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Probe vs LTO chief Mendoza ordered amid corruption allegations

Land Transportation Office (LTO) chief Vigor Mendoza II is under investigation, ordered by none other than his boss, Transportation Secretary Jaime Bautista, amid allegations of corruption.

In a statement, Bautista said he required Mendoza to "immediately submit his explanation and comments on the allegations, for our proper disposition and appropriate recommendation to the President, if necessary.”

“The allegations about LTO Asec. Vigor Mendoza—betrayal of public trust, grave abuse of authority, loss of trust and confidence, acts prejudicial to the public, reputational risk against the Philippine government, and corruption, among others—are all serious accusations that demand in-depth investigation and equally serious affirmative action,” Bautista said.

The Transportation chief issued the statement after several groups called for the sacking of the LTO chief amid the continued charging of computer fees and the failure to implement full government control of the Land Transportation Management System (LTMS).

In an advertisement published in some newspapers, leaders of FELTOP, Konsumo Pinas, Magtulungan Tayo, Philippine Transport Monitor, Samahang ng Kabataan Para sa Kabuluhang Pagbabago, and Kamalaya Consumer Cooperative called on President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to replace Mendoza for acts allegedly inimical and prejudicial to the motoring public, such as “the motoring public continues to pay computer fees to the previous IT service provider of the agency even without a valid contract.”

The Coalition for Good Governance also called for Mendoza’s removal for the continued charging of computer fees, at P169, by the previous IT provider of the LTO for every motor vehicle registration and renewal transaction.

It said that the LTO’s Citizen Charter does not mention computer fees as part of the total amount to be paid by the transacting public.

“Rest assured, we always consider the public’s best interest and the government’s welfare as primordial considerations in resolving these kinds of matters. We will inform the public of our findings as soon as possible,” Bautista said.

'Unfounded allegations'

In a statement, Mendoza said the allegations raised in the “paid advertisements” are “false and are plain and simple desperate effort to mislead and misinform the public for whatever reasons or personal agenda that they have.”

“First, it is under my watch—and based on the instruction of President Marcos and Secretary Bautista—that system glitches in all LTO digital transactions were properly addressed through the consolidation and migration to the new IT provider that was contracted by the government,” the LTO chief said.

Mendoza said that 97% of all vehicle transactions are now being processed under the LTMS, while the LTO is now 100% for driver’s license transactions.

“We are heading towards a reliable digital infrastructure for all LTO transactions, and we will not be distracted by these unfounded allegations,” the LTO chief said. —VBL, GMA Integrated News