5 LTO-7 officials face probe, suspension, for alleged fraudulent activities

By: Wenilyn B. Sabalo - Multimedia Reporter - CDN Digital | January 27,2023 - 03:52 PM

LTO Mandaue

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Several officials of the Land Transportation Office in Central Visayas (LTO-7) are facing a three-month preventive suspension for alleged fraudulent activities.

The LTO-7, in a statement sent to the media on Friday, January 27, 2023, announced that its Camotes Island Extension Office acting chief Editha Soco is facing a 90-day preventive suspension for alleged loafing from duty during regular office hours, dishonesty, and falsification of public documents.

The regional agency said Soco received the suspension order and formal charge against her last Monday, Jan. 23.

In an interview with CDN Digital on Friday, LTO 7 director Victor Emmanuel Caindec said he cannot divulge details of the full investigation yet, but the official charge was loafing and falsification of documents.

“Because this is still a preventive suspension, we have already served the formal charge, so the proceedings will take place, and the final decision will be handed out at the proper time. What is important is that at this time the preventive suspension has been served and we can proceed with hearing the case in full details,” Caindec said.

Meanwhile, two other officials under the LTO 7’s Operations Division are also facing a 90-day preventive suspension for possible graft and fraud charges.

Caindec, however, deferred from naming the two officials pending the agency’s release of the received copies of the charges filed against them.

“Technically, they are officer level. We discovered that there are some accountable forms that should have been properly inventoried, and at the time of the audit were not in the possession of these people,” he said.

He said the initial review pointed out that there may be a “deeper” issue that needs to be uncovered. Formal charges have already been made, Caindec said.

He added they will also conduct a fact-finding investigation and give these officials the chance to give their formal replies.

Moreover, apart from the three LTO 7 officials, Caindec said two more heads of office are also under investigation, though Caindec said they still have to determine if there is sufficient proof for the allegation.

“The LTO-7 is taking heed of the directive of assistant secretary Atty. Jose Arturo Tugade to clean house…The assistant secretary was very specific in saying that you go after those who are not doing their job and we will support you as long as you do your job well also,” Caindec said.     /rcg

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