of positive change and transformation” of the agency.
“The agency will make no excuse in behalf of anyone for the mess they got themselves into,” he said.
LTO 7 legal officer Vicente Gador Jr. said anti- graft charges will be filed against those culpable.
The six LTO employees arrested were Marilyn Erederos, Jonathan Magudato, Epifanio Callino Jr., Charish Mae Cabigon, Gladys Mendero and Dembert Dasig.
The fixers were identified as Fredlyn de Lara and Dexter Capendit. (AZLG, HBL/MPS)