DOTC-CAR Director to face PAGC and OMB Again
By B.A. Dawang (The Junction Regional Newspaper, May 3-9, 2003 issue)
BAGUIO CITY - The Regional Director of the DOTC-CAR will be
facing the Presidential Anti Graft Commission (PAGC) and the Office of the
Ombudsman (OMB) as two complaints for administrative and criminal offenses were
recently lodged against him.
The complaints, lodged by Linis Gobyerno, stemmed from the nine
LTFRB Decisions issued by the LTFRB-CAR on December 20, 2002. In the said
Decisions, the LTFRB-CAR, which is now being headed by the DOTC-CAR Regional
Director Alfredo Mondiguing, have granted franchises to nine units of vans with
the route “Bauko, Mountain Province to any point in CAR (except Baguio City,
La Trinidad, Itogon, Sablan, and Tublay) and vice versa“. The franchises were
lodged in the LTFRB-CAR’s records as Case Nos. 2002-CAR-001 up to
It was alleged that Mondiguing issued the franchises without
even hearing or scheduling for hearing the Joint Opposition filed by various
Jeepney Operators’ and Drivers’ Associations of Mountain Province, dated
November 26, 2002.
Sometime on January this year, the drivers and operators of
jeepneys in Mountain Province were surprised to see that the vans subject of
their opposition were already plying their route. Thus, on January 17, they have
filed an “Ex-Parte Motion from Oppositors” asking the LTFRB-CAR to set for
hearing their earlier filed opposition.
On January 20, Linis Gobyerno personally talked to LTFRB
Chairman Dante Lantin, and raised the problem of Mt. Province jeepney drivers
and operators. Right there and then, Lantin called up Mondiguing in the
telephone and asked him point blank if he issued franchises for vans-for-hire
even if there is an opposition lodged. According to Lantin, Mondiguing said that
he cancelled already the franchises he issued as per his memorandum dated
January 17. His basis for the unilateral cancellation was that the franchises
were inadvertently issued. It was observed, however, that his memorandum is
canceling 15 franchises, whereas the subject of the complaint is only 9.
Linis Gobyerno averred that even if Mondiguing has cancelled the
franchises, this does not exculpate him from a wrong that has already been
committed. The complaint further states that “…what if these irregular
franchises issued were not made known to the public, and how many more of this
type of irregular and anomalous franchises have been issued and are being issued
in secret without the benefit of public transparency…”
The complaints were received by PAGC and OMB on April 30.
Meanwhile, the Office of the President recently dismissed the
earlier complaint filed by Linis Gobyerno against Mondiguing, despite the
PAGC’s recommendation that Mondiguing should be reprimanded. The Resolution,
penned by Waldo Q. Flores, Senior Deputy Executive Secretary, dismissed the
complaint saying the it has no basis and is just a form of harassment.
The said complaint is regarding Mondiguing’s non-action on the
issue raised by Linis Gobyerno that numerours buses are plying the Baguio Manila
route without proper franchises. Mondiguing averred in his position paper
submitted to the PAGC that the bus companies have applied for extension of
franchises, which allowed them to continue
to ply their route. He also cited that the flexibility rule was lifted
only at the NCR but not for the buses with provincial operations. Flexibility
rule allows a bus company to pull out its buses with another route (example NCR-Dagupan)
to ply the route (Pasay-Baguio).
Mondiguing however failed to explain that the flexibility rule,
while effective in the provincial areas, requires the operators to secure a
permit from the LTFRB, and the permit being issued by the LTFRB specify a date
in which the permit is applicable. In the visit of Lantin to Baguio a few months
back, he was asked about the flexibility rule and he explained that the permit
being given to bus operators specifies the bus (plate number and LTFRB case
number), and the date in which the permit should be applicable. “It is not an
eternal permit”, he said.
It was observed that the Resolution did not, in any manner talk
about the position paper submitted by Linis Gobyerno.
Linis Gobyerno’s Executive Director, Freddie Farres, said that the group will be filing a motion for reconsideration, which among others, would point out Flores’ non-appreciation of the evidence submitted by Linis Gobyerno, his apparent ignorance on the LTFRB rules, and his delving on unsubstantiated allegation about Linis Gobyerno not in anyway related to the case at hand. It was noted also, that Flores did not seek the legal of opinion of LTFRB, which has the authority and knowledge over the matter.