Caindec: ‘Let me present findings of our investigation and see who’s corrupt’
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Amid statements supposedly linking him to corruption, Land Transportation Office in Central Visayas (LTO-7) Director Victor Emmanuel Caindec is asking for a chance to present the findings of his investigation on anomalies in the agency that prompted the alleged attempts to get him out of the office.
In a virtual press conference on Tuesday, September 22, 2020, Caindec answered Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque’s statement published in a national news website where Roque was quoted saying that an LTO official in the Visayas, whom he did not name, is being given time to shape up and rectify his actions.
The presidential spokesman was speaking in a press conference in Cagayan de Oro City when he made the statement.
Although he was not named by Roque, Caindec said he spoke up as the statement was obviously alluding to him.
“Let’s cut to the chase. He’s referring to Region 7 and he’s referring to me as the [regional] director. But if he is going to accuse me of being corrupt, I would demand [that] I’d be given a fair chance to present everything that is in our possession so that we will know who is corrupt,” Caindec said.
Caindec revealed that the allegations against him started when he refused to receive a bribe from a large dealership group sometime last February in order to expedite and ensure the smooth registration process for their vehicles.
Prior to the alleged attempt to bribe him, Caindec said internal investigation in the regional office resulted in the discovery of information about issues in one of the large dealerships that engage with LTO-7 regarding new registration of units.
“I was surprised because they were requesting the chairman of one company and the president of another company to meet me in my office, requesting that they meet me without any representatives of LTO. I took it as an opportunity that they were willing to tell me if there was anyone in our organization doing an act of corruption,” he said.
“In that meeting, that was the first time they tried to bribe me. The offer was P500 per transaction to expedite and to make sure there will be no further concerns regarding their registration,” Caindec added.
The official said the details on the attempt to bribe him, along with his intent to conduct a large scale investigation on the matter, was sent to the assistant secretary of the LTO and to Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade in a confidential briefing through an affidavit.
“That bribe offer was repeated and was relayed by someone else. At that point, I already sent a confidential briefing to the assistant secretary about this [and] also informing the Asec that I am opening a large-scale investigation regarding this,” he added.
“I am very much willing to present the evidence. But like I said, we are not the BIR (Bureau of Internal Revenue) but we are the ones who discovered the evidentiary trail,” Caindec said.
Among the discoveries from the investigation on the dealership group, Caindec said, was the use of different sets of invoices for the registration of the motorcycle units compared to those issued to the motorcycle owners, which led him to believe that the anomaly involving the company is concerning tax evasion.
“When we started uncovering the level of information that we uncovered, I sent another briefing, and simultaneously, a PR wire coming out of a PR operator from Cagayan de Oro was released, saying nga ipa-investigate ko sa DOTr (Department of Transportation),” Caindec recounted.
Caindec said what followed were a bulk of demand letters for the issuance of registration documents that the regional office had already released and a call from top officials telling him to “fix.”
“I got that to mean that that was good news because then, the issue is now in the pers of higher government officials. In a series of other calls, there seems to be pressure on my side to no longer continue with the investigation, pero walay papel we were just given calls,” he said.
Caindec, in an earlier Facebook live update on his account, complained of “high-level” pressure to stop the investigation.
Caindec added that he also got a call from a senior government official, informing him that Roque is asking him to be fired because he was “extremely corrupt.”
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