THe Land Transportation Office (LTO) has filed a criminal complaint against a driver and owner of a passenger van amid the agency’s aggressive anti-colorum campaign across the country.
LTO Chief Assistant Secretary Atty. Vigor D. Mendoza II said the case filed was for violation of Section 18 relating to Section 24 of Commonwealth Act 146 as amended by Republic Act 11659, or the Public Service Act.
Those charged before the Quezon City Prosecutor’s Office were driver Benito A. Ollete, of Tondo, Manila; and Julhapas H. Tantong, of Marilao, Bulacan.
The penalty for the case filed is a fine not exceeding P2 million, or imprisonment of not lower than six years and one day and not higher than 12 years. A court, however, has the discretion to impose both penalties.
“Ito ay isang patunay lamang na seryoso ang inyong LTO na wakasan ang ganitong klaseng iligal na gawain na nakakaperhuwisyo sa mga legitimate transport operators,” said Mendoza.
He said the filing of the case was in compliance with the directive of Department of Transportation (DOTr) Secretary Jaime Bautista to further intensify the anti-colorum drive to ensure safety of all road users and to assist legitimate transport operators that are losing around 30 percent of their daily income.
In the charge sheet, it said an LTO officer flagged down a passenger van with license plate CAY 7184 loaded with a total of 17 passengers at around 3 p.m. in Balintawak, Quezon City.
The operation stemmed from intelligence reports of the rampant operation of colorum vehicles plying the routes of Quezon City to Bulacan and vice versa.
Driver Ollete presented his driver’s license and official receipt/certificate of registration of the vehicle but failed to present a document that the vehicle is authorized to be used as a PUV.
Ollete was then apprehended and during the initial investigation, it was found out that Ollete has been ferrying passengers from Balintawak to Marilao and charging P70.00 for each passenger.
The vehicle was later impounded and Tantong was later identified as the owner of the vehicle.
We will create a legal team to focus in the handling of these cases, said Mendoza.
“Personal kong tutukan ang kasong ito. I hope that this will send a strong message to all the other drivers and operators of colorum PUVs to stop their illegal operations now,” said Mendoza.
“Dahil kung hindi, patuloy ang aming operasyon at hindi kami magsasawa na mag-impound at magsampa ng kaso sa mga taong ito,” he stressed.