LTO Caraga exec urges public to report ASAP any corruption allegations vs. LTO personnel

by Ben Serrano

      March 22, 2011


            BUTUAN CITY (PNA) - Following armed ambush against two LTO personnel of LTO Caraga regional office yesterday, Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) Caraga regional office Assistant Regional Director Engr. Roman Jumawan today urged public to report immediately to DOTC regional office here any report or allegations of malfeasance of any LTO, DOTC personnel particularly LTO law enforcers in the region.


            Jumawan said the Land Transportation Office in Caraga region has already submitted initial official report to his office and to the office of DOTC-Caraga regional director Alim Pangandaman who is now in Manila of what officially transpired in yesterday’s ambush staged by eight armed men against the two LTO personnel boarding an LTO official vehicle yesterday morning along national highway near boundary of Butuan City and Agusan del Sur in Purok 2, Barangay Tabon-Tabon, Sibagat, Agusan del Sur.


            Jumawan told PNA in an interview that based on the report the Monday morning ambush against the LTO personnel on board an LTO official vehicle was a matter of mistaken identity


            Jumawan did not elaborate further of who were or was the real target of the armed ambuscade.

            Although Jumawan admitted some rotten eggs personnel at the LTO and even DOTC regional offices particularly those manning LTO registration, licensing and law enforcement offices, he, however assured the public that LTO and DITC offices have trying very hard to erase the mounting bad public image of LTO and DOTC.


            “We are now currently in the process of having all our operations at the LTO and DOTC offices to be under ISO international standardization process by making our operations standardize like 30 minutes time limits in getting Student Permits for drivers licensing and issuances of permits” Jumawan claimed.


            Jumawan however was mum on question on public allegations about continuing presence of fixers through presence of insurance offices located near or surrounding the LTO Caraga regional and provincial offices in the region.


            Jumawan instead urged public to also take photos with the used of mobile phones on any LTO personnel, checkpoints alleged to have acted wrongfully against motorists.


            “We have no control of these private insurance offices located near LTO and DOTC offices but we already have installed consumer care offices or windows to counter the fixers and urged those wanted help to go instead at the LTO customer care windows instead to the preying fixers”, Jumawan said. 

               Jumawan said complaining public may call their DOTC, LTO land line telephone numbers 360-20-15; 360-20-12; and (085) 360-20-10. 


            Official report from Caraga police regional information office said unidentified eight armed men ambushed the LTO vehicle at around 10 a.m. Monday along national highway near boundary of Butuan City and Agusan del Sur in Barangay Tabon-Tabon, Sibagat, Agusan del Sur.


            Responding Sibagat police operatives in their initial investigation discovered from the crime scene along national highway 12 empty shells fired from caliber 5.56 mm and M-16 armalite firearms including an improvised explosive device paraphernalias with 10 meters wires used for detonating explosive device.


           The police report however did not mention on whether the two LTO personnel were wounded or not but only claimed survived the ambush.


            The national highway where the ambushed occurred although secluded is a busy highway being the only highway or national road going to and from Davao City and the rest of the provinces of Compostela Valley, Davao, Agusan del Sur where passenger buses also passed almost every minute.


            Said police initial report claimed they will conduct further investigation to determined identities of the armed suspects.


            This is not the first time LTO personnel, police highway patrol groups including DENR, LGU checkpoints personnel were subjected to an armed attack or ambush.


            Sometime in 2007, at least four personnel of a composite team from LTO, highway patrol, DENR, LGU manning mobile checkpoint along national highway in Barangay Antongalon, Butuan City only three kilometers away from where yesterday’s ambush incident occurred were killed after undetermined number of armed men opened fired at them.


            In a press statement, the New People’s Army owned the attack saying said personnel manning the mobile checkpoint were allegedly so corrupt, extorting money from cargo and logging trucks loaded with cut logs from naturally grown trees trucks including motorists who passed the highway looking for every LTO violations possible.


            Recently, NPA rebels attacked the Barangay Pulang Lupa forest product checkpoint in Trento, Agusan del Sur killing two and abducting one police officer who was also later released. NPA rebels’ press statement also issued allegations of rampant corruption at said checkpoint. (PNA/Ben Serrano)


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