Caindec says he will take steps vs detractors
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Victor Caindec, regional director of the Land Transportation Office in Central Visayas (LTO-7), said he would see his detractors in court if they continue to use his Statement of Assets Liabilities, Liabilities (SALN) to malign his name.
“Inyo kong dauton sa akong SALN, adto ta sa korte. Sinubayay ta didto; asa ta kutob maabot. (If you damage my reputation using my SALN, let’s meet in court. Let’s settle this matter there, wherever this may lead us),” Caindec told CDN Digital on Sunday, January 12, 2020.
However, when asked if he would take any legal action against his detractors, he refused to give a categorical answer.
“We are keeping our cards close to our hearts as to our legal strategy,” Caindec said.
The LTO-7 director issued this statement when asked for his comment on a column of Lloyd Suarez posted on CDN Digital. In his column, Suarez echoed the call of radio personality and colleague Bobby Nalzaro urging the Ombudsman Visayas to conduct a lifestyle check on Caindec.
According to Suarez, the LTO-7 director refused to give details regarding the vehicles he owned and the money he has in banks. Instead of answering the allegations, Suarez said, Caindec accused Nalzaro of receiving money from him before he joined the government.
Nalzaro, in his column, quoted allegations made by Sonny Caindec, who claimed to be the regional director’s father. The father had alleged that “his son amassed wealth in just two years” after he became LTO-7 director.
Caindec admitted that he refused to give any details about his assets, noting that Suarez was only engaged in a “fishing expedition.”
“The reason why I did not answer these is because it is a legal strategy,” he said.
According to Caindec, if his detractors wanted to know the contents of his SALN, it was “available as a public record.”
“The (real) issue is not my SALN. The issue is the credibility of the story,” he pointed out.
Caindec said he would only respond if his critics could come up with specific and detailed accusations.
“In our justice system, he who comes with accusations must bring proof. Because in our justice system, you are innocent until proven without doubt that you are guilty,” he added.
The LTO-7 director then explained that he was fighting Nalzaro on this matter “because this is not an ordinary attack.”
“This is a calculated attack,” Caindec claimed, noting that Nalzaro has been hitting him several times.
“The reason why Bobby Nalzaro is so motivated to destroy my credibility is because he wants to make sure I no longer have the credibility to accuse him of what I already accused him of,” he further alleged.
Caindec maintained that he was not afraid of losing his position so he was willing to fight his detractors.
“I have expressed to (Presidential Assistant in the Visayas) Secretary Michael Dino and Senator Bong Go that if within the year, the reforms I have instituted in LTO-7 are already in an acceptable level, I will ask l for an exit strategy from them,” he added.
Caindec stressed that he was unlike other government officials who would be scared to go against their accusers for fear of losing their positions.
“I for sure will fight them because they have been accusing me and making false accusations against me and trying to destroy my credibility, which is more important to me,” he said.
Caindec have been putting in place changes in the LTO to address concerns over corruption in the agency. “When I came in, there was an 18,000 backlog in vehicle registration. Now it’s zero backlog,” he pointed out.
He pointed out that LTO-7 revenue collection in 2019 reached P1.78 billion, 6.5 percent higher than that of 2018. Also, the agency had put up several licensing centers, temporary off-site printing office to address backlogs in the printing of driver license cards and new offices in different areas, including Bantayan and Camotes islands for the convenience of residents in these areas.
The vehicle license plate distribution has also been done through the dealers.
Soon, LTO will also implement a new licensing system, which would address the problem on fixers. All these changes have been implemented to address corruption issues, Caindec said./elb
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