Using fixers could backfire on you. The focus of this story reported by the Sun-Star and the Mindanao Daily News is on fixers and LTO staff.
Read to the end to find out why there is another angle.
The Fraudsters “Six LTO employees, who are administrative aides, and the two fixers.
They had been under NBI surveillance for six months.
This followed posts about a scam on social media.
LTO 7 Regional Director Victor Caindec and Executive Director Romeo Vera Cruz approved the action.
The target of the NBI operation was the LTO district office at J Centre Mall in Mandaue City.
In fact, the fixers had their contacts at the licensing centre located at SM Seaside City.
NBI agent-on-case Wenceslao Galindez Jr. said two decoys pretended to apply for drivers licenses.
A fixer approached the decoys and facilitated the application by referring them to another fixer.
The second fixer contacts someone in the LTO licensing office.
The driver’s licenses are released much more quickly than normal.
The fixers set a fee of P7,500.
Galindez said the marked money was recovered in the hands of the LTO cashier at the licensing office.
NBI 7 Assistant Regional Director Dominador Cimafranca said his office had to act because fixing was rampant.
LTO’s Caindec, said, that the arrests were “necessary actions in the processes of positive change and transformation” of the agency.
“The agency will make no excuse in behalf of anyone for the mess they got themselves into,” he said.
LTO 7 legal officer Vicente Gador Jr. said anti-graft charges will be filed against those culpable.
The six LTO employees arrested were Marilyn Erederos, Jonathan Magudato, Epifanio Callino Jr., Charish Mae Cabigon, Gladys Mendero and Dembert Dasig.
The fixers were identified as Fredlyn de Lara and Dexter Capendit. (AZLG, HBL/MPS”
In discussions with LTO staff at head office, they said that in general those that paid the fixers we either treated as victims, or avoided
possible prosecution because they reported the scam. However, even now this approach was being reviewed on a case by case basis, with a view to:
- Annulling the licenses concerned
- Prosecuting those who seek the services of “fixers”
It was put to me that the fixers would not survive if it were not for those who used their services and that the use of such services was an
attempt to defraud the LTO processes.
Whatever you think about that be aware that the thinking is now in favour of us who go through the process with all its inconvenience, rather than try to circumnavigate it.
One final point, all those arrested were administrative aides, it is hard to contemplate that only these people were aware of and implicated in the scam, given their low place in the organisation.