LTO-12 sacks 7 traffic law enforcers

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GENERAL SANTOS CITY–Seven traffic law enforcers of the Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Region 12 have been relieved from their posts due to alleged irregularities.

Macario Gonzaga, LTO-12 regional director, said Tuesday he issued the relief order in the wake of an ongoing investigation into the unlawful practices of the erring personnel during traffic law enforcement activities.

Gonzaga said the relieved law enforcers have been tagged in a number of complaints involving supposed payoffs for traffic violations and other related illegal transactions.

The official said there were cases wherein the enforcers purposely did not issue temporary operator’s permits or TOPs to apprehended violators but instead “negotiated and accepted payments.”

Gonzaga said the practice resulted in discrepancies in the reports submitted by the concerned enforcers to the agency.

“We’re currently looking deeper into this and pending its completion, I ordered their temporary relief,” he said in an interview over Brigada News FM here.

Aside from the seven enforcers, Gonzaga said several other personnel involved in the same irregularities have already received warnings. These personnel, he added, could eventually face sanctions if proven that they engaged in corrupt practices.

“I warned all the employees that we will not tolerate these illegal activities,” Gonzaga said.

The official debunked reports that their field personnel were forced to go into such practices due to a supposed quota given to them in terms of apprehensions and collection from traffic violations.

He said the agency has not imposed any quota on their enforcers, whose main mandates are to “put order in our roads and maintain (favorable) traffic condition.”

Gonzaga said erring personnel could not also use their “meager pay” as excuse in accepting payoffs or bribes and engaging in illegal transactions.

“If they think their current salaries are not enough, they can always resign and look for other opportunities,” he added. (PNA)

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