LTFRB employees face dismissal over extortion raps

MANILA — Two employees of the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) could be dismissed from office as they face charges of extortion, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) said.

The LTFRB on Wednesday assisted in filing an estafa case against an employee in its office in the National Capital Region (NCR) for allegedly collecting money in exchange for a taxi franchise, before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office.

Rogelio Colita, a taxi franchise applicant from Mandaluyong City, has sought the assistance of the LTFRB main office to formally file a complaint against LTFRB-NCR employee Jean Gunda, who allegedly demanded PHP175,000 in exchange for securing the approval of a taxi franchise in April 2016.

Colita allegedly handed over PHP175,000 to Gunda in her office but not a single franchise was approved after a year of following up on the matter.

Meanwhile, Amelia dela Cruz, transportation development officer of LTFRB-NCR, is facing a complaint before the Ombudsman for conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, dishonesty, grave misconduct and falsification of documents.

This after a video surfaced showing dela Cruz extorting PHP250,000 from an unnamed complainant in exchange for a UV Express franchise.

LTFRB Chairman Martin Delgra III has ordered the investigation and filing of appropriate administrative charges against the involved employees.
“This is proof that we are not condoning such actions. Regardless of the position, so long as there are illegal activities, we will be the ones to file complaints against them,” Delgra said in a statement Friday.

For his part, Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade urged the public to refrain from involving the officials of the department in corrupt activities and to follow the proper procedures.

“Don’t tempt employees because you will be putting yourselves in an awkward situation. Let’s do what is right. Just a reminder to everyone: If you don’t want us to be corrupt, don’t corrupt us,” Tugade said. Aerol John Pateña/