MEDIA personality Pablito “Bobby” Nalzaro has asked the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas to conduct a lifestyle check on Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7 Director Victor Emmanuel Caindec following corruption allegations raised by the official’s biological father.
In a letter to Deputy Ombudsman Paul Elmer Clemente dated January 15, 2020, Nalzaro said he believes it is to the “best interest” of all taxpayers, the public in general, and to himself, that the Ombudsman conduct a lifestyle check on Caindec.
In an interview, Caindec said he is open to a lifestyle check and that Nalzaro, in a democracy, has the right to initiate action against him but it is up to the Ombudsman to decide if there is merit to the complaint. Caindec found Nalzaro’s complaint to be “really devoid of credible information” and is meant only to harass him.
Nalzaro said in his complaint that, in his radio and newspaper commentary, he exposes “shenanigans and allegations of corruption against some government officials reported to me by some citizens who are afraid to come out in the open and file formal complaints for fear of reprisal from these officials.” Caindec is one such official who was the subject of “numerous complaints.”
This is the first time, however, that he took action rather than just do a commentary, Nalzaro told reporters posted at the Ombudsman.
Nalzaro is host of “Saksi” over radio dySS, newscaster of GMA 7 regional television’s “Balitang Bisdak” and columnist of SunStar Cebu and Superbalita Cebu.
He said in his letter that Caindec’s biological father, Victorio “Sonny” Caindec, went to his radio station for an interview to raise allegations of “unexplained wealth, including several brand new sports utility vehicles in his (Caindec’s) two years as LTO 7 regional director.”
Nalzaro challenged Caindec to present his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net (SALN) worth “from the time he assumed office to date if he has nothing to hide, but he refused.”
“Instead, he threatened to sue me for libel and made allegations that he gave me an envelope, an insinuation of bribery, when he was still not in the government. But he is just inventing (a) story to get back at me. I never met him personally,” Nalzaro said in his letter to the Ombudsman.
Caindec, in the interview, said, “It (Nalzaro’s letter) is basically written in the same manner that he has been broadcasting his accusations against me. Number one, it is really devoid of credible information and, two, I think the intention is just to harass.”
If he were the one to make the report or request, Caindec said he would have the “diligence in gathering correct information.” Caindec also said that, even before Nalzaro’s lifestyle check request, he had written “all the relevant government offices” signifying that he was open to a lifestyle check.
Caindec said that in August 2019, he sent a letter to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Police Regional Office 7 and National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (Nica) and gave copies to the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas and to Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade after several instances when he noticed that drones were flying over his property during the night.
“I wanted to inquire if the NBI or the Nica was conducting a lifestyle check on me because, inasmuch as we would like to cooperate, the flight of the drones was, we felt, very important and significant security risk to me and my family,” Caindec said.
“I have already written that formally to all the relevant offices signifying that I am open to a lifestyle check if that was the intention,” he said.
Caindec also challenged Nalzaro to deny outright that he received an envelope from Caindec and to say that he never received any amount of money from anyone “ever for a consideration as a media man in his entire career.”
In an earlier interview, Caindec said allegations of unexplained wealth were not new and were already denied by him in an affidavit sent to the central office. On claims that he amassed his wealth just two years into his LTO 7 job, Caindec said he was a millionaire even before he joined the LTO and his family runs a car wash, detailing and sanitation business. (WBS)