THE relief of all officials and employees of two Land Transportation Office (LTO) offices in Nueva Vizcaya documents the national government’s all-out war against graft and corruption.
An enraged President Duterte ordered Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to sack all personnel assigned at the LTO district and extension offices in Bayombong and Aritao, respectively.
The Chief Executive, the first Mindanaoan to occupy the country’s top political post, issued the order during a meeting with rice traders and truckers held last week at Malacañang.
Right after the phone call by Duterte, Tugade ordered LTO chief Edgar Galvante, a former police general, to relieve all concerned personnel pending the result of a thorough investigation.
“Hindi ako mag-aalaga ng mga anay sa hanay ko. Dati ko pang sinasabi sa inyo (na) ayaw na ayaw ng Pangulong Duterte ng korapsyon…Hindi ako magdadalawang isip na yariin ko kayo,” said Tugade.
Reports said that LTO personnel in the area earn as much as P1 million a day from over a thousand trucks from Cagayan Valley bringing agricultural products, including rice, out of the region.
“Sa mga rice trader at trucker, ’wag kayong mag-alaala. Tuturuan natin ng leksyon ang mga sira-ulong ’yan para masigurong maayos kayong makapagnegosyo,” said Secretary Tugade.
He also asked the complainants: “Kung may mga reklamo kayo sa iba pang opisyales o kawani ng DoTr (Department of Transportation), ’wag kayong mangingiming ipaalam sa akin.”
According to well-meaning Filipinos, if anything has changed under the Duterte administration, it is that government authorities now enforce the country’s laws without fear or favor.
In other words, there are no longer “sacred cows” in this impoverished but natural resources-rich Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 million English-speaking people.