ALLEGATIONS of corruption and unethical practices cropped during the recent investigation called by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on the delay by the Land Transportation (LTO) in implementing the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act.
In the investigation on Feb. 5, 2021, Senator Richard Gordon said that some Manufacturers, Assemblers, Importers, Rebuilders, Dealers, Other Entities (Mairdoes) get the installment money without giving the buyer ownership papers.
He said that instead of registering a motorcycle after it has been sold, the dealer holds the registration so that if the owner fails in paying the monthly amortization, the dealer will repossess the motorcycle and sell it again as a demonstration unit.
In the investigation, allegations of unethical practices that have abused the LTO’s Mairdoes system by motorcycle companies like DES Marketing, Du Ek Sam Inc., DES Strong, Desmark and Premio surfaced.
Du Ek Sam (DES) denied the allegations against its companies in a statement posted on its Facebook page on Feb. 15, 2021.
“We would have lost the loyalty of our customers if we withheld registrations, plate numbers and insurance. The mentioned interest rates are also far from the truth we pride ourselves to be the most affordable in the market,” DES said in the statement.
DES said LTO 7 Director Victor Caindec has been harassing its corporations after they refused to pay him P500 per motorcycle as “standard operating procedure” or “SOP.”
DES said they have been harassed by LTO personnel since December 2019 through:
1. refusal to register newly sold motorcycles;
2. delays in the release of thousands of paid OR/CRs;
3. coercion of the corporation’s customers to sign affidavits in exchange for the release of their motorcycle registrations and impounded motorcylces;
4. delays in the approval of branches’ accreditation;
5. notices of action and show cause orders; and
6. repeated press statements and interviews maligning the reputation of the five corporations.
DES said it has filed complaints against Caindec before the LTO Central Office, House of Representatives, Anti-Red Tape Act, Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission and the Office of the President.
“Although it has been a hard year for year for us and our customers, we cling to our idealism in the hope that the Senate Blue Ribbon Committe is the perfect venue for our plight to finally be heard,” DES said in a statement.
Caindec, in a statement posted on the LTO 7’s Facebook page on Feb. 16, 2021, denied allegations of corruption raised by DES.
“I long stood ready to be slayed by billionaires. Though I remain physically breathing, my adversaries have unleashed the full might of their immense resources to attack me on all fronts, besmirch my reputation and that of my family,” Caindec said.
Caindec said the five motorcycle dealers all belong to the Du clan based in Bohol and Cagayan de Oro and have been engaged in the motorcycle dealership business for decades.
Caindec said “they have indeed gone through all possible channels to undermine a valid and legal action of a government regulatory agency.”
He said that this includes the seeking of direct intervention of senior government politicians to pressure him to stop investigations against the corporations and even to remove him from his job.
“In time, I will bring forth all the records and case details of their shenanigans to the Filipino people, most especially the oppressed buyers of motorcycles who have been deprived of their rights to something they have paid for with their blood, sweat and tears,” he said.
In November 2020, the LTO Central Office has authorized the filing of criminal charges against DES Strong Motors Inc. for alleged tax evasion and submission of spurious/falsified documents. (MVG, WBS)