LAND Transportation Office (LTO 7) Regional Director Victor Emmanuel Caindec is like a mad dog. He is barking up the wrong tree. Meaning, he completely misunderstood something or got it totally wrong. If this is a debate, he is adopting the strategy of “argumentum ad hominem.” A Latin word that means a fallacious argumentative strategy whereby genuine discussion of the topic at hand is avoided by instead attacking the character, motive or other attribute of the person making the argument rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself.
Caindec took it personally against me after I wrote in my column last Monday, Jan. 6, the allegations of his father, Sonny Caindec, that he acquired questionable wealth within two years after being appointed to his current position. The older Caindec visited DYSS radio station last December and “exposed” his son’s shenanigans in office. The father alleged that the regional director amassed wealth by taking advantage of his position. He wanted the Ombudsman to conduct a lifestyle check on his son.
The father though admitted that he has a long standing grudge with his son. The regional director did not grow up with him but with his father’s parents. But the father claimed he never abandoned the needs of his son since childhood.
But why is Caindec taking it personally against me? I am just the messenger. In an interview with DYSS anchor, Lloyd Suarez, the regional director attacked me. He called me “corrupt.” He accused me of owning a brand new BMW car and accepting bribe money from him. This is why I’m saying that he is like a “mad dog,” barking up at a wrong tree. He also threatened to sue me for libel. Well, go ahead.
Since Caindec has access to all records at his office, I am challenging him to produce documents to prove that I owned a brand new BMW car. If he can produce one, without batting an eyelash, I will give that brand new car to him. But granting that I have one, can’t I afford to acquire that kind of vehicle with my income through car loan or installment? I have separate salaries from my radio and TV employment at GMA 7 Network, plus my SunStar income as columnist and my talent fees for product endorsements, both local and national. Maybe my one month talent fee from one product endorsement is enough to pay for the monthly amortization of my car loan. That was how I paid my Mitsubishi Montero seven years ago. Caindec can inquire about the mode of my car loan payments from RCBC.
When asked by Suarez when I received the “bribe money” from him and how much, he could not give specific details. But to set the record straight, I never met Caindec in person or shook his hand in the past. I never asked his assistance when I renewed my driver’s license to avail myself of a VIP treatment. I followed the procedure by lining up and waited for five hours to get my plastic driver’s license. He is just inventing stories to get back at me.
But before he bent his ire on me and sue me for libel, he should confront his father first. Because my source was his father. It was his father who “spilled the beans” about his alleged shenanigans because the former could no longer stomach his son’s wrongdoings. Caindec even admitted in that Suarez interview and even here in SunStar interview that he possesses several Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV) because he can afford it. He is not poor when he joined the LTO. He claimed he is rich with an P8-million bank deposit. If he is rich, why did he apply and accept the position as chief of the Cebu City Transportation Office (Citom) during Mayor Mike Rama’s time with only a monthly salary of P25,000?
He even admitted in SunStar Cebu interview that he was being investigated by LTO central office on the same allegations.
So, what’s the big fuss? I am just reiterating his father’s call for the Ombudsman to conduct a lifestyle check on him. Before Caindec would sue me be, he better be sure to consult a top-notch lawyer to determine if there was or there were libelous statements in my previous column. I know that his backers are former House Speaker Pantaleon “Bebot” Alvarez and Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino. If I were Dino, I will distance myself from Caindec because he might be dragged into this official’s shenanigans. I am challenging Caindec to make public his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) to prove that he has no unexplained wealth.