For extortion activities in bohol 4 LTO agents nabbed by NBI
CEBU, Philippines — Four enforcers of the Land Transportation Office in Central Visayas were arrested Wednesday afternoon in an entrapment operation by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation in Tagbilaran City, Bohol.
Lawyer Rennan Augustus Oliva, NBI-Bohol chief, identified the suspects as Gaylord Tamara Pacaña, Bernard Clarin Jamorol, Walter John Yncierto, and Jose Christian Hembra, all residents of Cebu City.
They were assigned at the LTO-Tagbilaran office for six months to conduct operations against colorum vehicles. Oliva said a tour operator accused the four LTO enforcers of extortion.
LTO-7 Director Victor Emmanuel Caindec himself requested the NBI to investigate the alleged extortion activities of the suspects.
Tour operator Abraham Dante, 37, of Purok 1, Darunday St., Dao District, Tagbilaran City, said the suspects apprehended his driver, Rosendo Magan Jr., on November 28 in a checkpoint near Eskaya Resort in Panglao.
It was Pacaña who confiscated the driver’s license and the registration paper of the vehicle despite having a franchise from the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board.
Dante said the suspects demanded P10,000 for the release of the driver’s license and the registration paper. The operator sought the help of the NBI prompting an entrapment operation resulting in their arrest.
Oliva said the complainant and the suspects agreed to meet Wednesday afternoon at Teachers Drive in Cogon District, Tagbilaran City for the payoff. A team led by agent Levi Anthony Royeras prepositioned themselves 10 to 15 meters away from the designated meeting place.
As soon as Pacaña received the marked money the NBI operatives swooped down on him and his companions who were waiting at a coffee shop in the area.
“The LTO enforcers resisted apprehension and a brief commotion happened, however, the undersigned affiants together with other NBI operatives were able to pin them down to the ground,” read the complaint affidavit of the NBI operatives.
A criminal complaint for robbery extortion, violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, and Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees were filed yesterday before the Prosecutor’s Office in Bohol against Pacaña, Jamorol, Yncierto, and Hembra.
Caindec said the arrest of the four enforcers should serve as a warning to the other erring employees of the LTO-7. He said he does not condone illegal activities and would make sure that they are held accountable to their actions.
He said he requested the NBI-7 last October to conduct an investigation into the reported “hulidap” or extortion activities in Bohol. Caindec said he received a complaint through social media about the illegal activities of his personnel assigned in Bohol.
“At first nagtoo ko nga LTO-deputized agents ang naghimo ana but it turned out nga dili mga deputized agents sa LTO but mga personnel gyud sa LTO-7 nga akong gi assigned sa Bohol para pagdakop aning mga colorum nga mga sakyanan. Pero mao lage na nang hulidap na man hinoon,” said Caindec.
Caindec said the four erring enforcers should face the consequences of their actions.
“Mao na ilaha gyud nang atubangon. Mao nay giingon nga dili tanang higayon swerte ka. Kani sila nahutdan na ni sa ilang swerte,” Caindec said. — with Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon, FPL (FREEMAN)