Gordon calls out LTO and DOTR Officials anew, to file Graft and Plunder Charges  

Date posted on March 17, 2021
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Last week, Senator Richard Gordon berated former and current officials of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) and the Department of Transportation (DOTR) who entered into anomalous deals with private companies that caused the delay in the production and distribution of vehicle license plates.

File Photo credit to Anjo Bruce, 2016

“‘Yung kanilang pagpapahirap sa mga tao, whoever causes damage to third parties and other agencies, ay anti-graft ‘yon. Ngayon, dahil ang laki-laki ng pera, baka umabot sila doon sa tinatawag na plunder. ‘Yon ang sinisilip natin ngayon,” warned Gordon, Chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.

In an interview with Double B TV, he enumerated numerous violations committed by officials from both the Aquino III and Duterte administrations. In 2013 DOTR opened bidding for the procurement of plates without appropriation. Former DOTR Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya and DOTR Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Jose Perpetuo Lotilla then signed a multi-year contract with joint venture PPI-JKG without securing a Multi-Year Obligational Authority from the Department of Budget and Management.

The Commission on Audit called the procurement transaction “irregular and illegal,” and disallowed an advance payment to PPI-JKG worth PHP 478M. A Supreme Court restraining order finally halted the production of plates for both motor vehicles and motorcycles in 2016.

“Umabot ng tatlong taon ‘yon, tatlong taon wala tayong plaka. Hanggang tumawid na sa bagong administrasyon, na hinahanapan ng tao ng plaka ang gobyerno. LTO, ‘yan ang pakay nila, walang plaka, tapos kanya-kanya na lang,” Gordon admonished. “Nahihirapan din ang mga pulis na manghuli, at pinapahirapan din ang mga tao na dumadaan sila sa checkpoint, di naman nila kasalanang wala silang plaka.”

PPI-JKG then could not deliver their vehicle plate dues because another supplier Trojan—to whom LTO consistently awarded the contracts for the supply of license plates since 2018—monopolized LTO’s Order Management System, and the Digital Signature that is an important feature of the new plates. The issuance of license plates is further delayed.

“Kasalanan ito ng LTO at DOTR,” Gordon announced, vowing to hold accountable all the erring officials who were involved in the anomalous procurement transactions. The Blue Ribbon Committee continues to investigate the implementation of Republic Act 11235 or the Motorcycle Crime Prevention Act.

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