Nalzaro: Arta files plaint v. Caindec

·4 min read

I suspect the reason why Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7 Director Victor Caindec filed cyberlibel cases against the owners of five motorcycle dealers whom he has a running feud because he just wants to get back at these dealers for exposing his alleged shenanigans and for being responsible in the filing of a case against him before the Ombudsman. Caindec’s move is a case of “turning the table” against his accusers.

The Anti-Red Tape Authority (Arta) has filed complaint against Caindec before the Office of the Ombudsman for ease of doing business violations. Arta is a government agency mandated to administer and implement Republic Act (RA) 11032, or An Act Promoting Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Delivery of Government Services, a law which amended RA 9485, or The Anti-Red Tape Act of 2007, and its implementing rules and regulations and to monitor and ensure compliance with the national policy on anti-red tape and ease of doing business in the country.

These motorcycle dealers (although owned by only one family) were the ones who exposed Caindec‘s shenanigans for allegedly demanding a cut of P500 for every motorcycle unit they sold. The case is one of the subjects in the ongoing investigation by the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. As a retaliatory move, Caindec filed last week before the Mandaue City Prosecutor’s Office two counts of cyberlibel against the officers of the five motorcycle dealers.

According to the report of the Philippines News Agency (PNA), the government’s public relations machinery, datelined Manila and dated June 02, 2021, Marvin Ken R. Du, the authorized representative of Du Ek Sam Inc.; Des Marketing Inc.; Des Strong Motors Inc.; Desmark Corp.; and Premio Corp. filed a complaint against Caindec before Arta.

Investigation showed that the complainant’s corporations applied for initial registration of motor vehicles and initial accreditation and renewal of accreditation of their branches in Region 7 from 2019 to 2020. According to the LTO Citizen Charter’s 2019 (3rd Edition), the initial registration of motor vehicles should only take one hour and 20 minutes while both initial registration of motor vehicles and renewal for accreditation should only take two hours and 40 minutes.

The PNA report added that after printing the Certificates of Registration (CRs), the applicant should present the Official Receipts (ORs) to the releasing or supply officer for the release of their documents, which should only take 10 minutes. Du Ek Sam Inc. filed 15 vehicle motor registrations that were released in three batches. The ORs for the first batch, dated Jan. 22, 2020, and the ORs, dated Feb. 3, 2020, were only released on March 3, 2020. For the next batch, the ORs were dated March 17, 2020, while the CRs were dated May 26, 2020. On the last batch of registrations, the ORs were dated Aug. 7, 2020, while the CRs were dated Aug. 10, 2020, but they were only released on Aug. 11, 2020.

The same pattern was seen in hundreds of motor vehicle registrations filed by the complainant corporations from 2019 to 2020.

LTO 7 has also not released the corporations’ Certificates of Accreditation even after they submitted complete requirements and paid the necessary fees despite the provision in its Citizen’s Charter that these should only take up to 12 days to process. The corporations were also reportedly required by the government office to submit additional documents not included in its Citizen’s Charter. The complainant filed a letter of complaint to Arta on June 30, 2020, quoting the PNA report.

In his explanation, Caindec said all his actions were consistent with existing rules and regulations. He noted that they have released 19,868 records from the complainant corporations from January to September 2020. Arta received Caindec’s urgent motion to inhibit and terminate further proceedings and the complainant’s opposition with motion for immediate resolution.

Arta recommended that Caindec be held liable for violation of Section 21, paragraphs (a), (b), and 75 counts of paragraph (e) of RA 11032, or the Ease of Doing Business and Efficient Government Service Delivery Act of 2018. The Authority also asked the Ombudsman for the LTO official’s preventive suspension pending the investigation of his case. Also, Arta recommended that the case be referred to the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission for further investigation for possible violation of RA 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, as well as any other laws, rules and regulations, the PNA report said.

Well, let us wait for the results of this case.

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