LTO director’s driver nabbed

THE DRIVER of a regional director of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) was arrested yesterday by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in an entrapment operation right inside the LTO regional office along Quimpo Boulevard.

 NBI regional director Arnold Rosales identified the suspect as Mamerto Tumpag, the driver of LTO XI  director Atty. Gomer Dy.

 Tumpag was arrested for violation of Republic Act 9485, the Anti-Red Tape Law of 2007, which aims to prevent graft and corruption practices in the government.

 During the entrapment at around 3 p.m. yesterday, Tumpag received the P5,000 marked money that he allegedly demand from a client, said to be public van operator,  as fee so his units can be allowed to pick up passengers outside the Davao City Overland Transport Terminal (DCOTT) in Ecoland.

 NBI agent Gerald Intes said they conducted entrapment operation against Tumpag after they received several complaints from public utility van operators on his alleged illegal operation.

 The accused allegedly asked P1,500 to P5,000 from the operators as fee to expedite their vehicle registration.

 Tumpag is also allegedly asking P200 for every trip of vans operating outside the DCOTT.  There are around 40 units in that area alone.

 Intes said they suspect that Tumpag could have accomplices inside the government office assigned to implement land transportation laws.

 However, said they they could not pinpoint if Dy is involved or has participation in the illegal activity.

 Tumpag is the second LTO personnel to be arrested within a month.

 Last June 10, the San Pedro Police arrested Jason Atuel also for asking grease money from a client.

 The arrest of Tumpag came days after Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte revealed that there are some traffic enforcers, including LTO personnel, who have been receiving bribes from traffic violators and drivers and operators of public utility vehicles.

 Duterte issued the statement following the June 14 vehicular accident involving a utility van  that killed 11 persons.

 The incident forced the Land Transportation Franchising Regulatory Board to suspend operation of all north-bound public vans.