Pinoy Aksiyon for Government and the Environment (Pinoy Aksiyon), a good governance nongovernment organization (NGO), will refile its complaint of corruption against Land Transportation Office (LTO) 7 Director Victor Caindec before Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevara. This is in line with President Rodrigo Duterte’s renewed campaign against corruption with the creation of a mega-task force to look into corruption cases in various government agencies.
Guevara heads the task force and is now accepting complaints from the public. I said “refile” because the NGO had already filed a complaint sometime in July this year before Secretary Arthur Tugade of the Department of Transportation (DOTr), the mother department of LTO. The group asked Tugade to investigate Caindec. However, for reasons only known to him, Tugade did not act on the complaint.
Bency Ellorin, Pinoy Aksiyon chairperson, told this columnist through text message that they will ask Secretary Guevara to look into their complaint. The NGO’s action is a way of helping this present administration run after corrupt officials, Ellorin said.
Some motorcycle dealers in Cebu have accused Caindec of corruption for allegedly extorting money from them. According to them, if they do not succumb to the demand for money, the LTO 7 will delay the processing and release of official receipts and certificates of registration (OR/CR) for their new motorcycles.
Ellorin said there is a need to “revisit” the complaint against Caindec even if the nation’s attention is focused on the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. This issue cannot just be swept under the rug. Despite the pandemic, the government should probe this allegation.
This issue has even reached the attention of Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque who accused Caindec of extorting money from motorcycle dealers and distributors. “I have affidavits to prove that Caindec is extorting from motorcycle dealers and that is a matter of public document already. If they won’t agree to the amount he is asking, there will be a sudden hindrance happening in the issuance,” Roque said. He also threatened to bring this issue to the higher-ups. However, nothing has happened since then.
Early this year, I sent a letter-request to the Office of the Visayas Ombudsman, DOTr Secretary Tugade, LTO Chief Edgar Galvante, the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission and the Office of the President, asking if they could conduct a lifestyle check on Caindec in view of allegations of his unexplained wealth as raised by his biological father with whom he has estranged relations. The Presidential Management Staff acknowledged receipt of my letter-request and assured me that “they would act on it.”
Last Tuesday night, to strengthen his relentless anti-corruption campaign, President Duterte offered a reward of between P50,000 and P100,000 for information on government officials who are involved in corruption or even just planning to commit graft. In a live briefing, the President said that individuals who provide information on small contracts will receive P50,000 while those who provide information on big contracts will receive P100,000, as he also assured that informants will be provided government protection.
“Ibulong nyo lang na may corruption dyan. I will give you P100,000 and I will keep your identity secret until I reach my grave. Hindi ko kayo ipapasubo,” Duterte said.